Senior Citizen Day
Honoring a Lifetime of Experience
August 21, 2015 by Mark Dye
As we go through life and accumulate experiences and knowledge, we often wonder what we’ll do with it as we get older—all that experience doesn’t do anyone much good if it can’t be shared. So why not give some of it back to our communities through service? More and more research is showing that giving back has positive health benefits for seniors, from giving them a sense of purpose, to getting them up and moving and exercising.
We put together some ideas on how seniors can give back—and even have a few on how we can all give back to them.
Seniors giving back
- The Senior Corps—Much like the Peace Corps or Americorps, this program makes it easier for the more experienced among us to give back to their communities. They have a number of programs ranging from the simple to the complex. Check out all of their programs at NationalService.gov.
- Create The Good—This website is run by AARP and serves as a central location to find local volunteer opportunities. You can search by keyword and location, making it quite easy to find just the right organization. And because it’s through the AARP, they understand what seniors want.
- Foster grandparent—Some children don’t have the benefit of a grandparent in their lives, while some seniors don’t have grandchildren. The Foster Grandparent Program is a great way for seniors to pass on some of their wisdom to a younger generation, while giving that younger generation a chance to appreciate the life experiences of our nation’s senior citizens.
Giving back to seniors
- Spend some quality time—One of the top issues facing seniors is simple loneliness. A nice lunch or dinner, or even just visiting for a few hours a week (in person, too, not just a phone call) might not seem like much, but can make a huge impact in their mood and make them feel appreciated.
- Help them out—Mowing the yard, doing some housework, or working to repair something that needs it are just a few ways to lend a hand. You can even volunteer for a group like Rebuilding Together, which has local chapters across the country and often helps to rehab homes of senior citizens.
- Encourage them to get moving—Being sedentary can lead to a number of health issues. Thankfully, you don’t need a two-hour, high-energy workout to stay in shape; just a simple 20-30 walk around the neighborhood with a senior can do a world of good for them (and you, too!). It also serves as a great way to socialize.
So whether you’re a senior citizen yourself, or know one, get out there and make a difference in someone’s life today!