Older adults have been on our collective minds a lot during the coronavirus this year, and later this month there will be an opportunity to let the seniors in your life know how much you care and to recognize their accomplishments. That’s because August 21 is National Senior Citizens Day, as proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to raise awareness about issues that affect senior citizens and their quality of life.
Here are some ideas about how to celebrate the day:
- Reach out to a senior family member – During the COVID-19 pandemic, it isn’t as easy to visit seniors, but if you can, take time with them in person or have a conversation via phone or online. Let them hear your voice and see you as you tell them how much you appreciate them.
- Start a family history – Seniors often have great stories to share, but most have never written anything down. Remind them how much they’ve seen, experienced, and accomplished by starting a family history project. Ask them to tell you stories while you transcribe or simply record on your phone. It gives them an opportunity to revisit share wisdom and you a chance to preserve family stories.
- Create a photo album – Help your loved one consolidate their memories by creating a memory photo album for them. Fill it with photos from throughout their life—starting as far back as you can find photos for.
- Cook them dinner – If you’re able to visit your loved one, offer to cook them a home-cooked meal.
- Play games – Maybe it’s been years since you played cribbage or Yahtzee with your loved one. Whip out those old games and play. If it’s safe during COVID-19, you can also have their grandkids join in as it helps them bond with their grandparents.
- Special discounts – If you are a senior, check for special discounts and promotions that may be offered at stores and restaurants in your area.
- Highlight the day – Use #SeniorCitizensDay to post pictures, events, or just something you’re doing with an older person on August 21.