August 21st is a day that isn’t often celebrated, but it should be! In 1988, President Ronald Reagan announced August 21st as National Senior Citizens Day. This day is recognized as a day to honor our community’s senior population for all they have contributed to society. By celebrating Senior Citizens Day, we can also raise awareness of the social, health, and economic issues that senior citizens are affected by daily. On the day of the proclamation announcement, President Reagan declared, “For all they have achieved throughout life and for all they continue to accomplish, we owe older citizens our thanks and a heartfelt salute.”
Celebrating Senior Citizens Day is a fantastic way to show your loved ones how much you care about them. Spending time together and doing activities they enjoy will make them feel extra exceptional and loved. Below are a few activities to do this Senior Citizens Day!
Gardening is a great way to get outdoors and breathe in some fresh air. Even better, it’s a gift that keeps on giving all year round! Growing pumpkin or squash would be great for healthy fall recipes, countless flowers bloom in the spring, and herbs like thyme, basil, rosemary, and others are green year round.
Take this time to learn a new skill! If your special senior citizen is well-versed in knitting or sewing, chances are they would be honored to pass on the talents to you. Make an afghan or quilt together, crochet a scarf for the upcoming chilly weather, or cross stitch something on a fun pillowcase. All these options are great opportunities to connect and bond with each other.
Exercise is important no matter what age you are and there are dozens of ways to modify your workout depending on your abilities. One of the most fun forms of exercise is dancing! Whether is the soothing Waltz or more of a Cha Cha Slide, dancing is a great way to gently use all your muscles, including those smiling muscles! Make a playlist of your loved one’s favorite genre and get moving! Just make sure to stretch before and after exercise to prevent injuries.
Another great way to get your heart pumping is utilizing a gaming system, like the Wii! The Wii has games like bowling, skiing, and baseball that are sure to get your loved one moving and laughing. You can even find Wii puzzles to help stretch those brain muscles too!
If your special senior citizen enjoys creating, bring some paint and canvases to your next visit! Bounce some ideas back and forth, face each other so you can’t see what the other is making, then trade your art with each other for the big reveal. Afterward, you both will have something beautiful from each other to hang on your walls.
Reading a Book or Trading Stories
Everyone loves to hear stories and when those stories come from the voice of someone you love, it makes it just that much better. Bring your favorite book along and read a few chapters aloud to your loved one. If you don’t finish the book, it would be a great opportunity to come back again and continue where you left off. Or if you prefer to be the one who listens, ask your loved one to share some of their favorite stories with you.
Baking or Cooking
One of the best ways to bond with someone is through cooking together. Look up some recipes you’ve been wanting to try, grab your ingredients, and work together to cook up something delicious. Or, perhaps your loved one has some failsafe recipes locked in their memory that they would love to pass down to you. Either way, cooking and baking is a fun activity with an even more fun outcome – eating!
The most important thing to remember this Senior Citizens Day is how much our older community contributed to our country in the past and how it affects us today. Many of them fought hard to build our nation into something we can be proud of. To quote Ronald Reagan, “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.”