August 21 is National Senior Citizens Day! Established by President Ronald Reagan in 1988, the purpose of the day is to make others aware of the issues that affect older adults and to acknowledge their accomplishments.
Whether it’s a friend, a neighbor, a grandparent, here’s some things you can do for the seniors who demand adventure and want to learn something new:
Exercise: Exercise comes in many ways – maybe it’s going on an evening walk, going for a swim, or joining an exercise class. If they live in a community, check to see if there’s any group exercise or yoga classes to join. It’s hard to try new things on your own and having a friend can go a long way.
Go on a field trip or excursion: Many seniors live in communities or complexes made specifically for their age group. Often, there is an activity board that organizes day trips, get-togethers, shows, bingo… the possibilities are endless. Urge them to try out an activity or two and even offer to attend with them. A trip to the casino or a show is fun for all ages!
Volunteer: Perhaps the senior in your life misses the routine of work but doesn’t want the stress of actual work. Help them research opportunities to volunteer in the community, such as at a library, a thrift store, or a food bank. If they need help getting to and from, this is a great way to get yourself involved, too.
Join a class or a club: This may sound cliché, but classes and clubs are all around you – at libraries, churches, community centers, etc. Urge a senior in your life who is craving social time or wants to keep up on their hobbies to join a club. There’s book clubs, knitting clubs, bible studies, etc. waiting for new participants. If they need to stay up-to-date in a certain area, consider a phone or computer class.
Self-care days: Taking your parent or grandparent on a self-care day is a win-win. Pick them up and head out for a shopping spree and help them get the things they need – clothes, shoes, etc. Go to the salon and get them a new haircut (or their signature style). End the busy day with a massage or facial!
Give them a technology lesson: Maybe they’re stuck in their ways or unsure how to modernize, but staying up to date with technology is an essential part of being an active community member and family member, and overall functioning as society evolves. Don’t worry about social media just yet – a good starting point is necessities like texting or online banking.
Seniors are a vital and necessary part of a thriving community. This Senior Citizen’s Day, remember to show the seniors in your life how much you care and appreciate their contributions.