Activities


Sermon Talking Points for Love An Elder Day

  • So many older seniors are living alone in modern America!
  • When they get up there in years, they sometimes face dire challenges that most of us don’t imagine, like the woman who can no longer open the heavy lobby door of her building and waited an hour with the pain of a degenerating spine just to get out to buy some milk.
  • Much emphasis in our nation is focused on children, on getting the right start in life.
  • Sometimes parents and communities can make little or large mistakes, hurting children.
  • When we think of helping those in need, we often think of innocent young people whose whole lives can be improved.
  • We think of how well this in turn will make our communities better places.
  • But, parents are very important people in the equation.
  • Most, work very hard indeed to raise their children.
  • And the children somehow get through the turbulence of adolescence, and sometimes they rail against their parents, especially parents that have made a few mistakes.
  • Eventually, we leave home and often begin to raise our own families, and we treasure our own children.   We work hard to bring them happiness and success in the world.
  • And somewhere along the line, we begin to understand how the parents we left behind dedicated so much of their time and made so many sacrifices for us.
  • Our feelings about our parents often begin to soften and, in the best scenario, we can understand that they are also treasures.
  • But still we may live far away from than and may not imagine the reality of our grandparents and older parents.
  • Picture this:  You no longer have your job.  Your parents have died.  Some of your dearest friends have died or are sick.  You are unable to play ball or enjoy your hobbies .  And, what’s more, you had to move out of your home and even out of the neighborhood you knew!
  • On top of this, the pain in your hip is awful, having sat in your wheelchair for hours and hours.
  • And, you can’t even holler for help because your voice is weaker than ever.
  • What’s worse is you feel ashamed to ask for help from those you love, or you’re afraid if you do, someone will suggest institutionalizing you.
  • It sounds like hell, doesn’t it?
  • But, these are the dire challenges that many older seniors in our nation are facing.
  • Many of us are thankful…to a degree.  We will honor our parents on their special occasions, include them at the Thanksgiving dinner table, send them gifts, and call from time to time.  And every time you do that type of thing, you are honoring your parents.
  • I’m pleased to say, that times are changing and we can bring the 5th Commandment to even greater heights.  October 1st is “Love An Elder Day”, and we should celebrate it.  We can also make sure that our parents don’t lack for the necessities of life or are left in need or in loneliness.
  • This may necessitate some sacrifices, but we need to realize that if we are to honor the fifth commandment, it may necessitate some sacrifices on our behalf.  And many of these will be the same ones that our parents made for us when we were children.
  • How many times did our parents put on hold their own plans to give us the time or things we needed?  How often did they prepare a meal for us, clean up after us? [For a Christian sermon: When Christ was dying an agonizing death on the cross, there were seven recorded things that he said, and one of them was to ask his friend John to take care of his mother!]
  • Helping our parents to live out their years comfortably may involve a little resourcefulness, but you’re resourceful!  You can figure it out!  Maybe get others involved!
  • Remember, the example you set can be the one followed by your own children.  The Greek philosopher Euripides (er-rip-e-dees) observed “Unblessed is the son who does not honour his parents; but if reverent and obedient to them, he will receive the same from his own children”
  • Think of an ancient grandmother, living with her daughter’s family.  As she became frail, she broke some plates and cups, knocked over the dishware, and sent the daughter into a fit of moaning.  She called her mother a “menace” and sent her son to the market to get a wooden glass for his grandmother, but he came back with two.  When the mother asked why he bought two, he said that he bought one for his grandmother to use now and the second one for his mother when she became a menace to him.
  • Perhaps you have disappointments with your parents, and you don’t feel like honoring them.  How long can we carry around blame?  For, weren’t they disappointed with their lot in life to have hurt you in some way?
  • But, sometimes, too much water has gone under the bridge, and there is too much grief in our hearts.  No where in the bible does it say we must love our parents, only honor them.  Maybe sometimes that means to forgive them.  But suppose you just can’t?  Can you still tend them, and desist from negativity?
  • Or, suppose they live far away or are no longer with us?  Can you honor or love an elder neighbor or friend, especially those without family or without family nearby?
  • Let’s celebrate “Love An Elder Day” everyday, taking to heart the Fifth Commandment in its most expansive form!  Can you think of ways?

Contact us: LoveAnElder.org, info@loveanelder.org, or call 917-775-1199.


Classes – Love An Elder Day

For the 1st through 3rd Grade Level Student – Honoring Their Parents’ Parents

October 1st is International Day of Older Persons. It is a day dedicating to honoring and caring for the world’s elderly. (In New York City, October 1st is “Love an Elder” Day.) Students could make posters advertising this day around the community.

