30 years ago, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed August 21st National Senior Citizens Day. This special day is a creative way to pause and show our appreciation for those older Americans who have played a vital role in making the United States the greatest nation in the world. Take time to show our elders how much they mean to you and how grateful you are for their contributions across America. Even if it is a simple phone call, a text or a hand written card, taking the time to honor them is what truly matters.
According to the 2015 Census numbers, there are 47.8 million seniors 65 and older in the United States and projections show this age group growing exponentially to 98.2 million by 2060. What is even more impressive is 9.3 million served our country in the armed forces!
Since we heard so many wonderful stories about our previous blog, Remember to Say Thank You on National Senior Citizens Day, we thought we would publish our list again. Several of our readers told us they were stuck and couldn't come up with memorable ideas to celebrate the day, but our list helped bring joy back into their lives. These are a few of our favorites:
- Plant a tree in their honor.
- Cook a meal for them.
- Go to church together.
- Bake cookies for the residents in a nursing home or assisted living facility.
- Cut their lawn.
- Go on a walk together.
- Invite them to a movie.
- Do a craft together.
- Play cards, chess, tic tac toe or checkers with them.
Sadly, our senior citizens are sometimes taken for granted, forgotten or taken advantage of. It is up to us to go the extra mile for our elders. Many times our seniors are isolated and have nobody to talk to. Just taking time to show a little appreciation to our greatest generation will go a long way to making them feel appreciated and can add years to their life.
Not every older American is wise, but most people become wiser with age. Even for me, I tell my children I don't have all the answers, but like most older Americans, I have experienced many things that I can share that could prevent heartache and headache. My dad used to tell me, “You don't get to be old by not being wise.” Most of the time it pays dividends to listen to the advice of our elders.
If you love your country, state and city, chances are pretty good that an older American in your community played a part in helping shape it. Take the time this week to let them know you appreciate the many sacrifices they made. I promise, by making the effort to acknowledge and appreciate their efforts will matter to them for many years to come.