On August 21, 2022, Encore Communities is proud to celebrate National Senior Citizens Day through our continued efforts to recognize the accomplishments of our senior population and let them know how important they are.
The History of National Senior Citizens Day
In 1988, while announcing the inception of this day––initially called National Day of the Third Age––President Ronald Reagan noted, “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.”
Embracing the words of our 40th president, the leadership and staff of Encore Communities strive to provide the resources and the compassion that allow our residents to live their lives to the fullest.
“People often think of care in the sense of medical or custodial care,” notes Adam Filbey, director of Encore Senior Living in Washington. “At our senior care communities, we think of care as a verb – a daily process of checking in with our residents and structuring activities that cultivate their mental, emotional, physical, and social wellness, which can too often be overlooked.”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 80 million people ages 65 and older will reside in America by 2035, outnumbering the population under 18. With this in mind, we must recognize the growing need for quality care for this growing segment of the population.
How to Honor National Senior Citizens Day
Whether it’s August 21 or any other day of the year, we should all reach out to the older adults in our lives and communities to demonstrate how much they are valued by us – their families, friends and neighbors. Social support cuts down on loneliness and isolation, leading to better mental and physical health.
Volunteer for Senior Organizations and Projects
Nearly every community has a variety of resources that aim to help out seniors. Elder Helpers provides free companion caregivers for older adults. Meals on Wheels delivers free and affordable meals to seniors, and local senior centers host a variety of educational and recreational programming.
These types of organizations are always in need of volunteers, and by working with one in your area, you can make a positive impact on the lives of older adults in your communities.
Host a Luncheon
Whether with your family members or with groups at a senior center, hosting a National Senior Citizens Day luncheon is a great way to make attendees feel valued. Depending on the size of the group you wish to honor, you might even turn the luncheon into something larger. Ask the attendees about their favorite meals, music, and games––whatever you can do to make the event enjoyable for them.
Donate to a Senior Housing Community Home
One of the easiest ways to get involved is to volunteer at or donate essential items and supplies to a local senior housing community. Even if they don’t have an open call for donations, you can call and ask if they’re in need of anything. Depending on the type of community, you can also consider donating your time. Many communities have a need for volunteers of all types, even those who don’t hold medical or care-related certifications.
Learn about Elder Abuse
While elder abuse takes many forms––including physical abuse, financial abuse, and neglect––there is much you can do to prevent it. Those with cognitive and physical impairments are particularly vulnerable to elder abuse, so if your loved one falls into these categories, it’s essential to stay in frequent communication with them, taking the time to understand any challenges they face.
Reach Out to Your Family Members
If you ask any older adult what they want most, you’d most likely hear that they wish to see their family members more. While volunteering with organizations is always a great idea, there is hardly a more effective way to make an impact on National Senior Citizens Day than by spending time with parents, grandparents or other seniors you know and love.
Dan is Vice President, Marketing of the Alumus family of companies. A Seattle native, he earned his BA in Humanities and Political Science at Evergreen State College. He started his career as a newspaper columnist, eventually transitioning into marketing and tech writing for Microsoft and several other startups. He later launched a successful creative agency focused on branding, digital marketing, and content production in Los Angeles, where he worked for several nursing and behavioral health clients, eventually becoming the National Marketing Director for one of them.
He has taught Vipassana mindfulness meditation and MBSR and spends whatever free time he has with his son snowboarding, hiking, and camping in the mountains.