Vail Daily column: Celebrating elders on National Senior Citizens Day
While many may not have heard about it, this past Sunday was National Senior Citizens Day.
National Senior Citizens Day is time to celebrate our seniors and everything they’ve given to our country. Of course, seniors deserve to be celebrated 365 days a year — but it’s a blessing that we recognize our elderly population every August.
National Senior Citizens Day might not be as famous as Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, but it’s just as important. This year marks the 28th year of National Senior Citizens Day, which was first made a national holiday in 1988. That year, Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law with a presidential proclamation.
The words of that proclamation still ring true nearly three decades later:
“For all they have achieved throughout life and for all they continue to accomplish, we owe older citizens our thanks and a heartfelt salute.”
In signing the proclamation, Reagan asked that we, as Americans, strive to “(make) sure that our communities are good places in which to mature and grow older.” That’s certainly a sentiment the elder care community can get behind.
While preserving independence often provides a great deal of self-esteem and empowerment, it may also come with a great amount of risk for our elder loved ones.
On a daily basis, our office sees many hardships encountered by seniors who live alone, without much family or social interaction. Too often, this places their health and safety at risk, and increases the likelihood of depression and other mental health issues.
When family and friends play an active part in an elder’s life, they can often help detect early signs of illness, both physical and cognitive. This can often assist our loved ones live a safer and better quality of life.
Celebrate in Style
The best way to celebrate National Senior Citizens Day is to spend time with the elderly people in your life. If you were not aware of the holiday, it is never too late to spend time with a loved one. Many restaurants and stores give special discounts to seniors, so you may wish to treat your elderly parents or grandparents to a nice night out.
Of course, a quiet night in can be equally enjoyable. What’s important is showing our elders we care. That can be through cooking a favorite meal, playing a game of chess or cards, watching a classic movie together or simply by taking the time to have a deep conversation.
If you have not already, pick up the phone, or better yet, go visit your aging loved ones. Time flies and a missed opportunity to share your time and memories may not present itself again.
Cherish the time you have with your aging loved ones and let them know how much you appreciate them!
Judson Haims is the owner of Visiting Angels Home Care in Eagle County. Contact Haims at http://www.visitingangels.com/comtns and 970-328-5526.