How to Celebrate Senior Citizen's Day The Thoughtful Way
Read any magazine or watch an infomercial these days, and you'll think that the world is tailored to the needs of millennials. But, here's a fun fact: Senior citizens, a.k.a. all those folks who have been on this planet for more than 65 years, are the fastest-growing demographic in the world(1) because they're expected to outnumber children by the year 2030 (at least, in the U.S.A.).
And even though that means we'll get to spend more time with them in the future, we often neglect to pick up the phone and call them. If you think it's high time you made some time for the older people in your life, there's no better day to start caring than on Senior Citizen's Day. If you can't think of a fun way to celebrate this day, these 8 thoughtful ideas are a great place to start.
Friendly reminder: “Nothing is more beautiful than a smile that has struggled through years and tears”; whatever you do on August 21st, make some time and visit your grandparents. After all, they're the reason you're here today!
Generation S (As In Senior) – The Need-to-Know
Celebrated on August 21st, Senior Citizen's Day is an annual celebration that honors the people of the Third Age, and their contribution to the world. Specifically, the purpose of this holiday is to raise awareness on all the issues that affect the elderly, from their naturally deteriorating health (both mental and physical) to the way they're treated by others (yes, elderly abuse is a thing, and we should all address it).
More than that, the celebration's goal is to remind us that past generations have accomplished a lot throughout their youth, and that's why they deserve to be treated with respect. Sure, this holiday is not as old as Father's Day since it dates back to the 80s (1988, in particular) when President Ronald Reagan declared August 21st as Senior Citizen's Day(2). But, in our opinion, it's just as important.
1. Make Them Dinner
As simple as it sounds, sharing a meal with your grandparents (or any senior, for that matter) means the world to them. From getting to spend time around you to trying out new flavors, they always enjoy a meal out with the family. Of course, if you're thinking of going the fancy restaurant route, we're here to remind you that nothing beats the comfort and coziness of a home-cooked meal.
And if you think prepping a wow-worth dinner is time consuming and, well, exhausting, good news: it's not! Why? Simply because you can easily ditch all those dishes with the double digit ingredients and opt for these five easy freeze dried veggie recipes that take the hours long prepping out of the picture.
Fun idea: If they're up for it, you could always ask them to help you around in the kitchen or let them take the lead and treat you to their specialty.
2. Make A Photo Album Together
With digital photos being the new norm these days, it's often hard to keep the tradition of photo albums alive. So, this is your chance to bring the nostalgic habit back to the spotlight by taking advantage of the seniors' photo album making wisdom.
All you have to do is buy yourself a beautiful photo book, gather all their photos, and have them sit by your side. You can sort the pics by chronological order or any way you/they like. The best part is that you'll get to know more about them as they tell you the story behind each pic.
Oh, and one more thing: This activity is not a one-day task. It may take days or even weeks to put the photos in the right order, so make sure you have enough time to spend on them as letting them finish it on their own isn't an option.
3. Play Games
Between their basic daily schedule and the lack of new stimuli, it's no wonder the elderly's brain health grows weaker by the day. Of course, that doesn't mean your grandparents are stuck in an Alzheimer's bound path. Studies(3) show that you can help older people sharpen their brain simply by playing games with them. Cards, board games, chess - you name it! Any game that recruits their short term memory and thinking is fair game.
4. Get Them Acquainted With Technology
It's true: Technology plays a massive role in our lives these days, but that doesn't mean seniors are as familiar with it as we are. That said, you can give them a one-on-one “lesson” on technology this Senior Citizen's Day and teach them how to use a modern-day gadget, whether that's a PC, a laptop, a tablet, or their smartphone. Fun fact: Research(4) suggests that computer games (and truthfully, any technology-based activity) can increase their cognitive skills down the line. So, it's a win-win no matter how you see it.
5. Go For A Walk
We hear doctors(5) say over and over again that physical exercise (even low-intensity) is synonymous to a healthy heart. So, why not take your older friends/relatives on a walk and give their heart a much needed boost? Stroll through the nearest mall, visit your local park, or take a walk by the beach. And don't forget: This whole thing isn't about taking them outside the house, it's also about enjoying each other's company without the distractions of the modern world, and that's priceless!
6. Watch A Movie Together
Watching a movie with your grandpa, grandma, or even the friendly lady from next door may not sound that appealing (after all, their idea of fun could be different from what you have in mind). But, you can readily turn an otherwise awkward evening into a fun experience if you just pick the right movie. Pick something that you'll both like, perhaps a classic like “Back to the Future,” or back even further into the era of black and white movies. Hint: 1939 had some great movies that your elderly loved one might remember and love.
7. Take Them to a Local Coffee Shop
If there's one thing all generations can agree on is that coffee is awesome! If the seniors in your life share the same passion for the beverage as you do, treat them to a cup of Joe at your favorite coffee shop. And if they're up for it, you could take them to a fancy coffee chain like, say, Starbucks, and have them try one of those fancy blends. Who knows? Maybe they'll find their new go-to brew in that pile of lattes.
8. Throw A Picnic Party
Sure, throwing a picnic party ain't no... well, picnic, but since Senior Citizen's Day is celebrated in August, it's the perfect chance to gather the whole family and spend some precious time outside the house. And since you'll have to mind the diets of everyone present (from children to golden-agers), these healthy eating tips will definitely come in handy.
How do you plan to celebrate Senior Citizen's Day? Let us know in the comments down below!
- Tags: senior citizens