In 1988, President Ronald Reagan would sign a proclamation that declared a whole special day would be dedicated to honoring the merits, contributions, and wisdom of our seniors. This day is Senior Citizens Day, a celebration not that many know about. But this is why we’re here, so read ahead to learn about this celebration which is all about uniting us through respect.
When Is Senior Citizens Day?
According to the presidential proclamation, Senior Citizens Day is a yearly celebration, which citizens of the United States observe every August 21.
History Of Senior Citizens Day
The day came into play (the rhyme was intended) when President Ronald Reagan signed Proclamation 5847. Below, you will find the exact extract which referred to the inauguration of Senior Citizens Day.
“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.”
The Meaning And Importance Of Senior Citizens Day
The purpose of this day is pretty straightforward. In theory and on a formal level, we honor our senior citizens. On a broader level, partaking in this celebration actually means that you can help improve their lives too.
A study conducted by the Administration of Aging has shown that that 25% of adults over the age of 65 live all by themselves. Even worse, the number skyrockets to a percentage of 45% in the case of women over the age of 75. Loneliness isn’t the only thing that can affect them greatly, but actual greater health risks. When living in isolation away from family of friends, it becomes much more difficult to detect growing health issues. Moreover, this kind of solitude can lead to the development of a series of mental health issues, most notably depression.
The message isn’t difficult to send across: we need to spend more time with our loved ones. But our seniors need it even more since they do tend to live in seclusion more often than the rest of the family. Getting in touch with their grandparents can, for example, greatly increase the happiness of children too, shows a study by Boston College.
Things To Do On Senior Citizens Day
Alright, so let’s say you’ve now officially marked your calendar. Now, you’ve decided to reserve this day for some quality time with your seniors. What are you actually supposed to do? Read ahead and take some notes. These are activities that apply to any encounter with our elderly – or anyone, really.
Simply Be There
We all know that one person whose simple presence is enough to instantly put us in a better mood. In most instances, this refers to family. It’s actually a scientific fact that the presence of people we enjoy being around can reduce the levels of cortisol. Cortisol is the hormone responsible for stress. Not only is it going to help you relax after a long day (or week) of work, but it will enhance everyone’s general wellbeing.
Books, Movies, And Games
Whenever you’re in dire need of activities for a get-together, you can always rely on these three things. You can say four if you count TV shows too. It doesn’t even matter if all of you enjoy different things. Think of it as a form of cultural exchange. Show your family the things you enjoy. They will do the same and you will be able to understand each other better. Alternatively, if you are fortunate enough to enjoy the same things, you can all get together and have a grand ole time.
Trip Down Memory Lane
What we often fail to remember is the fact that our seniors are essentially living history books. What better way to learn about things that happened decades prior to our births than through our grandparents? Simulate a small interview. Think up of questions you want to ask them about the lifestyle from tens of years ago. This is guaranteed to make them happy because they get to share some wisdom and reminiscence of the good times from their youth. An even better way to complete this activity is to also pop open some photo albums.
Break Through Distance Barriers
Unfortunately, not all of us benefit from having our seniors live anywhere near us. If journeying across several states is too difficult (if not plain impossible), do not fret. There are still ways through which you can spend Senior Citizens Day together with your loved ones. Recent research revealed that 6 in 10 seniors spend time on the Internet. This is definitely an immense step forward compared to other time periods. With a simple Skype call or a Facetime, you can connect with your loved ones through a simple click.
Make This A Habit
By far the best way to show your seniors that you love them is to not limit yourself to a single day every year. It’s the same catch as with Valentine’s Day. Love, family, kindness, and unity should be present in our everyday lives. If you truly wish to brighten the day of your beloved senior, then pay them a surprise visit! Show up on their doorstep with a meal you’ve prepared yourself or something as simple as a pack of cards. Spend the day together using any of the suggested activities from before. Even better, go out. The outdoors are always good places to bring someone’s spirits upward.
Senior Citizens Day is a lot like Valentine’s Day. It’s one day reserved for spending time with the seniors we’re close to. But this only enhances the fact that we should celebrate it every day. However, unlike Valentine’s Day, this honors the contribution to the world of all the seniors everywhere. We pay respects to our grandparents, to our war veterans, to our inventors and creators. We respect all of the people who had dedicated a whole lifetime of experiences and labor to our world.