National Senior Citizens Day is coming up this month. What is this day, you ask?
In 1988, President Reagan signed legislation that proclaimed a national day of recognition of older Americans’ wisdom, leadership and contributions.“Throughout our history, older people have achieved much for our families, our communities and our country,” he said on the occasion. “That remains true today, and gives us ample reason this year to reserve a special day in honor of the senior citizens who mean so much to our land.”
Thus, the United States observes National Senior Citizens Day every year on Aug. 21. How can you celebrate National Senior Citizens Day?
If you’re a senior living in Cincinnati, there are plenty of ways to pass along your life experiences, exhibit your leadership, share your wisdom and contribute to the community on this — or any — day.
Volunteer your time
Volunteering with a local non-profit is a great way to do something you’re passionate about and to give back to your community. Many organizations, including Deupree Meals On Wheels, are always looking for volunteers.
Signing up to help can get you out of your home, allow you to meet new people, and help you to make lasting contributions to the Tristate. It’s a wonderful opportunity to show leadership and serve as an example to younger Cincinnatians.
(Deupree Meals On Wheels volunteer)
Many organizations accept volunteers of all ages. That means that you might find yourself working on a project with a young adult or teenager. You’ll have the opportunity to build friendships, or even mentor relationships, with people who could benefit from your lifelong perspectives.
Another great reason to get out and volunteer is that studies have shown close links between volunteering and increased wellness benefits. For example, one 2005 paper reported that people who provide service to others have greater longevity than those who do not volunteer. And that longevity benefit, believe it or not, may start from within.
A 1998 study published in Psychology and Aging by Herzog, et al., stated that the positive impacts on wellness experience by a senior who volunteers are “due to the personal sense of accomplishment that an individual gains from his or her volunteer activities.”
Volunteering, it would seem, can quite literally make you feel good.
Visit with your younger family members
Whether it’s sharing a meal, experiencing a local attraction, seeing a movie or just sitting and talking, a visit can go a long way toward building generational bonds with the younger members of your family.
It also gives you an excellent opportunity to pass along your life wisdom, or to preserve family memories that can be subsequently passed along to succeeding generations.
If your family members live outside the Cincinnati area and it would be difficult for you to make the trip to see them, maybe the time is right to learn how to use tech to your mutual advantage?
Video chatting services like Skype and FaceTime allow you and your child or grandchild to see and speak with each other in real time, via your cellphone’s camera or your laptop’s lens. Social media platforms like Facebook and Snapchat also allow you to connect remotely.
Visit somewhere or something that you’ve never seen in your area
One way to stay engaged with the world around you is to get out and see new things. And you can do without even going far from home. Many of us spend a lifetime taking local attractions for granted — we mean to go see or do things that are close by, by we never seem to get around to it.
A person living in New York, for example, may spend a whole lifetime living in the shadow of the Empire State Building, but never actually go up on the observation deck. They might dismiss it as “touristy.” But “touristy” things attract tourists for a reason — they’re usually interesting!
Is there something in Cincinnati, or in the surrounding Tristate area, that you’ve always wanted to do, but never before made time? Maybe this National Senior Citizens Day can be your chance to finally do it.