Let’s face it:  The elderly are some of the most overlooked members of our society.

My husband is an administrator of a nursing home, which I believe is a ministry in itself.  I have never seen anyone as patient and caring towards the elderly as my amazing husband.  He truly respects and reveres the wisdom that each of these precious individuals have to share.  It breaks my heart when he tells me about residents who have absolutely no family or friends come to visit.  How can a person live their entire lives and be forgotten at the end of it?

The Bible has a few things to say about how we should be treating the elderly that still very much apply to us today.

“Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God.  I am the LORD.”  -Leviticus 19:32

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this:  to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”  -James 1:27

As mothers, we have an amazing opportunity to be an example to our children of how to treat (and even serve) the elderly.  The best lessons are taught not just with our words, but with our actions as well.

I want to challenge you, sweet Mamas, to take this opportunity to serve alongside your children to brighten the day of some very precious people!  Nursing Home Week is May 13-19.  Take a few hours of your week to visit your local nursing home or even an elderly friend, neighbor, or relative.  I would suggest calling ahead of time to see when the best time might be to come, but even if you are unable to work out the details beforehand, the residents would be happy to have you!

If you have young children, it might be helpful to read Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge prior to your visit.  This sweet picture book tells the story of a young boy who befriends his elderly neighbor and helps her “find” her memory.  If you’re looking for some ideas on how to make your trip extra special, here are just a few:

• Make handmade cards to deliver.

• Make sunshine cookies.

• Buy some flowers in bulk and hand-deliver to each of the residents.

• If you have older children, have a group of kids sing to the residents during one of their meals.

• Create a survey with questions that your child can ask the residents (who was his/her favorite president, what job did he/she do before retiring, how many children does he/she have, etc.).

What other ideas do you have for ways that we can honor the elderly and encourage our children to do the same?