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Seniors Planning a Reunion Should Start Early, Seek Help

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Family reunions are great ways for seniors to connect with other generations. Family caregivers can play an important role ensuring that older adults get the kind of reunion they want. The support of a professional CAREGiver could help as well.

Q. This summer I want to begin planning a family reunion for the fall, but at 80 years old and living alone, I'm not sure I can handle it. My daughter has offered to help, but she lives several hundred miles away. Do you have any suggestions?

Planning a family reunion is a big job at any age that requires plenty of advance planning. But, if you're in good health, there's no reason why you can't play an important part in this process. We researched this topic and most resources we found suggest that you ask yourself the following questions when you're laying the groundwork for a reunion:

Who should attend? Determine how big of an event you'd like to host. If you have a large family, should all the children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren be included, or do you want immediate family only?

Where should the event be held? Select the city that is most centrally located for all who will be attending and then think about a site within that city. Many communities have senior centers that will open their doors for events such as this. Will young children be there? If so, pick a place that includes some sort of recreation area for them.

Will this be a day-long event or activities that span a weekend? If the reunion will be a several-day event, lodging will be another important consideration in the planning.

Who will help? This is among the most important questions. If you're planning a bigger event, the best way to handle that is by establishing a committee. Put individuals in charge of various aspects of the event. That way, all your bases are covered.

Why not enlist the help of some friends who could be a sounding board for your ideas and give you advice. Or if you'd like to invest a considerable amount of time yourself, consider hiring assistance from a non-medical caregiver.

Home Instead® hires CAREGiversSM who are screened, trained, bonded and insured to handle a variety of non-medical tasks such as companionship, meal preparation, light housekeeping and medication reminders. CAREGivers also regularly help seniors by providing transportation, errands and shopping. An extra set of hands could give you more help as well as time to plan your big event. Good luck and have fun!

Last revised: July 13, 2011

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