1) Students could be asked to create their own class-wide, school-wide or community-wide Day to celebrate, for example, create a potluck lunch, inviting grandparents and great grandparents. The momentum could continue all through the year as elders can be invited to special celebrations, including Thanksgiving celebration, and more. Students might plan a sing-a-long, cook a meal, or write a play.

2) They can also make cards to send to their own relatives or senior neighbors.


Group Game: Train Tracks

Age Range: Any
Number of Players: Any
Playing Time: 20+ mins

Did you know that, “conversations tend to follow cues?” In fact, most of the time the person who continues the conversation tends to use the same words! This game is all about listening, attention and wit. It has been designed to follow a domino effect. As a social ice breaker, it will enable imagination, past events, and experiences to be shared among its players.

Game Object
The objective of this game is to try to keep up with the story being told. It is all about using at least one of the words that were used before and to continue the story successfully while entertaining the audience. This is where imagination is necessary, each player can guide the story however they want, as long as they use (1) word used before.

Game Contents
(1) Imagination
(2) Wit
(3) Attention

Game Assembly
All players should be comfortably sitting (semi-circle if not too many players). Same age players should not sit next to each other.

Game Setup
The game is set up the same way regardless of the number of players.

Game Play
The oldest person in the room is the one who will start the game, there should be a mixed audience (age) in the semi circle.

Turn Sequence
On a player’s turn, the player will be asked to start or continue the story. If the player is starting the story, he/she can decide the setting, genre, etc. of the first round of the story. After every round, the next player is allowed to change the direction of the story. The players should not take more than 3-5 minutes. There are various categories that these stories can follow, remember that this should be instructional, the more history, facts, advice, the merrier.

Nature History Cultural International
War Peace National Movements Projects
Pop Culture Cuisine Love First times

Special Conditions
This is your game; make it fun for yourself and everyone else.

Winning/Scoring
Everyone is a winner! Once the game is over, all the players will gain valuable knowledge of themselves and the other players. By listening, to one another, the players allow others to listen to their ideas, implement their ideas and to become acquainted with their story.

Strategy tips
Players are allowed to use their hands, sound effects; anything that can implement to their story is welcomed. The goal is to entertain; details are a way to help others relate to the story!

Credits
Game developed by Geovanna K. Carrasco.
Lifeforce in Later Years (LILY)


Religious Classes – Honoring Their Parents’ Parents

For the 1st through 3rd Grade Level Student – Honoring Their Parents’ Parents

Created by educators Naomi Baumgarten & Curricula team. Lifeforce in Later Years; www.L-i-L-Y.org | T.917-775-1199

Focused Activity
October 1st is International Day to celebrate older adults. It is a day dedicating to honoring and caring for the world’s elderly. (In New York State, October 1st is “Love An Elder” Day.) Students could make posters advertising this day around the community. Students could be asked to create their own class-wide, school-wide or community-wide Day to celebrate, for example, create a potluck lunch, inviting grandparents and great grandparents. The momentum could continue all through the year as elders can be invited to special celebrations, including a religious occasions like Christmas, Chanukah or Kwanza, Thanksgiving, and more. Students might plan a sing-a-long, cook a meal, or write a play. They can also make cards to send to their own relative or senior neighbor.


Love An Elder Day Activities

Seven Suggestions

  1. Introduce yourself to an elderly neighbor.
  2. Send or drop-off a Love An Elder Day greeting card to an elderly friend, neighbor or relative.
  3. Ask a frail neighbor if they’d like something from the store.
  4. Volunteer with or donate to an organization that helps elders.
  5. Call an elder you haven’t spoken with for a while.
  6. Do something nice for an elder.
  7. Take an elder who is able “out on the town!”

Ways to Celebrate Our Elders

Love An Elder Day of Action
Activities included buying a greeting card and sending or dropping it off with an elder; asking for their name or just say hello; helping to create community awareness in your place of work or school; making a list of your older neighbor’s names and phone numbers and calling them once a week; asking your neighbor if they would like you to shop for them; volunteering with an elder service agency; show your love of elders by wearing a pin or donating to an elder service charity; deciding to create an “elder-care village” in your own neighborhood, or join one, and more.

School and Faith Based Activities


How Can My Organization or Congregation Get Involved?

Love An Elder looks forward to learning more about how YOU celebrate your elders at your organization.

