Sunday, September 12 will mark National Grandparents Day, a special day to honor the families’ elders and celebrate the familial bonds between the young and old. The holiday’s beginnings can be traced back to 1956 — the same year that McPeak’s Assisted Living was founded.
Marian McQuade, a West Virginia resident, was helping put together a celebration for seniors over the age of 80 when she noticed that the local nursing home residents were alone and had no one to visit them. From there, she sought to establish a holiday for all grandparents and those seniors who may have been forgotten by their families.
In 1973, West Virginia became the first state to establish Grandparents Day. Five years later, Congress passed a bill declaring the first Sunday after Labor Day to be Grandparents Day.
According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the number of grandparents has grown since 2001, from 56 million to 70 million. By 2030, twenty percent of the U.S. population will turn 65. The AARP points out that 96% of those who are 65 years old are already grandparents.
In the past, families would come out to local assisted living facilities to visit Grandma and Grandpa, but when the pandemic spread across the U.S., visitations were not allowed. When the statewide infection rate started to drop, New York State loosened its requirements, but still demanded that visitors wear masks and test negative for COVID-19. McPeak’s is encouraging family members to follow the facility’s COVID-19 visitation policy. That includes, among other things, scheduling visits in advance, limiting visits to 30 minutes and only allowing family members ages 13 and older into the facility. For more information regarding visits at McPeak’s, go to https://www.mcpeaks.com/covid-19-visitation-policy.
“I understand that children would like to see their grandparents on this very special day, but the coronavirus has changed the way we are allowing family members to meet with their loved ones,” said James McPeak, Owner, McPeak’s Assisted Living. “We have implemented our own visitation policy to make sure our residents and their loved ones stay safe. Older people are more susceptible to the virus, so it is important that all health and safety protocols are followed to make this year’s National Grandparents Day an enjoyable one.”