Reach Out and Touch: A Call to Embrace the Elderly in our Lives


Engage the Elderly Miami Moms Blog

This year I have found myself particularly occupied with assisting elderly friends and or acquaintances with health or end of life issues.

Being a nurse, I am acutely aware of the loneliness that comes with aging and long term illness. These folks are our fathers, mothers, friends that once were very active. Now regular daily activities are becoming impossible without help.

We all have important things to do in our schedules but finding time to visit, speak face to face and hold hands often seems like such a chore. These people represent our older family members and will be us eventually.

It is so exciting when a new baby comes and Mom and Dad give up much of their time cuddling, hugging, and playing with our children. However when OUR moms and dads get older it seems harder to set aside the regular time and encouragement needed. Particularly touching and hugging meets a need of closeness and desirability.

Elderly moms and dads don’t want to be a burden, but seeing their children and grandchildren come to visit with an open and giving attitude does brighten their day.  Moms and Dads need to model this concern for their children.

Don’t know if “Cat’s in the Cradle,” a song from the 70’s, is in your memory bank? It sings about the attention our parents did or did not give use while they were meeting their goals for life. The son grows up with Dad’s empty promises and then when Dad is old his son has no time for him.

Teach your kids to respect the elderly

and to reach out with help and encouragement.

It will be us before you know it.


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Ann Zwemer Moran was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor’s in Nursing. She worked as a critical care nurse for 27 years with a specialty certification in Critical Care. Ann’s most precious accomplishment is raising 5 biological children, and 2 adolescent foster daughters. Always community oriented, Ann developed children’s educational and mentoring programs in disadvantaged communities, and a Service Club to give third to fifth graders opportunities for varying projects servicing the elderly, the infirmed and the environment.