Although August 21 marks Senior Citizen’s Day each year, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate every day. It doesn’t take much to make the elderly adults in your life feel special. A simple phone call often does the trick, but no doubt you may prefer something more creative.
Here are six innovative ways you can celebrate Senior’s Citizen Day every day as a caregiver. Let’s honor the wisdom and legacy of our elders!
1. Buy a Small Gift
When was the last time you received a surprise gift? It made your day, didn’t it? You don’t age out of enjoying presents!
Give your elderly loved one a thoughtful gift once in a blue moon. One idea is creating a scrapbook or photo album of special memories. If your senior resides at a retirement home, they may lack space, and such a gift shows much thought.
Other ideas include a personalized photo frame, a playlist of songs which remind you of your loved ones or a small handmade keepsake box.
2. Treat Them to a Discount
The best part about Senior Citizen’s Day (and some other special holidays!) is the discounts. Merchants from Amtrak down to your local grocers offer discounts to individuals aged 50 and older on this day. This makes it the perfect occasion for treating your favorite senior to a pedicure, a haircut or other small act of pampering which will leave her feeling great about herself.
Aside from the one day a year many businesses offer a discount, try doing your research and finding coupons online on popular discount sites to make your treat days easier on your pocketbook. If you can score a 2-for-1 deal, all the better!
3. Volunteer at a Senior Center
Many senior centers find it difficult keeping reliable volunteers on staff. Due to many Americans working multiple jobs simply to survive, it’s hard to find volunteers, and some even quit when their responsibilities grow overwhelming.
This means more seniors facing neglect, unable to participate in the very social activities which could provide better quality-of-life.
If your elderly loved one resides in a home, frequent volunteering proves easier. However, even if your parents and grandparents have passed, senior centers can truly use your help more often than you think.
4. Get Into Genealogy
Tons of genealogy sites exist today, but what better place to learn about your family history than from the original source? Why not visit an elderly loved one and get started on your own family tree?
Ask your family about their experiences growing up. Who were their parents? Their grandparents? Where do they live today versus where they grew up? How many siblings and cousins did they have?
It’s amazing what you can learn when you ask!
5. Visit a National Park
On Senior Citizens Day, you can treat your aging loved one to a free day at the park. In addition, you can snag an annual senior pass for $20 now, purchase an $80 lifetime pass or trade in four annual passes to get a lifetime one.
Getting outdoors is critical for physical and mental health, so you’ll be doing your loved one a world of good.
6. Share a Gentle Hug (or Skype Call)
You can’t overstate the power of presence. If at all possible, plan to simply spend time with your loved one on Senior Citizen’s Day, or any other day, for that matter.
Seniors often lack adequate levels of physical touch. Caregivers do well to give hugs generously to receptive aging adults. If they have conditions that make such contact painful, gently touching another’s hand or placing your hand on their shoulder can show them you care.
No way to travel to celebrate with a distant grandparent? If you have a tech-savvy granny in your life, why not Skype them? Yes, a call works, too, but your loved one will adore seeing the family “live” via screen.
Honor Seniors More Often
It doesn’t take much to make the older adult in your life feel special. Why wait a whole year to use Senior Citizen’s Day to spend time with a loved one? Take inspiration from this list to show older adults you care.
Kayla Matthews writes about medical technologies and news developments for publications like The Week, BioMed Central and Kareo’s Go Practice Blog. To read more posts by Kayla, visit her on Twitter @KaylaEMatthews or check out her website: http://productivitybytes.com.