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7 Ways Kids Can Make A Difference On National Senior Citizens Day

SeniorCitizensDay
According to the Administration on Aging, senior citizens represent more than 14 percent of the U.S. population, and this population is expected to grow significantly as baby boomers reach the age of 65. With seniors making up such a large portion of our population – and with the senior population growing quickly – it’s important to have special days that recognize the achievements and needs of senior citizens.

On August 21, National Senior Citizens Day serves as a great reminder to reconnect with senior relatives and loved ones. Among the current senior population, approximately 12.5 million senior citizens are living alone. With busy lives, you might feel guilty if it’s been a long time since you’ve visited with the seniors in your life especially if they are alone. However, that shouldn’t be a reason to keep you from reaching out now. Whether you see your loved ones every day or only once a year, they’ll appreciate you taking the time to do something special for them today.

National Senior Citizens Day is also a great time to teach your kids the importance of honoring older adults and recognizing their wisdom, achievements and experiences. There’s so much value in spending time with people who grew up and lived before your time, and kids especially can learn a lot. Here are 7 ways to get your kids engaged in a meaningful way on National Senior Citizens Day.

Encourage your kids to talk with a senior citizen. Kids today have never experienced the world without cell phones and the Internet, and nearly everybody has a TV, microwave, and other technology that seems commonplace. Many kids don’t appreciate that modern conveniences like these weren’t always around. Talking to a senior can open kids’ eyes and give them some great perspective about what life used to be like and how quickly technology can change the world.

Visit a nursing home with homemade treats. Baking together is a great way to bond with your kids, but today it can also serve as a great way to do something kind for seniors. After you bring your treats to a local nursing home, be sure to stick around for the stories and socializing.

Help a senior relative or neighbor do something around the house. Many seniors who still live at home aren’t able to do everything around the house that they used to. Today can be the perfect opportunity to pitch in and help. Perhaps your senior friend or relative needs help in the garden, or would like to clear out some unneeded items by donating to charity. The garage can be a good place to start, especially if there are boxes of dishes, clothes, or even an old car that’s no longer needed.

Make a handmade card or call a grandparent. If you don’t live nearby, calling or sending a card for National Senior Citizens Day can mean a lot. Kids will love getting their hands on craft supplies, and grandparents will love it even more to get a cute card or phone call from the grandkids.

Volunteer together. Teens might be more interested in getting involved in a good cause with their grandparents. Encourage your teens to find a cause both they and their grandparents believe in. Volunteering is a good way for seniors to get up and about and socialize with other people, all while spending time with the grandkids.

Take a senior out for a treat. Many local establishments offer special promotions for National Senior Citizens Day such as free meals or discount passes for an attraction.
Learn something from each other. Do you have a parent or grandparent who’s mastered an art like cooking, playing the piano, or woodworking? Your kids might love learning a senior’s favorite hobby. In return, your kids can probably teach them something too! Learning from one another is a great way to connect and become closer.

There are so many different ways to reach out to grandparents and seniors who would love some companionship today. No matter how you plan to spend National Senior Citizens Day, you can make a huge difference in the life of a senior citizen.
Source for statistics:
http://www.aoa.acl.gov/Aging_Statistics/Profile/index.aspx

Robin Mondloch writes for www.wheelsforwishes.com covering topics such as recycling, health awareness, and family activities. She holds a BA in English and can be found hiking, writing, and traveling in her spare time.

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