Special Considerations

While a family reunion is a great chance for the family to get together, it's important to remember your elderly or disabled family members, and take their special needs into consideration. Although some of these family members may be happy just sitting around shooting the breeze, others may want to join in the fun.

Organization

If you have elderly or disabled family members that will be attending, you might want to consider creating a special subcommittee just for this purpose. This subcommittee would be responsible for determining if there are any family members with special needs (disabilities, special diets, etc). This is done easily enough by adding the following comment to the pre-reunion survey, reunion announcement, or other early mailing... "If any family member has special needs that the reunion committee should be aware of, please contact John Doe". I assume Mister Spiffy doesn't need to tell you to replace "John Doe" with the name of the subcommittee chairman, and to add a way to contact him or her.


The subcommittee chairman should make a list of these special needs, and present them to the main reunion committee who can decide how to handle them. The subcommittee is then responsible for following through on whatever decision is made.

Reunion Types and Locations

One of the big considerations is the type (and location) of your reunion, and whether it is feasible for elderly or disabled family members. Now Mister Spiffy isn't saying not to have good active reunions, just make sure that there is something to do for everyone. For example, if you want to have a reunion at a water park, make sure that those who can't (or don't want to) slide have something to do besides sitting around getting sunburned. Make sure there is plenty of shade, and comfortable places to sit around and chat. Most importantly, if you are having a reunion at a public or private site, make sure the facilities are accessible to all family members who will be attending.

Games and Activities

Make sure that there are at least a few activities that anyone can participate in, including elderly or disabled family members. Have a deck of cards or some board games for the less mobile family members.

Food

One item that many people overlook when planning a reunion is the special diets of some family members. It isn't necessary to plan the entire menu around a person's special diet, just make sure nobody has to go hungry (the number one family reunion sin, according to Mister Spiffy). Here is the ultimate resource for people on special diets.

Travel

One of the bigger considerations for elderly or disabled family members is travel to and from the reunion (as well as any necessary travel while at the reunion).