“Y’all done lost y’all damn minds!”
That’s a famous and distressingly relevant quote from the grandma of one of my childhood friends. It’s the kind of thing I’d like to tell my senators on a regular basis.
For Grandparents Day (Sunday, September 10) this year, we at Caring Across have created a way for all of us to do just that. It’s called Postcards.care, and you can use it to create a unique postcard with a picture and a nugget of family wisdom. We’ll send your card to your senators (and you can have one sent to yourself as well) for Grandparents Day to let them know what they need to hear from us.
We created a set of starter messages for you to choose from (one starts, “Don’t cook bacon in the nude!”), but you can modify them or create a new one from scratch. You have 300 characters to work with, so make them count!
Traditionally an annual holiday meant to uplift the sacred bonds between grandparents and their families, this year Grandparents Day takes on a new meaning because our elders are more in the news than ever. A destructive healthcare bill recently put our grandparents’ health at risk, and we’re not out of the woods, as Medicaid, the program that covers 60 percent of nursing home residents, is still under attack.
As if that wasn’t enough, many immigrant grandparents are threatened by this administration’s new immigration bans and cutbacks on legal immigration, separating them from their grandchildren who live in this country. And grandparents are also taking on a bigger role in caring for their families than ever before: 7 million grandparents now live with their grandchildren, and 2.7 million are their primary caretakers. As grandparents become even more essential to the function of our family lives, we must call on Congress to make sure they are protected.
This year, Grandparents Day falls immediately after Congress returns from August recess, so it’s the best time to remind our Senators why the health and dignity of seniors and families is so important. By showcasing diverse, multigenerational families to our members of congress, we will demonstrate that aging family members make a family stronger, not weaker, and that we will not accept subpar care for our aging loved ones. And given all they have to deal with, I’m sure they’d much rather read our heartwarming family stories than read about what’s going on in the current administration!
Of the postcard campaign, Caring Across Generations Communications Director Janet Kim says, “Each personalized postcard will give families the opportunity to honor their grandparents, and together, the postcards will create a portrait of a nation that cares for its elders. Together, by demonstrating the care we give and receive every day, we can set an example for congress and provide them with a blueprint of what families need to give our seniors the care they deserve.”