Working with seniors, the Jewish Pavilion staff and volunteers experience a lot of loss. When we hear of a family member who has passed, we send a card and the book “When you Lose Someone You Love” to the bereaved. We also invite the bereaved to participate in a free six-week grief support group.
There are many ways to memorialize a loved one. Here are a few suggestions that may be meaningful to you.
- Create your own thank you card. Include a picture of your loved one on the cover of the card you send to people who contributed in his or her memory. You may also want to include on the card a list of the person’s hobbies, interests, favorite things etc.
- Joanne Fink, author of “When You Lose Someone You Love” has a website https://joannefinkjudaica.com/personal-meaningful-memorials/ which contains a great deal of valuable information about putting together a meaningful memorial service and Shiva, keepsake materials and more. My favorite gift on that site are the personalized memorial prints with photos. Joanne gifted me and my mother one when my brother, Mark , passed away, and it is hanging in my office. The designs are absolutely beautiful! I like to purchase them as gifts for friends and family. My colleague, Penny Goldstein, gave the design made in memory of her father to an engraver, and he engraved Joanne’s gorgeous design on the granite used for her father’s tombstone.
- Make a donation to a favorite charity, plant a tree or name a special fund in memory of your loved one. The Jewish Pavilion provides 400 holiday gift bags to seniors. Donors are pictured and acknowledged on a memory card that goes into each gift bag. We do this for every holiday where a donor comes forward.
- On the anniversary of the loss, cook the loved one’s favorite meal, play their favorite songs, read their favorite books etc.
While most seniors face major adjustments when transitioning to an elder-care community, Jewish seniors face additional challenges. Not only do they lose their homes, and many of their friends, but they also lose ties to their cultural heritage. This is where the Jewish Pavilion, a 501c3 non-profit, steps in. The Pavilion serves as a resource that provides room visits, festive holiday celebrations, and more to 450 Jewish residents in fifty facilities for seniors. The Jewish Pavilion promotes inclusion, and thousands of seniors of all faiths are welcomed into our programs. www.JewishPavilion.org
The Orlando Senior Help Desk at the Jewish Pavilion (407-678-9363) helps thousands of callers navigate their way through the daunting senior maze, alleviating caregiver stress while giving advice on all types of elder issues. www.OrlandoSeniorHelpDesk.org