I try to remember that every day could be any one's last day and try to make it count. So, in honor of making sure my grandparents in the 75+ range still feel loved and know I'm thinking of them, here are a few things that can brighten someone elses day!
#1 Send a hand-written note
This is a concept that MANY people under about 45 don't appreciate. We have so much technology, phones are affordable for long distance, and the ease of sending an e-mail has great appeal. To those who are older, they have not invested in all of the technology available and still enjoy the older methods of communication. Of course an in-person visit will usually elicit the best response, but a hand-written note or card will probably be a wonderful surprise to your loved one.
#2 Visit for a non-occasion, unless the occasion is just because!
I am most guilty of this type of visit. When there is a birthday, holiday or other planned family event, it can be much easier to plan ahead that there will be a get together, and that time off from activities or work might be easier. But, people still like to have visits for no reason other than you wanted to see them and spend time with them.
#3 Send a small gift, or something with a memory
This idea does not mean to go out and buy grandma a new $300 ring, but find something that is meaningful to the person you are getting it for. Perhaps you used to always make a specific food or desert with the person-bring along the ingredients to make it again with them (or bring it already prepared). This is a personal favorite thing of my grandmother because it validates to her that I remember all of the little things we used to do. To her, knowing that I enjoyed eating a strawberry jello dessert makes her feel good!
#4 Call on the phone
Of course, some of our loved ones are not just around the corner and going to visit them is not possible frequently. It is nice to call on the phone even when there is no specific news to share. I once was in the habit of only calling family when I had news (typically positive news) to share. As I have gotten older, I realized that this can seem a bit self-centered....so calling people at random just to talk allows the conversation to be equally about you and the person you are calling.