In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation designating August 21 as National Senior Citizens Day. Now, every year, you can find plenty of low-key celebrations surrounding this national observance, including discounts at stores and restaurants or fun events at local senior centers. If you are looking to celebrate the senior citizens in your life (including yourself), here are a few ways to take your celebrations to the next level. Cheers to seniors everywhere!
Try a Day in the Life
For many Americans who do not have healthy aging role models in their lives, aging stereotypes run rampant. Bust a few of those cliches by using August 21 to document what happens during your busy day. This is the perfect time to post a lot on your social media feeds, giving your followers a glimpse into your day’s activities. Take a photo of your tennis shoes before heading out on your morning walk and post a pic of the new book you checked out at the library before heading to lunch with your pals. If you are feeling especially tech-savvy, create a hashtag for your day-in-the-life posts.
Try Something New
Learning has been shown to slow cognitive loss caused by dementia or other conditions. Designate National Senior Citizens Day as the day you’ll try something new. Take a blogging class at the senior center or sign up to audit a course at your community college. Setting a date for a goal like trying something new can increase your chances of success!
Begin to Volunteer
Not all seniors are healthy and thriving. The local resources that serve such seniors are always looking for volunteers. If you have spare time, commit to volunteering regularly to assist seniors throughout your community. Become a Meals on Wheels driver or a friendly visitor at the memory care community in your area, or sign up to drive seniors to and from your place of worship. National Senior Citizens Day is for every senior, and it’s the perfect time to commit to sharing your talents and abilities with others.
Share Your Legacy
Have you always wanted to write down some of your favorite memories or share lessons you have learned throughout life? Start today! You can begin a blog, journal in longhand, or use a service that sends you questions via email daily and binds them into a book at the end of the year.
Throw a Party
You don’t have to spend National Senior Citizens Day at an event planned by someone else. Instead, you can host your own. Invite your friends over to celebrate health and decades of life. Serve refreshments and ask guests to bring something to share as well. You can up the ante and add an activity like a scrapbooking class or painting class facilitated by a local shop owner to share an experience together.
Practicing gratitude has been shown to increase feelings of happiness and contentment. Use National Senior Citizens Day to be thankful for your friends, family, health and community. Take time to jot down five things you are thankful for in the morning and then another five before heading to bed. You may find yourself wanting to repeat the habit after Senior Citizens Day.
Are you curious what aging could look like? Check out our Recreation in Retirement Guide to explore the possibilities.