“For all they have achieved throughout life and for all they continue to accomplish, we owe older citizens our thanks and a heartfelt salute. We can best demonstrate our gratitude and esteem by making sure that our communities are good places in which to mature and grow older — places in which older people can participate to the fullest and can find the encouragement, acceptance, assistance, and services they need to continue to lead lives of independence and dignity.”~ President Ronald Reagan – August 19, 1988, Proclamation 584
My friend received her very first senior citizen’s discount at Walgreens the other day, and she wasn’t sure if she should feel insulted or grateful! You see, she’s about to turn 56 in a few weeks, and she really doesn’t see herself as a “senior.”
According to US News, “There is no clearly defined age when you become a senior citizen. Some people might consider themselves seniors when they retire from the workplace, sign-up for Social Security or begin to spend their retirement savings, but others aren't ready to call themselves a senior citizen yet.”
Ha! I can relate. I may be a senior citizen, but I don’t always consider myself a senior. I use hair color to cover the gray, and I do my best to lead a healthy, active lifestyle to keep me “young.”
US News created a list of milestones that could indicate you’ve become a senior citizen:
- Qualifying for senior benefits
- Spending retirement savings
- Stepping away from work
- Changes in health
- A change in priorities
- Rethinking age stereotypes
In the scheme of things, none of these milestones apply to my friend or me, and it seems our birthdays are the only factor. We should be proud we’ve survived this many years. Sadly, we both have a number of former classmates, colleagues, friends and family members who didn’t. It is in this spirit that we’ve decided to celebrate our senior citizen status, and what better day to do it than Senior Citizens Day, Saturday, August 21, 2021!
We plan to reach out to the senior citizens in our lives to promote social engagement and lift their spirits. In as much as living alone can be a measure of one’s independence, it can also lead to isolation, depression, health and safety issues. In light of COVID-19 and the Delta variant, many senior citizens are choosing to continue staying healthy at home and isolated from their children and grandchildren, escalating the likelihood of loneliness and depression.
The Administration on Aging reports, “About 28% (14.3 million) of all noninstitutionalized older persons in 2018 lived alone (9.5 million women, 4.8 million men). They represented 34% of older women and 21% of older men. The proportion living alone increases with advanced age. Among women age 75 and over, for example, 44% lived alone.”
Those are pre-coronavirus statistics from 2018. COVID-19 wreaked havoc with the senior population in 2020, and the Delta variant is significantly impacting mortality rates in Florida now with even younger victims.
This pandemic has prevented us from spending time with the special seniors in our lives, meaning we haven’t been afforded the opportunity to physically visit with them and visibly monitor their physical and mental health and well-being, which is more important now than ever before. If you do plan to see seniors in person on Senior Citizens Day, I encourage you to practice safe social distancing and wear a mask.
Senior Citizens Day is special and should be recognized by everyone. If you can’t safely visit with senior citizens in person, give them a call. If they are tech savvy, they probably know how to Zoom or FaceTime, so schedule a convenient time to chat.
Under normal circumstances, I would suggest taking senior citizens to lunch or dinner to show them how much you care. However, Delta may prevent that. Instead, consider sending them a greeting card with a gift card to Door Dash, GrubHub or UberEats, so they can order a nice meal on you! Even better, prepare or order their favorite meal and have it safely delivered to their front door.
If you don’t have any older family members or friends close by, consider paying it forward by buying a senior a cup of coffee, or picking up the check for their meal on August 21st. Kindness goes a very long way and can make an enormous difference in the attitude and outlook of a senior in this day and age.
My caregivers and I believe every day should be Senior Citizens Day, and we are devoted to offering kindness, compassion and respect to our clients 24/7/365. If you or a special senior someone you know could use some help, I offer a FREE Consultation to discuss specific needs to match the perfect caregiver and create a personalized care plan to help improve your overall quality of life through non-medical in-home care, specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia or Parkinson's care, personal care, companionship, nutritional meal planning & preparation, homemaking assistance and more!
Have a Happy, Healthy Senior Citizens Day!
We, at Home Helpers® Clearwater, are honored to have received the Home Care Pulse – Best of Home Care® Provider of Choice Award in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 & 2021. We proudly serve male and female seniors in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson and surrounding areas. Home Helpers®…we are Making Life Easier℠. 727.942.2539
Administration on AgingUS News & World Report