By Holly Pitas
The old fashioned postal service is a reliable tenet of daily life. Delivered at pretty much the same time each day, mail has worked its way into our biorhythms. Checking the mail is a regular activity. What fun to find a

personal note from a loved one. Written just for us, it makes us feel special Maybe a letter of appreciation for something we’ve done, or even better yet an invitation to do something fun.

Older people have lost so much of what created their daily life rhythms. No more kids to get ready for school; they have their own life now. No more job to attend; retired for years. No more family cooking; they live alone. No more mail… someone handles that for them. For someone that used to be very busy with the tasks that make up a life it can be lonesome going without familiar routine, including sorting through the daily mail.

Give your favorite elder a little something to look forward to. Write them a note, or a short letter. Their history includes receiving personal mail: think WWII movies and soldiers lined up for mail call…the lucky ones happily trotting off with a letter from home. Even if you are in frequent contact with visits or phone calls write a note just to make them feel special.

If mom is a little forgetful a note will help her to remember the details. Hi Mom, We’re looking forward to having you over for lunch this Sunday, February 27, 2011. I’ll pick you up at 11:30 AM . As always, I’ll telephone you to let you know I’m on the way. Looking forward to having you over…

Dad doesn’t display emotions, or maybe you don’t know how to share your emotions with him. Letters can help you share without putting someone on public emotional hot-seat. Dad, You worked hard to support the family. I know you did your best. Thanks for everything…

If advanced dementia is present then write about the past…the great Thanksgiving Day dinners, or the Christmas the cat knocked down the tree.

An old fashioned note from someone makes you feel special, thought of, cared for. Give your mom, or dad, or aunt, or favorite old neighbor a moment of happiness by sending a personal note. A hand written note, okay, maybe you type it in large font, use spell check and then hand sign it.

It’s a personal touch. They can hold it in their hand and reread it as many times as they want.
Try to send a note on a regular basis. For you, it’s a moment of thoughtfulness, a simple task to generate a little anticipation for your favorite elder to welcome back a familiar daily routine.