Let’s hear it for grandparents this Sunday, September 9 – it’s National Grandparent’s Day!
With more than 70 million grandparents in the United States, that’s a lot of appreciation to go around. It’s a great chance to recognize grandparents for the impacts they have on our lives — and to make sure they know how much we love them.
So how will you let your grandparents know how special they are to you? Maybe an afternoon visit, lunch out at a favorite restaurant, or a stroll in a nearby park together?
Unfortunately, with so many geographically dispersed families nowadays, it’s not always easy to make the connection with grandparents.
So what else can you do to stay in touch?
Tap into technology!
Seriously- don’t laugh! Grandparents are making new friends on Facebook everyday.
It has become an easy way to get back in touch with old friends from way back when. Not to mention that Facebook is the fastest way to get photos of their grandchildren.
In fact, the Pew Internet & American Life Project tells us that more than half of U.S. adults age 65 and older are online, using social networking as a major source of communication for grandparents living alone or far from their families.
Here’s how seniors are making technology a part of their lives:
- 70% of seniors use the internet on a typical day
- Almost 60% own a cell phone
- 1 in 3 uses a social networking site like Facebook or LinkedIn
- 86% of internet users age 65 and older use email
Tech Gifts for Grandparents
So what do you get for the grandparent who never asks for anything?
You could get Grandma a new smartphone to stay in touch. It’s never too late to learn! And better yet, you could spend an afternoon teaching her how to use all the cell phone features she’ll use most.
You’ll also want to outfit Grandma’s new device with all the apps that will make it easy-to-use:
- Kik Messenger helps send messages to children and grandchildren.
- Angry Birds is a surprisingly fun way to spend time waiting in the doctor’s office or the airport.
- Grandparents with impaired vision are using the VoiceOver app.
- Games like Sudoku or Black Ink keep minds active- young or old.
Don’t forget- most grandparents would just love to see your smiling face more often! So set Grandma up with an inexpensive iChat or messaging or FaceTime app so she can see you on her smartphone screen and talk with you in real-time.
Wherever you are this Sunday- near or far from your family- don’t forget to connect with your grandparents and let them know you care. Give them a call (or FaceTime, text, email, FB message, tweet…)
Stay connected on Grandparent’s Day and throughout the year!