Remember those times going out with your family, maybe to a baseball game? Cheers and laughter bounced through the stadium. Smiles reached every face. Half of the fun was just being there with those you loved, enjoying the sportsmanship together. Or remember attending an outdoor wedding? Young nieces and nephews ran through the crowd playing tag. You chatted with a few cousins you hadn’t seen in a while. Maybe you have great memories of big family vacations or family reunions.

Those times always stick out in our memories when we look back! They matter so much to us because we so strongly feel the sense of unity and love that comes from being with family. Strengthening connections with each other gives us happiness and relieves stress.

Now a few years down the road from those amazing memories, as we all start to age, it might be more challenging for Mom or Dad or older family members like Great Uncle Tom to join. Making it up the stadium steps, or down to the beach, or onto an airplane might prove particularly difficult with mobility issues or other health problems. Stays away from home come with worries of making sure medications are taken on time, keeping daily routines, and ensuring proper nutrition.

But, what would a day at the lake be without Grandma’s famous potato salad? Or Dad’s boisterous laugh? Or Auntie Sue’s wild stories? Removing them from the equation seems ludicrous. Especially as they age, we want to savor every minute with them. And undoubtedly, they are doing the same. They value those golden family moments, just as much, if not more than everyone else does. Spending time around younger members of the family helps them remain lively and content. A senior’s life can sometimes become lonely and family gatherings are just the ticket!

Spending time together means so much to our aging loved ones that the prospect of excluding them is heart wrenching. With their health and well-being in mind, it may seem safer to leave them out of outings and vacations, but the cost is highly beneficial family time. No family member should ever miss the chance to continue making beautiful, funny, heartwarming, and meaningful memories together.

Thankfully, with just a little planning and a little help, outings with our elderly family members can be stress-free and easy. When the time comes, allowing a caregiver to join your gatherings will just make your older loved ones more comfortable and able to enjoy as much as they can. An extra set of hands goes a long way in ensuring their safety and well-being. Welcoming a caregiver feels just like welcoming a new skilled, watchful, loving member to the family.

Now that summer is coming to a close, make the most of it. Have a blast with every member of your family. It’ll be good for them and it’ll be good for you!