Living in Berlin, you see all kinds of people, young and old, as you are out and about. Especially on the weekends, when we spend our Saturday morning strolling through the farmers’ market, we meet all kinds of people, mostly because they are drawn Ayla and her big goofy Newfie smile. Although Berlin is full of many young and vibrant people, there are also many aging folks who go to the market every week to buy their single portions of food for dinner, and continue to cook for themselves, even if they have no one to enjoy the meal with.

I have so much respect for these people. And as my own parents grow older each year, I begin to think about their own needs as well. While they are still fairly young, they have already entered ages where they can be AARP members, and it’s a pure fact of life that our aging family members will soon comprise a huge portion of the population, due to all the baby boomers who are now reaching retirement age.

Our aging population needs just as much love as your kids — and even if your own parents are not around, there are plenty of aging adults who don’t have their family living nearby and would love for you and your family to spend time with them and give them a memorable ending to their lives. The trend of “adopting” grandparents in your local area has been on the rise for many years, and I personally think it’s a great way to help your children learn to be more respectful, to get insights about life that you may not be able to teach them, and to create a larger nuclear family for yourself, even if everyone is not related by blood.

photo credit: Ed Yourdon via photopin cc

photo credit: Ed Yourdon via photopin cc

If you’re interested in volunteering your time at one of your local assisted living facilities, you can search San Francisco assisted living options at, or if you know some aging individuals in your neighborhood, there’s many things you can do to brighten their day:

  • Take them their Favorite FoodA lot of people’s food cravings increase with their age but they don’t always feel like cooking. Good food is an amazing way to include some happy moments in the final stages of their lives. But remember, while taking food for them be sure to know what cuisine they like the most. Doing this once in a week would lighten the burden of their old age and give them something they can cherish even in your absence.
  • Take them for a WalkIf the elderly citizen in your family is able to walk, just take them to a nearby park and walk with him/her holding hands. It will refresh their minds and bodies to a great extent. Doing this regularly will also improve their stamina, immune system and make them healthier again.
  • Just Talk to themYou have no idea how much old people tend to talk about themselves and their times. And unfortunately, they hardly get someone to speak to. Just lend your listening ears to the individual and notice how he/she starts speaking about their own incidents, their friends, how things were much cheaper then and how technology didn’t exist then. It’s real fun!
  • Present them with FlowersLearn about their favorite flowers and present it to them whenever you meet them. Make sure you purchase high quality flowers from FloristExpress or another great florist nearby and notice how a big smile appears on their face, almost instantly. Plus, buying from a place like that doesn’t cost you much either, so why not do it?
  • Gift them their Favorite MusicOld or young, men or women, people always love music no matter what. At a time when they have almost nothing to do, you can gift them their favorite music DVD’s. It will help them kill their boredom and de-stress themselves.

An aging loved one is not someone to be left alone; they deserve all the happiness and respect for who they are and what they did. Being there during their last moments would just make it easy for them to leave the world. And you would in return get lot of good wishes and prayers from them. So, do it – it doesn’t really take much!

Did you know that there is actually a Senior Citizens Day? It’s August 21st. It was created to recognize the contributions senior citizens make in communities across the United States. So mark your calendars, and make sure that even if you can’t do something for them daily, you make an extra effort to do something special at your local nursing home that month!