September 12th is National Grandparents Day — a day that’s dedicated to celebrating grandparents! Being a grandparent is an amazing and heartwarming venture, but did you know that studies have shown that grandparents and grandchildren have a special connection that has been proven to make grandparents live longer and to make children more emotionally resilient?

Grandparents Day is the perfect opportunity to treasure that special connection and spend some quality time with our families, grandparents, or grandchildren. 

So, where did Grandparents Day come from? It’s been a U.S. holiday since 1979, thanks to Marian McQuade. She made it her goal to educate the youth in her community about the importance of contributions made by seniors throughout history. McQuade campaigned across the country for a day to be set aside for grandparents. In September of 1978, the White House called to tell McQuade that President Jimmy Carter signed a bill that designated every Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day.

Making the Most of Grandparents Day

If you have a parent or grandparent in hospice or palliative care, you should try to pay them a visit this National Grandparents Day. Some activities you could do with them include:

  • Reading from their favorite book
  • Watching their favorite movie with them
  • Doing a puzzle
  • Painting their nails or doing their hair
  • Playing cards or mind games
  • Bake them a cake or their favorite treat
  • Bring in ice cream or a milkshake
  • Depending on the grandparent’s health status, a virtual visit may be best. If so, ask their nurses to coordinate a time for a FaceTime or Zoom call with you. Put on a fun background, get some balloons and maybe a silly hat or funny glasses and enjoy some quality virtual time with your loved one.

If you’re looking for ways to get your kids involved, here are some perfect Grandparents Day activities for the little ones:

  • Take and/or frame a picture of the grandkids for the grandparent. 
  • Sit down and ask your grandparent what life was like when they were a kid.
  • Make a family tree or photo scrapbook for them, or work on making one together.
  • Ask your grandparent(s) to teach you something, whether it’s a recipe, card trick, or anything else.

The most important part of Grandparents Day is recognizing all the good that grandparents bring to life and showing them our appreciation for that.