We all begin learning about the importance of Remembrance Day, November 11th, at a very young age. Starting as early as kindergarten there are a variety of activities, poems, stories, and songs to help remind us of those who fought bravely for our country and gave their lives for the hope of a better future. But, after those school days are finished, many of us lose sight of the true reason behind November 11 activities and events.
Caregiver and Senior Activities on Remembrance Day
As a caregiver, Remembrance Day offers a great opportunity to honour our country’s veterans, and for seniors that have served in the military to be appreciated for their contribution. Some activities that caregivers can take part in with seniors, might be:
- Arts & crafts
- Poems, books, songs
- Remember friends and family involved
- Learn some history
- Support Royal Canadian Legions
- Visit a soldiers’ cemetery
Going to a parade is an excellent tradition to take part in November 11th. Attending a Remembrance Day parade shows veteran support, while getting out for a bit of exercise and social activity. It also offers a good reminder about our country’s commitment to peace to provide a safe environment for children to grow up in, and the harsh brutality of war.
In Vancouver, there is the main parade downtown at Victory Square, and for residents in the North Shore, there is also a parade that starts at the Armoury at Forbes Ave & 15th Street, beginning around 9:30 AM.
If you are heading out to the parade in North Vancouver, it can be followed up with a picturesque stroll in Lynn Canyon Park or Deep Cove. There is also a Remembrance Day ceremony at Lynn Valley Veterans Plaza.
Arts & Crafts
Doing arts & crafts is always a fun activity, especially if it is a group function. Making poppies or wreaths is always a classic Remembrance Day activity, but creating poems or games can also be fun.
Poems, Books & Songs
Reading old poems like Flanders Fields is a great exercise in nostalgia, and can bring back some youthful memories. Seniors can choose their favorite story or poem relevant to November 11 and you can take turns reading.
Songs are another good option for reminiscing, and respecting military veterans. There are a wide range of songs about Remembrance Day that can be listened to, sang, and even accompanied by musical instruments.
Remembering Friends and Family
In many cases older adults will have a friend or family member that was involved in the military and possibly fought in a war. This is a good opportunity to take a moment to remember their contributions, and to commemorate those who gave their lives.
Learn Some History
Learning something new is always an excellent way to keep the brain active and expand your knowledge. A good activity could be to learn about a new topic under the Remembrance Day theme. This could be an opportune time to brush up on Canada’s involvement in WW1, WW2, and the Korean War.
The focus could get even more specific by learning the details of the Battle of Vimy Ridge or D Day. It is never a bad idea to learn more about your country’s history.
Veterans Affairs Canada offers extensive resources that provide a look into the military heritage in Canada, and a detailed account of what the experience was like for those that went through it.
Support Royal Canadian Legions
Legions across Canada are in steady decline, which is certainly affected by a dwindling veteran population, but memberships are also now open the public. Even if you do not wish to become a member, support can still be shown through the poppy sales programs leading up to November 11th.
Visit a Soldiers’ Cemetery
For those that have a soldiers’ cemetery in their area, visiting one on Remembrance Day can be a good way to pay respects.
Many Canadian war veterans are struggling with serious problems like depression, social isolation, and homelessness. After giving so much for their country, they often get forgotten about after their service. Support services are offered for veterans in need, and volunteering your time to help out with these critical services is a dutiful and beneficial way to spend your Remembrance Day.