How It Came To Be
National Senior Citizens Day was created in 1988 by then president, Ronald Reagan. He signed the Proclamation 5847 in order to get American’s involved with their elders to show them how grateful we are for all their contributions to our society and lives.
“Throughout our history, older people have achieved much for our families, our communities, and our country. That remains true today, and gives us ample reason this year to reserve a special day in honor of the senior citizens who mean so much to our land,” stated Reagan. “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.”
6 Senior-Friendly Activities
Engaging in activities that are Senior-Centered has several benefits. These types of activities provide a social connection as well provides a sense of individual well-being. By encouraging intergenerational contact, it strengthens the bonds of family and community. Here are a few ideas for making the most of this special day:
Learn about your family history – Learning about your family history through your living relatives is a great way to get a personal perspective of how your family has evolved over the years. This unique opportunity encourages togetherness through the sharing of wisdom and advice as well as learning hidden gems of information straight from the source. Grandparents can connect to their grandchildren by sharing their experiences and giving them an older world perspective to integrate into new ways of thinking.
Play games, watch movies or read/discuss books – Engaging activities like playing games or discussing books is a great way for grandparents to teach their grandchildren ways to solve problems and to ask questions about the world around them. Positive quality activities like playing games as well as watching new and classic films helps encourage open dialogs and to share our likes with one another.
Strike up a conversation – Researchers have found that even the smallest of interactions such as small talk or a smile with a senior citizen can significantly improve their mood. These small gestures are great ways to brighten someone’s day. Sometimes the smallest of actions can have the biggest impact.
Video chat with your tech-savvy seniors – More seniors are going online today than ever! According to a 2014 study, 6 out of 10 seniors are active online. This is great for those family members that live far distances. By being able to access apps like Skype or FaceTime, seniors can chat with children and grandchildren as well as their old classmates and friends that may be too incapacitated to travel.
Never underestimate a random act of kindness – You would be surprised how donating just a fraction of your time can make a big impact on someone. Visiting with seniors you know, or even don’t know can make a lasting impact on their view of themselves and the world around them. Check out if the local senior centers or assisted living homes in your immediate area offer visitation days or volunteer programs to spend some time with our nation’s elders. Play some cards, sing some songs or even bring them some yummy snacks can make all the difference.
Los Angeles is a big place, filled with tons of activities and fun for all ages. Given that there is so much to do and see, here are some fun and simple ideas:
Museums – What makes museums a good activity is that most are handicapped and wheelchair accessible as well as offer other aids such as hearing devices and guided tours. The Getty, LACMA, La Brea Tar Pits and the Petersen Museum are great options that will work for the entire family. Museums often offer great senior discounts as well.
Historic Sites – LA is an area rich with locations of significant historical value. Among the many missions and posts located in the area, there are also historical buildings, military and grounded luxury liners, statues and landmarks that will amaze you that you didn’t know about. There are companies within LA that offer guided tours, shuttle tours and various interactive informational guides for these landmarks.
Be A Tourist In Your Own Town – Watching stars in their natural habitat, checking out the wax museum or eating at Musso & Franks are just some of the classic LA Tourist attractions. Watch a TV show being filmed. If your family is native to the area, this may be a great opportunity for our elders to talk about how LA used to be in their time….and they can see LA through modern eyes as well.
Sporting and Concert Events – Enjoy getting out to watch a sporting event either in the stands or at a local pub. Enjoy America’s pastime and learn how the game has changed over time. Concerts on the lawn are also a great way for young and old to connect and appreciate the gifts we can all offer one another.
Sites like Red Tricycle offer great suggestions for things to do in and around your area.
Senior Centers and Connections
Places like ONE Generation are a great place to let seniors connect with their own generation while working with the younger generation to learn from each other. They offer classes for dance, higher learning, bettering health and learning to communicate.
Meetup.com is the world’s largest network of local groups. Seniors can join the community and make new friends and find activities in their area.
Your local senior center is a great way for the young and old to come together to help one another. Seniors can help each other keep active and connected and the youth can help by offering a warm smile, an ear to listen and a heart to share. Seniors can learn about new healthcare options, nutrition and more.
Click here for a listing of Senior Centers in near you.
If you’d like more information on the San Fernando Valley or Los Angeles, or to have help looking for your next home, please feel free to reach out! I’m happy to help, no obligation.