grandparent with grandkids flying planesThe definition of senior citizen: an elderly person, especially one who is retired and living on a pension. Some other terms associated with senior citizen include old-timer, geezer, golden-ager, oldie, geriatric. Is this really true about our population of seniors? We live in a fast-paced world that consists of technology, enhancements to products and services and most importantly,  a large number of active seniors. Many seniors today are still working or staying active in other ways with their community. Some seniors might even know how to use a tablet better than you! 

This past Tuesday was Senior Citizen’s Day.  In 1988 Ronald Reagan declared August 21st to be the National Senior Citizens Day. The goal of this day of observance is to bring awareness about the positive contributions from seniors and to bring awareness about social and economic issues that affect them. It's important to recognize the positive impact seniors bring to our society and to our family. We will discuss some seniors that we are doing great things this year as well as show how you can take care of your senior, whether they are 65 or 85 years old. 

Recognized Seniors You Should Know About

Lyn Slater- The Accidental Icon – 64-year-old influencer, professor, speaker, and model – over 525k followers on Instagram

https://www.accidentalicon.com/

Jenny Kee – 71-year-old Australian artist and fashion designer who creates vibrant garments – 33.5k followers on Instagram 

http://www.jennykee.com/

Seniors play a big part in our society but they also play a big part in our families. Most of us have parents, uncles, and grandparents that fall into this demographic. Whether your senior is 65 or 85, there are ways that you can let them know you care about them. 

6 Ways to Show Your Senior You Care

  1. Spend quality time with them-Put the phone down and focus on your friend or relative when you're spending time with them. Some seniors spend most of their days alone and need the company of others. Visit your senior when you can or if you feel the need to give back, volunteer at a local senior center or nursing home. 
  2. Have a meal with them-Sharing a meal together brings people together in an emotional way. Famous chef, Nigella Lawson states in this article that the food isn't what matters. The meal doesn't have to be perfect as long as the discussion or "meat" of the conversation is substantial.  Having a meal together brings a sense of closeness to another person and creates a bond with them. If you haven’t visited your relative in some time, bring over some food from a local restaurant or if you have the time, cook something homemade, it will mean the world to them. 
  3. Talk about the family, in a positive way- Family drama affects all of us and stress affects seniors too. Instead of talking about gossip, talk about something more meaningful.  Talk about family history or ask questions about the family you've always wanted to know. Trace relatives and start a family tree together. 
  4. Tell them you care about them- Verbally saying that you appreciate and care to your family member or friend will make them feel loved. Sometimes we forget to tell our loved ones the most important things, so tell them how important they are today. 
  5. Ask them for advice – If you ask your senior for advice they feel a sense of purpose and will feel more engaged with you. According to this article on Nbcnews, the strongest relationships are when one party asks the other for advice during a rough time in life. This also helps create a deeper sense of bonding with your senior and helps create a stronger relationship with them. 
  6. Ask them how they’re really doing- Be there for your senior and ask how you can be a better relative or friend to them. Do they need help with their mobile phone? Do they need help with their pet? Do they need help with moving something around the house?  Whatever the issue is, let them know you are there for them and always keep the communication open.

Our seniors play a big role in our lives. Some of our seniors are healthy, independent and active. Some of us have seniors that have slowed down a bit but are still in great mental and physical shape. You can spend your time with them and let them know you're there for them. Just being with them can help their well-being and yours.