First, it's important for her to know that her family cares about her and has not forgotten her before she is even gone. She also loves to tell her friends at dinner all about what my kids are doing in school or gymnastics and about all the crazy projects I love to work on. She always thinks I do too much and I always try to convince her that no matter how much I do, we will always have time to visit her. I mean, it's only an hour long visit once a week. If I can't make time for that, there's something seriously wrong with my priorities.
Second, it's important for my children to see the appropriate way to treat the elderly. They learn to treat older people in a respectful and loving way, not in a way that makes them seem like an annoyance or object that just needs to go away because they don't seem to fit in our busy life-style. It teaches them patience and compassion. Yes, it takes Grandma twice as long to get to the elevator as it takes them, but that doesn't mean they need to be impatient. Grandma can't hear very well anymore, so they know they need to speak a little louder around her so she can be included in the conversations, even if we aren't speaking directly to her.
Lastly, it's important for me to do my part and ensure that my grandma, who loves me like one of her own children, does not feel abandoned or alone and can feel like she still has plenty to live for. I hope that when my time comes to move into assisted living, my family will not forget about me and will still want to include me in their lives.