National Senior Citizens Day
Aug. 21 is recognized as National Senior Citizens Day, which honors and acknowledges our country’s older citizens. This national day first began in 1988 when President Ronald Reagan signed Proclamation 5847, expressing recognition and gratitude for our older population and its contribution to the United States. In the Proclamation, President Reagan stated that “[f]or all they have achieved throughout life and for all they continue to accomplish, we owe older citizens our thanks and a heartfelt salute. We can best demonstrate our gratitude and esteem by making sure that our communities are good places in which to mature and grow older — places in which older people can participate to the fullest and can find the encouragement, acceptance, assistance, and services they need to continue to lead lives of independence and dignity.” The Proclamation reserved Aug. 21 of each year as a day to honor our senior citizens.
The words, sentiment and objective of this Proclamation remains as important as ever today. Our nation has a significant population of elderly citizens, who have contributed so much to the workplace, economy, their communities, families, and our nation as a whole. They deserve respect and appreciation for their contributions, and they deserve protection and care so they can live out their later years with dignity.
The best way to honor this special day is to show senior citizens they are loved, cared for and remembered. If you’re able to visit senior citizens in your life or community, your time is often the best gift that can be given. Arrange a video chat or make a telephone call to those you cannot visit in person. Send a card or gift that shows you are thinking of them and value them.
Sadly, many senior citizens may not have many people in their lives to express care and gratitude, and it is important to take opportunities to let these individuals know they are valued and respected as well. Meals on Wheels is a great opportunity to help numerous senior citizens and others to get a good meal. Check with your local Meals on Wheel program to learn how you can get involved and help provide healthy meals to elderly or homebound residents in your area.
You can also send caring notes and letters to seniors through programs like Letters for the Elderly. Check with nursing homes in your area to see if they are offering ways that you can safely spread cheer to elderly residents.
Finally, National Senior Citizens Day can be safely celebrated through donations to organizations that serve elderly populations, either locally or nationwide. Our senior citizens can always use extra assistance to make sure they are staying safe and healthy, both mentally and physically, and that they are not being taken advantage of financially or otherwise. Visit the National Council on Aging’s website for a broad range of information on issues that affect seniors, how you can get involved and where you can donate. August 21 is recognized as National Senior Citizens Day, which honors and acknowledges our country’s older citizens.