Senior Citizens Day was created for supporting, honouring and showing appreciation to senior citizens. It is also for recognizing the contributions and achievements senior citizens make for the community. There were only about 200 million people older than 60 in 1950 but in 2000 the number had already tripled to almost 600 million. By the year 2025, it is estimated that there will be more than 1 billion senior citizens on the planet. The traditional definition of a senior citizen is anyone who is above 60 years of age even though this seems relatively young today.
Proclamation 5847 was signed by then United States President Ronald Reagan on the 19th of August, 1988 declaring the 21st of August every year as National Senior Citizens Day. In his speech during the Presidential 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.”
Purpose of Senior Citizens Day
The purpose of the observance is primarily to support, honour and show appreciation to senior citizens. It also recognizes their contributions and achievements to the community. This is also to remind everyone of the sacrifices the senior citizens in their family have made so that they will not forget to take good care of the older members of the family.
What You Can Do On Senior Citizens Day?
There are many ways to celebrate Senior Citizens Day including the following:
- Visit your parents or grandparents or take them out to dinner
- Use social media to raise awareness and inform people of Senior Citizens Day
- Volunteer for a nursing home in your area
- Donate to any organization for senior citizens
- If you have a business, you can give special discounts or deals to senior citizens on the 21st of August
- Organize a community gathering for senior citizens in your area
- Contact your local radio and television stations so that they will make a public service announcement about Senior Citizens Day
- Organize an event like a party at a retirement home
- Sponsor a recognition event at your local retirement home
- Feature an admirable senior in your website, blog or social media account
- Send a cake, pie or any gift for elderly people who don’t have family
- Send a simple note to thank any older adult who have made any positive impact in your life
Message on Senior Citizens Day
One of the ultimate tests of civilization is how it cares for its helpless members and this includes older people. We should not desert them in their time of need and take care of them the way they took care of us when we were young and helpless. For all the things they have done for us, we owe older citizens our sincere salute and thanks. We should show our gratitude by making sure that they are taken care of as they enter the last stage of their lives.
Special Tips on Senior Citizens Day
Here are some tips on how to engage your older loved ones for Senior Citizens Day:
- Teach Your Seniors About Technology
Teaching your grandparents how to use social media or other technology for keeping in touch will help a lot in making them feel connected. This will allow them to reach you if they need anything.
- Start a Project about Your Family History
Interviewing your older loved ones about their experiences like accomplishments allows them to share their wisdom with you. It is also a good way to give recognition to everything they have done for you.
- Use Eye Contact and Physical Touch
The simple act of a family member or loved one being present can mean a lot to a senior citizen. Studies have shown that it can even help reduce stress. Eye contact is a good way to encourage feelings of connection
- Start With Small Talk
Even brief interaction like a short conversation can cheer up someone for the day. If you feel that there is some sort of gap, start with small talk which can lead to deeper and more meaningful conversations.
There are various activities and events for Senior Citizens day and anyone can help raise awareness of supporting older individuals. This is the time for recognizing the achievements of senior citizens and showing them that we care.