You can’t always be there. But we can.
You’re worried that your teens aren’t bonding with your parents. You shouldn’t. Many teens and older adults find ways to bond that would surprise you. Here are some stories of how teens and seniors have formed lasting bonds.
Love the Elderly
After spending time volunteering in an assisted living community, a Cleveland teen became slightly dismayed by the number of older residents who never had visitors. He started Love the Elderly, an organization where teens write letters to elderly men and women who live alone or live in communities in over 60 countries.
All the teen has to do is write a letter to a community of their choice. The residents get those letters and learn more about the younger generation and the things they enjoy. It offers a level of friendship that the older adults were lacking.
After the holiday rush, one woman found her parents needed help learning how to use some of the electronic devices they received as gifts. She realized the best people to teach her parents were her own teens. Using her role at a local council on aging, she came up with Teenager Elder Computer Help (TECH).
TECH pairs local high school students with senior citizens who need help learning how to use a new camera, a smartphone, or social media apps like Facebook or Skype. Through the hours spent teaching, teens and seniors end up forming lasting friendships.
Each morning an elderly Canadian woman sits in her living room window and waves to the students on the passing school buses. Students took notice and decided to do something to surprise her.
On Valentine’s Day, they all stopped by with red and pink Valentine’s day hearts and to offer her hugs. She was touched and teary-eyed at their act of kindness. The friendships continued and when she decided it was time to downsize, the students were all there to wish her good luck with her move.
Family caregivers should bring their teens along. Whether they bond playing games or taking pictures of things they encounter on walks, teens and seniors will find common ground. When you can’t be there, elder care services help your parents maintain independence without worrying about isolation or injury.
Elder care aides make sure your parents take medications on time. They help with meals. They also help with housework, laundry, and transportation. That’s just the beginning. Call our agency to discuss the areas where your parents need help and to make arrangements.