Today, we honor our elderly and celebrate Senior Citizens Day in the United States. As our population increasingly ages, it is imperative that we recognize the importance of supporting senior citizens in our communities.
More than 40 million senior citizens live in the US, and that number will only grow as people live longer than ever before. Every Aug. 21 is a day to acknowledge the contributions and dedications of older people, and take the time to ensure we give something back. Ronald Reagan created Senior Citizens Day in 1988. Every year senior and community centers celebrate with special events. In addition, businesses, such as Arby’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Subway, often offer discounts for senior citizens.
The best way to celebrate today is likely the easiest: call up an elderly person you know and lend an ear. However, many people also choose to volunteer at nursing homes or the VFW.
If you missed this year’s Senior Citizens Day, don’t worry: you have another chance to honor the elderly on Oct. 1, the International Day of Older Persons. This global observance not only raises awareness of the achievements of older people, but also of such topics as:
• Aging populations and the provisions of adequate healthcare for the elderly
• Volunteer work
• Social care
• Ways to be more inclusive of older persons in the workforce