The Caregivers is a unique series focused on the challenges and triumphs of caregiving. These stories have been created through a strategic partnership between AARP and Word In Black.

The life of a devoted grandparent can be deeply fulfilling. We may remember our grandparents as loving family advocates or fear-invoking disciplinarians. Some of our most inspirational public figures — from Maya Angelou to Simone Biles — attribute their success to the support of grandparents.

Being a grandparent is often a thankless job, though. Here are some simple ways that we can give thanks to our grandparents beyond the Thanksgiving holiday: 

Say “Thank You.”

Words of gratitude can go a long way. Take a moment to simply say “thank you” to your grandparent(s) or give a handwritten note. You can express gratitude in this way whether they are living or deceased. 

Dedicate a meal. 

Share a meal with your grandparent(s) or dedicate a meal to your grandparent(s) and offer that meal to others. 

Encourage a wellness check-up. 

Grandparents who provide care to loved ones often need care, themselves. Encourage your grandparent(s) to focus on their physical and mental wellbeing. Check out these useful tips and resources to share with them.  

Plan a special vacation.

Ask your grandparent(s) what their availability may be for a special vacation, or plan a surprise trip. This can be a visit to the spa, a sports game, a theatrical performance, or a cruise. Visit AARP’s Vacation Planner for trip ideas.  

Take candid photos. 

Capture some photos of your grandparent(s) with your loved ones. If you’d like to get fancy, schedule a photoshoot with a professional photographer. 

Be the best version of yourself that you can be.

Devoted grandparents pour love into us because they care about us. One of the best ways to give thanks is to put their teachings into practice by being the best version of yourself that you can be.