On August 19, 1988 President Ronald Reagan proclaimed August 21 as National Senior Citizens Day, a day to recognize and show appreciation for the value and contribution of elderly people to the family and society as a whole. In the Proclamation, he said “For all they have achieved throughout life and for all they continue to accomplish, we owe older citizens our thanks and a heartfelt salute. We can best demonstrate our gratitude and esteem by making sure that our communities are good places in which to mature and grow older—places in which older people can participate to the fullest and can find the encouragement, acceptance, assistance, and services they need to continue to lead lives of independence and dignity.”
So, how can you celebrate National Senior Citizens Day with your elderly loved one? Take some time today to show your gratitude for the seniors in your life.
1. Spend time with a senior citizen. This could be a parent, grandparent, neighbor or friend. Let them know how much you appreciate and respect them. Visit them at their homes, play board games or even read their favorite novel to them.
2. Do something fun. Get them out of the house, moving around and having a good time! Take them to a park, a museum, the matinee show at the movies, out to lunch or even to the mall. Make today a special occasion—it’s their day after all! Do something that they enjoy and they’ll remember that small surprise for years to come.
3. Help with chores and errands. Spend some time today helping them around the house of with errands that need to be taken care of. It may seem like a small contribution, but they will be appreciative of your offer to help them out. Do whatever they need done like laundry, washing the dishes, going to pick up their prescriptions or even going grocery shopping.
4. Share stories and memories. Sometimes the best part about spending time with the older generation is listening to the stories and memories that they have to share. Today, allow them to take a trip down memory lane and listen to the stories and accounts of what life was like for them in their past. You never know, you may learn something about them that you didn’t know before!
5. Make plans to volunteer. Just because today is the only National Senior Citizens Day, that doesn’t mean that you can’t help on other days. Sign up to volunteer at a senior living facility sometime this year. Volunteering allows you to spend time with seniors, especially those that aren’t visited often by family members.