Do you have an older person in your life that you love and appreciate?
Today is National Senior Citizens Day, a day to acknowledge the accomplishments and show our appreciation to all of the senior citizens in our lives. It is also a time to recognize the special challenges that older adults face, such as declining health and loneliness. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are over 50 million senior citizens that live in the U.S., making up 16.5% of the total population. There are many ways to celebrate the holiday and make all of the seniors in our life feel recognized and appreciated.
The holiday was first established in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan to increase awareness of the issues that affect older adults, such as deteriorating health. Upon signing the proclamation to officially include a holiday that recognizes and celebrates the contributions of older adults, the former president said, “For all that, they have achieved throughout their lives and for all that they continue to do, we owe our gratitude and sincere greetings to our senior citizens. We can show our gratitude and appreciation better by making sure our communities are good places. Age and maturity, places where older people can participate as much as possible and find the encouragement, acceptance, support, and services they need to continue living a life of independence and dignity.”
What many people don’t think about is all of the amazing advancements in society which we have our elders to thank for. Whether you are a senior yourself or a younger person who would like to appreciate your elders, there are many ways you can spend this special day.
Seniors, there are numerous ways to spend the day celebrating you:
- Share history with friends and family– Share your history with those you enjoy spending time with. According to a study done by Harvard Medical School, it was found that seniors with social support tend to have better mental and physical health and brain power, regardless of their socioeconomic status, smoking, drinking, exercise, or obesity. Take the time to sit back and think about everything you have accomplished so far in your life. A day that’s all about you is the perfect opportunity to meet with the people in your life that you love the most and share some wisdom!
- Make plans– Creating future plans can keep you looking forward to the future and keep things exciting. Make the call to meet a friend for coffee, book a trip to a place you have wanted to visit, or buy a ticket to see that movie in theaters that you have been wanting to watch.
- Learn a new skill– Seniors deserve the freedom to learn and try whatever they want just as younger people do, which is why free online courses are so important. There are thousands of different classes or activities on the internet that older adults might find enjoyable to sharpen their mind or to add a new skill under their belt. Websites like Future Learn, SkillShare, and OpenLearn have great free online courses for seniors. Youtube is also a great resource to find free educational videos.
Younger adults, there are a plethora of options to make sure the seniors that have contributed so much in life feel celebrated and cared for on this special holiday:
- Make cards for seniors in nursing facilities– This is a simple and meaningful way to acknowledge and share appreciation for seniors and the life they’ve led. Living in a nursing facility can be isolating for some, so a handwritten card or note can make an enormous difference in a senior’s mood.
- Cook a meal to share– Everyone appreciates a warm home-cooked meal! Ask an older adult in your life what her favorite meal is and invite her to share dinner with you. Not only do you get to learn about her favorite meal, but you also get to spend quality time sharing stories with each other over a delicious meal.
- Ask them to share photos– Many people love to share their favorite memories through old photos. Not only is it a great way for older people to reminisce on their younger years, but it is also a fun opportunity to bond with them and show you care.
No matter how you choose to celebrate National Senior Citizens Day, remember to recognize and reach out to the seniors in your life and community. Seniors are still active in our communities and continue to have a strong presence in the workforce. For all that they do and have achieved for the good of their communities, they deserve our thanks and gratitude!
About the author:
Jennah Worthington is a Brand Ambassador Intern for illuminate.health and is a rising senior studying Healthcare & Business at Butler University. She has a passion for the pharmaceutical industry and gaining a deeper understanding of the roles of health providers, insurers, and administrators. She strives to help find ways to increase accessibility in various areas of healthcare. Jennah resides in Indianapolis and enjoys going on walks with her Dalmatian.