Did you know that there is a national holiday dedicated to seniors, celebrated across the world? In 1990, the United Nations designated October 1 as the International Day of Older Persons and many countries have joined in to recognize the important contributions of this special group of individuals.
In 2017, this annual celebration is still going strong; this year’s theme is “Tapping the Talents, Contributions and Participation of Older Persons in Society,” and will acknowledge the important roles that seniors play within their families and communities.
According to the UN, the contributions of seniors are “often overlooked and under-appreciated” and as a society, it is important that we engage our seniors and tap into their incredible pool of knowledge and experience. Not only for their wellbeing, but for the wellbeing and betterment of our communities.
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This October 1st, why don’t you celebrate an important senior in your life?
Read our tips on ways to engage senior loved ones this National Seniors Day:
Throw a backyard barbecue, dinner party or family gathering to honour the important seniors in your life and show them how much they are appreciated.
Sometimes it can be difficult to open up to someone and tell them that they are loved and valued, however gathering your family and throwing a party to celebrate National Seniors Day will show the seniors in your life just how special they are to you.
Many seniors have amassed impressive skills over their life span and are more than willing to share their expertise with you. Why not try your hand at baking, sewing, painting or woodworking?
Learning a skill from a senior allows them to share their talents and pass down this knowledge to future generations.
You can learn a lot about a person and their life story by simply asking! Seniors offer a unique, yet deeply personal perspective on life based on their experiences and the events they have lived through. Chances are, there are amazing stories and family legacies hidden within the heart of your beloved grandparent.
As human beings, we are defined by our experiences and where we come from; passing down family stories from generation to generation is an amazing way to learn about your ancestry and connect in a common history. Consider starting a family history project, where family stories are shared and recorded. Preserving family stories helps to connect one generation to another and binds family members through time and space.
Volunteering is a great way to share your passion and abilities, while supporting an important cause in your community. Volunteering with a senior can be an incredibly rewarding experience for both of you – connecting with someone who has walked a much different path in life than you can help you to better understand issues that seniors’ face.
Learning about the health, economic, and social issues that affect seniors can help you become an advocate and support their rights, as well as rethink your preconceived notions about older persons in society.
Don’t let the International Day of Older Persons pass you by this October. Take the opportunity to thank and celebrate an important senior in your life; you will both reap the benefits!
In what other ways are you planning on celebrating National Seniors Day? We’d love to hear your thoughts and stories in the comments below.