Ronald Reagan formally declared August 21st National Senior Citizens Day, to honor how seniors positively contribute to society.
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. ~ President Ronald Reagan – August 19, 1988 Proclamation 5847
Whether you have special senior citizens in your life, or simply want to recognize the older folks in your community, National Senior Citizen Day is the perfect opportunity to do so. Here are several thoughtful ideas for ways to celebrate.
Strike Up a Conversation
Celebrating seniors can be as simple as starting a meaningful conversation with an elderly person. Seniors often need to feel heard, but may not have any family members to listen. Start talking with a senior in your life, truly listening to what he or she has to say. Simply being there for seniors and being someone they can share feelings with can bring joy into their lives.
Volunteer at a Local Senior Living Home
Spend some time down at your local nursing home or long-term care facility. These establishments are always looking for volunteers, often to do things such as host activities or help around the holidays. Your local nursing home might even be planning a celebration in honor of National Senior Citizens Day and need assistance with party planning.
Bring the Grandchildren to Visit
Children are a great source of joy. Arrange a visit with your loved one and the special kids in their family. Even grandchildren who live far away can send hand-made drawings or set up a Skype call.
Brighten up a senior’s day by sending him or her flowers. Donate flowers to your local elderly care facility, or send some to a special loved one in your life. Flowers can brighten up a nursing home or hospital room and make a senior smile. Irises symbolize wisdom, valor, compliments, faith, hope, and friendship. They might be a good choice for this holiday!
Donate to a Charity
If you can’t be there for a senior citizen in person, celebrate from afar by donating to a charity or organization that benefits seniors. Every penny you contribute could go toward providing housing, meals, transportation, and more to the elderly. A few notable organizations are the AARP, National Council on Aging, Justice in Aging, American Society on Aging, and SAGE. If you wish to donate within our local community, consider Hospice of NWO or the Area Office on Aging.
Host a Celebration
Consider hosting a party, lunch, or other event in honor of National Senior Citizens Day. Host one at your local nursing home, providing snacks, drinks, activities, and conversations for the seniors who attend. You can also find out if someone else or an organization is already planning a celebration, and find ways you can help. Raise awareness for the occasion in your community.
Do Something Nice
Do something nice for a senior citizen to celebrate the national holiday, such as cooking a homemade meal, organizing a troublesome closet, or helping with grocery shopping. If you have a senior in your neighborhood, offer a helping hand by doing yard work, mowing his lawn or washing his car. Celebrating seniors ultimately comes down to showing them kindness, respect, and compassion for the special ways they contribute and impact society.