Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Families Busy With Kids Sometimes Leave Elders Behind

DEAR ABBY: This is a message about our senior population. Our children grow up, marry and have children. Each grandchild is special. We love them and adore being with them. Then the grandkids grow up and have little ones of their own. By this time we're old and sometimes need help with housework, yard work, or just would like to get out of the house to go eat or shop. We still have feelings, and we're not dead. But while it may not be intentional, it seems there is no time for the elderly.

We may say we're fine and don't mind being alone, but it is lonely at times. No one calls to say hello or ask if we need anything. How long does it take to make a call? It would be nice if each family member called once a week or came by once a month. The love we've always had for family is still there and strong.

Children and grandchildren, please think about this and remember: The most important thing you can give your elderly relatives is your time. Time is the most precious gift of all and doesn't cost a thing. Someday you will be old, too! -- WISE WOMAN IN NORTH CAROLINA

DEAR WISE WOMAN: I'm printing your letter because it carries a message that some families need to hear. That said, I am a strong advocate for individuals who advocate for themselves. Because your children and grandchildren don't call, perhaps it's time you picked up your phone and called them to check in and see how they're doing. And if you are not fine and need help with something, ask for it.

Read more in: Family & Parenting