Would you be willing to share news and descriptions of your good work here as a way to inspire others? SHARE >>

  • Organize a Love An Elder Day group to identify your elderly members with contact information.
  • Host a Love An Elder day celebration bringing your members in touch with elderly members for a social gathering. Be sure to help your elders with transportation to and from and identify one lead “friend” to connect with them before and during your event.
  • Organize a Love An Elder Day card-writing event. Purchase cards from LoveAnElder.org and mail or drop-off your cards during the week of September 30th.
  • Organize a special committee or team to discuss ways in which your group can be more responsive to the needs of your elders. Are there ways in which you can help elders be less socially isolated, connect with neighborhood resources, feel less fearful, or better navigate in their homes, buildings, or neighborhoods?
  • Take photos of your favorite elders and/or write a short story about how an elder has made a difference in your life. Share your photos and/or stories on your group’s newsletter, service, or post on LoveAnElder.org.
  • Create a celebration delivery team who will deliver small “we care” packages to frail seniors.
  • Feature your elders in a special session, meeting, or event at your organization.

Classes – Tree Of Art

For the 4th-7th Grade Level Student – The Tree of Art

Ask students to draw their family tree, the trick is to go back on time as memory best allows it. As the students draw the various branches of their family, ask them to number from 1-10 (10) being the highest the amounts of respect that each generations deserves according to them. Ask students if this idea should be expanded to include older seniors in general and why. Because they are the bearers of civilization and have handed down “know-how” to the following generations…and continue to do so.

Read one of the books on the list offered HERE about a cross-generational relationship. Write a sentence that captures a main learning had by the reader about seniors. Then, create illustrations, using one or various media that might capture this idea. The sentence should be printed beneath the finished work of art. The class could create an exhibition for the school and for viewing by families, including senior members. Photos of the submissions can be sent to Lifeforce in Later Years web master (info@L-i-L-Y.org) for inclusion on its website.


Group Game: A Global Story

Love An Elder Games such as the following, A Global Story, are a refreshing way to engage elders and their friends or visitors in new ways and help build mutual understanding and bonds.

Age Range: Any
Number of Players: Any
Playing Time: 20+ mins

No matter how far away we are from our place of birth we seem to always find a place, we can call home. Sometimes, home is anywhere a loved one is or has been. We can always count on storytelling to bridge in the past and present, the then and the now. This game is designed to identify and share three things among the players, a historical/cultural fact, a sentimental fact, and a personal story about a friend/family that lives/lived in the chosen location. As a social icebreaker, this game allows us to learn about the interests and sentiments of the player, and to create a positive rapport amongst the participants. The 3 facts can be shared in the form of storytelling. All the participants will judge the person who is telling the story (1-10), the location with the most points wins. The game is structured to be inquisitive about the lives led by the participants, these stories are shared with others and their knowledge is passed on from generation to generation.

History before the invention of writing systems was shared through storytelling; accordingly, these short narrations of past events allow the players to build on new relationships while remembering their past experiences. Our elders have raised, coached, taught, and shared their experiences and knowledge with younger generations. What better way than to honor them, by taking the time to listen to their wonderful tales!

Game Object
The objective of this game is to accumulate the most points, by scoring high points through story telling. Each turn is worth 40 points, 10 points per category (30) and up to 10 points can be gained depending on the distance between their current location and the location described(more distance=more points). Players can decide on this part of the rules. If desired the distance can be measured between continents, countries, states, cities, or street blocks.

Game Contents
(1) MAP- interchangeable item
(2) Index cards- used as score board, each player uses it to give out scores to the person who is telling the story.
(3) Pen/Pencil
(4) Pushpins
(5) Ruler

Game Assembly
Distribute pens/pencils amongst players. Place map on a flat surface (wall/table). Place push pins and index cards together.

Game Setup
The game is set up the same way regardless of the number of players. It’s important to keep in mind that the players should write down then name of the story teller on top of their index card, the scorer can be anonymous.

Game Play
The oldest person in the room is the one who will start the game, followed by the second oldest, and so on.

Turn Sequence
On a player’s turn, the player will be asked to tell 3 stories/facts about their chosen location. Their location is marked by the pushpin and the distance between their current location and their chosen location is measured. This number should be recorded by the game monitor. The other players will judge on the content, liveliness, etc of each story. At the end of the round, after all the distances are recorded, they are converted to points from 1-10, once again the larger the distance, the more points are awarded. The game can be played for multiple rounds. Once the players are satisfied, they can add their scored per round and the person with the most points earns bragging rights. He/she will be Honorary Storyteller!

Special Conditions

If a player has already checked-in on a location, and another player decides to use the same location, they will have to story duel for the mayorship of that place.

