Today is National Senior Citizen’s Day, a day to respect, honor, recognize and appreciate our elders, the keepers of wisdom.
Fun fact: By 2035, some 78 million people 65 years and older will live in America, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, surpassing the number of the country’s population under the age of 18 (76.7 million) for the first time in U.S. history.
Seniors bring so much to the world! Our elderly friends and family have a lifetime’s worth of incredible experiences and tales to share with us. Over the years, cultures across the globe have looked to older people in their communities in order to provide them with knowledge and wisdom, especially in times of trouble or when they need some advice and direction. Seniors are also our last source of family history and connection to the past. Their valuable contributions to our communities and the time they devote in service to others create better places to live. They deserve the respect and dignity their achievements have earned them.
And so, to recognize these contributions of the more mature representatives of our nation, August 21 was declared National Senior Citizen’s Day. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed this holiday to raise awareness about issues that affect senior citizens and their quality of life. Today, seniors are still active in their communities as well as continuing to have a strong presence in the workforce. For all they do and have achieved for the good of their communities, senior citizens deserve our thanks!
While National Senior Citizen’s Day provides us an opportunity to show our appreciation to our loved ones for the dedication they give throughout their lives, it is just as important to recognize that there are a lot of seniors who are incredibly lonely and don’t have the support that others may take for granted. One way to observe this special day is to spend time at a nursing/retirement home. Sit and chat with residents. Play games and participate in activities. Share a smile with those who may not otherwise get a visitor today. If you have an elderly person in your life or know of someone who may need a visit, reach out to them. It might be a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle or neighbor. Visit them and spend some time together. If you can’t see them in person, give them a call!
Of course, honoring our elders shouldn’t just happen one day a year. We should always make our loved ones feel special, and there are a lot of different ways to reap the benefits of connecting with seniors, from daily checkins to intergenerational activities with extended family. You can really make a difference in someone’s life…and it can be highly rewarding! Here are some other suggestions to engage your family with the seniors in their life:
- Do volunteer work in support of the elderly.
- Practice random acts of kindness.
- Start a family history project. It’s a great conversation starter!
- Video call with seniors who may be tech-savvy…or just call them…or write them a letter or email.
- Encourage eye contact and physical touch (this suggestion might have to be on hold right now during this time of COVID).
- Enjoy books, movies or games with your senior loved ones. (See below for our version of a memory game to play)
Most importantly, have fun!
Oh, and are you a senior citizen yourself? Well, today is all about YOU! Live it up and treat yourself. Try something new or just chill at home. You’ve earned this time, so enjoy it!
Check out these special discounts and promotions from The Senior List that may be offered at stores and restaurants in your area, not just on Senior Citizen’s Day but all year round.
Finally, here are some great resources for our senior patrons available on our website.
Happy Senior Citizen’s Day!
To celebrate this special day (and just for fun), try your hand at guessing famous scenes from “older” movies…acted out by Miss Melissa and Miss Laura with some surprise actors and actresses. Watch our Movie Memories Game and see if you’ve “scene it”! Enjoy!
If you’re interested in a Movie Memories Game, Part 2, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to make a sequel and will take your movie scene suggestions!