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Do you have an elderly person in your life that you love and appreciate? National Senior Citizens Day, August 21, is the day to let them know how much you care and it’s an opportunity to recognize their accomplishments. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed this holiday to raise awareness about issues that affect senior citizens and their quality of life.
Today, seniors are still active in their communities as well as continuing to have a strong presence in the workforce. For all they do and have achieved for the good of their communities, senior citizens deserve our thanks!
History of National Senior Citizens Day
National Senior Citizens Day recognizes seniors who have spent their lives contributing to society and have impacted everyone’s lives for the better. Improved healthcare has changed demographics and increased productivity of older citizens, allowing them to be more active than ever before. With more opportunities available as well, many senior citizens now begin second careers and are an example for younger generations. The country’s foundation and stable sectors are the result of the hard work of our senior citizens and they deserve all our gratitude.
President Ronald Reagan took the initiative to honor seniors in 1988 when he signed Proclamation 5847 and marked August 21 as the day seniors will be celebrated. “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,” Reagan proclaimed. “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.”
His words have withstood the test of time and are now, over 30 years later, more important than ever as older people are leading more productive lives. Reagan himself set an example for everyone — he was 69 years old when one of the world’s most powerful titles of president of the U.S. was given to him on January 20, 1981. Reagan lived till the ripe old age of 93, and not only was he the oldest person to be elected president, he was also the oldest when his term ended at 77 years and 349 days.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 78 million people aged 65 and older will reside in America by 2035. This figure will surpass the number of the population under the age of 18 for the first time in the nation’s history.
National Senior Citizens Day timeline
Ronald Reagan is sworn in as the President of The United States of America at the age of 69.
“The Golden Girls” premieres on television, following the adventures of four senior ladies who live together.
National Senior Citizens Day is declared by President Ronald Reagan.
92-year-old Harriette Thompson finishes the Suja Rock ’n’ Roll San Diego Marathon, and becomes the oldest woman ever to complete a 26-mile race.
National Senior Citizens Day FAQs
What is National Senior Citizen Day?
The achievements and contributions of the mature people of our country are recognized on National Senior Citizens Day.
What is the age of senior citizens?
An individual resident is considered a senior citizen if he/she is between the ages of 60 to 80 years.
What are the advantages of turning 60?
There are perks to turning 60. Many benefits are applicable only to senior citizens. Extra coverage is granted to senior citizens for healthcare expenses.
When should I start saving for retirement?
Every individuals circumstances are different, but the general advice is that you should start saving early and to save as often as you can.
How to Observe National Senior Citizens Day
Donate to a nursing/retirement home
One of the kindest and most rewarding things one can do is to donate essential goods or gifts to a nursing/retirement home. Give your nearest facility a call and ask them whether they have a shortage of anything. Or simply drop off some chocolates, juice boxes, or any other treats. You can really make a difference in someone’s life.
Reach out to a senior family member
Do you have a senior family member? Perhaps it’s a parent, grandparent, aunt, or uncle. Visit them and spend some time together. If you can’t see them in person, don't text — call! Let them hear the warmth in your voice when you tell them how much you appreciate them.
Are you a senior citizen yourself? Well, today is all about you! Live it up and treat yourself. Spend time with your favorite people, go shopping — do whatever you like. This could be the day you finally try that one thing you never have time for or perhaps it's a perfect day to chill at home. You’ve earned this time, so enjoy it!
5 Facts About National Senior Citizens Day
Get with the times
Today, only 3.6% of people over the age of 65 live in nursing homes — older women are likely to live alone, while older men prefer living with a spouse.
Senior citizens battle serious illnesses
Four in five seniors will battle at least one medical condition or illness like arthritis or a heart disorder.
“Get off my property!”
Over ⅓ of federally subsidized housing is occupied by elderly people.
They are technologically advancing
Senior citizens are the fastest-growing demographic on the social platform Facebook.
Young at heart
15 million senior citizens volunteer in some manner.
Why National Senior Citizens Day is Important
Seniors give wise and useful advice
Our elderly family and friends have a lifetime's worth of precious experiences (and stories) to share. For centuries, cultures across the world have looked to the seniors in their communities for wisdom and knowledge. In times of trouble or when we simply don't know what to do, seniors are often the first people we turn to for a different or even, unusual perspective. If we listen, we can learn so much from them.
Seniors give generously
It's widely known that seniors make more charitable donations than any other age group. They have more time to devote to others and volunteer. We appreciate how much they look out for their loved ones and it’s a quality we love in our seniors.
Seniors give us goodies!
Perhaps this stems from their generous and charitable nature, but seniors are very good at making us feel special. Grandparents dote on us when we need it, and sometimes when we don't. To every grandparent or elderly loved one that has given us a treat or made sure we ate well or spoiled us in some other way, we salute and appreciate you!
National Senior Citizens Day dates