Story Duel- consist on having a tie breaker, both players will have 3 minutes to name up to 10 restaurants, museums, any historical place that belongs to their chosen location. The player with the answers wins. In order to be fair, the second player will go first, followed by the defending mayor. Answers cannot be repeated, by the defending mayor, these answers will not count. The second player has to pay close attention to make sure that the answers are not recycled. The player with most answers can accumulate up to 5 points, while the loser gets up to 5 points subtracted from his total score.

Winning/Scoring

  • Player with the highest score wins
  • The win has to be by exact count.
  • If there is a tie, a tie breaker has to be played. Both players will narrate their life stories to the audience, they can be focused on their most precious accomplishments, birthdays, first time (biking, driving, baking, traveling, etc.). Each participant will be judged by the other players, the player with the highest score wins.

Game play Variations
This game can be played according to current location and participants.

Strategy tips
Players are allowed to use their hands, sound effects; anything that can implement to their story is welcomed. The goal is to entertain; details are a way to help others relate to the story! Remember that the greater the distance, the greater the score

Credits
Game developed by Geovanna K. Carrasco.
Lifeforce in Later Years (LILY)


Religious Classes – Confirmation or Bar/Bat Mitzvoh

For the student planning a ceremony like a Confirmation of a Bar/Bat Mitzvoh Student, depending on the traditions of your religion

Created by educators Naomi Baumgarten & Curricula team. Lifeforce in Later Years; www.L-i-L-Y.org | T.917-775-1199

Warm-Up Session
Teacher writes the 5th commandment on the board: Honor thy father and thy mother. Ask the class if this should be extended to their grandparents or elderly people in general and if so why or why not. These are the fathers and mothers of others, but do families help one another with duties? What about older people who never had children? Should they be honored as well? Why or why not? Ask students to find a definition for “honor”. (According to MW dictionary: to regard or treat (someone) with admiration and respect : to give special recognition to…) Ask students to write down why we should admire or respect or honor an older person. Share. Some say that older seniors should be honored because whether teaching someone to use a knife and fork or how to play the piano, and many have consoled, encouraged, and loved us. Older people have provided and continue to provide the next generation with these type of legacies and more.

Focused Activity
Students can be asked to visit with an elder (older senior of 80 years plus) to share advice about the ritual and also to share his/her experience of practicing for a similar occasion. The student will write down the advice and bring to class for group sharing. The advice given can be written on the board as bulleted points, and the class can decide if each seems valuable. Students can create a “blog” explaining their findings for October 1st, Love An Elder Day in the state of New York.


Religious Classes – How can we “honour thy father and thy mother”?

For 3-7th graders: How can we “honour thy father and thy mother”?

Created by educators Naomi Baumgarten & Curricula team. Lifeforce in Later Years; www.L-i-L-Y.org | T.917-775-1199

This project requires the teacher to help students connect to the right answers (in red) to questions that will help prepare them for honoring their forefathers and mothers.

Warm-Up Session
Teacher asks these two questions, writing on board (1) Who are the fathers and mothers of the fathers and mothers? The grandparents of course. Once this is clear, the second one should be written: (2)Should they be honored by their children, grandchildren, and even great grandchildren? Why? The more honor, the better! So, what about seniors that never had any children? Should they be honored? Did they function as teachers, guiding forces, helpers in the lives of those who needed it? Why not assume that they performed similar acts to parents? Why not help all older seniors who need help?

Ask students to write down the thoughts and feeling they have when they hear the phrase ‘elderly people.’ The teacher can ask students to choose a sentence to share with the group. A discussion can follow, depending on time.
Ask students to respond in writing: What are all of the things you need in order to feel healthy, comfortable and happy in the course of a week, both physical and otherwise if this is appropriate for your students. Sleep, nourishment, ability to hear, see, walk, move about freely, see friends, play ball, play games, respect, receive/give love, to be able to do things independently, get homework done correctly, do well in school, etc.

Then, through discussion, help students make the connection to the elderly population. Help students to understand that elderly people have the same needs, but that there are several factors which sometimes prevent these needs from being met. Children may come up with some of these: limited eyesight, limitations in hearing, mobility issues, living far from friends and family. Let them know that sometimes, with good care, older seniors can live long and happy lives. For example, we know of a senior living on 112th Street in Manhattan who is 107 years old. Let them know that CONTACT WITH OTHER PEOPLE can contribute to this care.

Children can learn that OCTOBER 1st is the UN Day to Celebrate Older People and, in the state of NY, October 1st has been legally proclaimed “Love An Elder Day”!

Focused Activity
Contact An Elder: Let students know that through making and sending a greeting card to an elderly relative or neighbor who they know or have seen, they will be adding to the amount of contact that an elderly person has. They can be honored and feel that people have not forgotten them just because they are not able to get out so often.