Senior Citizens Day is August 21st, and it’s a day of recognition that hopefully everyone will both acknowledge and celebrate. These honored citizens are a wonderful resource in our country. They are the keys to our past and can teach us valuable things to make our futures brighter. They should be honored citizens.
Senior Citizens Day—Its Origin
The first Senior Citizens Day was celebrated in 1988 after President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation denoting it as a day to celebrate our older friends and family members. He made several valid points in that proclamation.
“Throughout our history, older people have achieved much for our families, our communities, and our country. That remains true today, and gives us ample reason this year to reserve a special day in honor of the senior citizens who mean so much to our land,” President Reagan said at the time.
“I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities,” he concluded.
Honor Your Elders
Whether those senior citizens nearest and dearest to you are relatives, friends, or neighbors, it’s important to honor them on this day. Offering to do housecleaning, cooking, or errands is a great way to start. The gift of your time is even more important.
Too often honored elders spend lots of time alone. Sitting down for a visit with them or taking them out for a ride, a special dessert, a movie, or a cup of coffee is a wonderful way to let them know you think they’re special. Honor them every day.
Note Their Needs
It’s a nice idea to make a list of the tasks with which your family member or friend, that is a senior, might now need help with on a more regular basis. Is it time for them to hire a maid service to help with the housecleaning? Is help with yard work becoming necessary?
If you are simply a friend or neighbor of one or more senior citizens, a relative might appreciate hearing from you and learning of this list you’ve comprised. They will no doubt appreciate knowing you are looking out for their loved ones.
We don’t honor a senior citizen on Senior Citizens Day simply because they’re an older person—although it’s always polite to respect our elders. We honor them because they have contributed to society in ways we may one day follow.
Did your friend, relative, or neighbor serve in a branch of the Armed Forces? If so, that is an achievement well worth acknowledging. Did he or she complete a high degree of education? Does he or she have some sort of talent that has enhanced their lives and the lives of others? These are all noteworthy achievements to laud on Senior Citizens Day.
If you happen to be a senior citizen, make sure to take advantage of any benefits offered to you on Senior Citizens Day. Some businesses offer discounts anyway—they might offer even more on this special day. Check with the grocers, pharmacies, housecleaning services, hairdressers, restaurants, and more to see if they are celebrating you on this honorable day.
Adopt a Senior Citizen
If you don’t have any senior citizen family members, friends, or neighbors consider adopting one. Contact your local nursing home, senior center, or even a local church. They will no doubt pair you with a senior citizen who also has no family members or friends in the area.
Starting on Senior Citizens Day, schedule time once a week or a couple of times a month to visit with your adopted senior. You may simply spend that time visiting or you might help him or her by doing errands. While you have them out doing those errands, you can stop for a treat. If you do the errands by yourself for them you can always bring back something. Perhaps some delicious chocolate pudding?
Some seniors suffer from arthritis, bad eyesight or diminished hearing. Being mindful of these disabilities will make your visits easier. Consider reading to a person who can no longer see to read the newspaper or favorite magazine. Offer to arrange a few items in his or her room so they are readily available without bending or reaching.
Some volunteer agencies have opportunities for members of the community to volunteer for senior citizen specific agencies on Senior Citizens Day. Maybe the local senior center needs a fresh coat of paint or some flowers planted outside the building. They might need to raise funds for exercise equipment, walkers, or wheelchairs. Call your local senior center and ask about volunteer opportunities that honor seniors in your area.
No matter what you do on Senior Citizens Day, let those seniors you care about—both nearby and far away—know just how much you respect and admire them. A visit, a phone call, or a greeting card will all serve to brighten their day.
You might like reading Cleaning Tips for the Elderly.