Most of us want to live to see our grandchildren (and even great-grandchildren!) but living a long time comes with a price: getting older. While it’s a beautiful thing to live a long, healthy life, the changes that typically accompany aging can be isolating, frustrating, and depressing. That’s why it’s so important that we make a point of honoring the elderly on August 21st, National Senior Citizens Day.

Established on August 19, 1988 by President Ronald Reagan, the day is meant to serve as a reminder to slow down for just one day and give our attention to those who truly need and deserve it. Here are just a few things you can do:

Visit a Senior

He or she may live in a retirement home, across town, or just down the hall in your own home—regardless of the location, take a few moments to spend time with an elderly person on Senior Citizens Day, if you can. 

Plan a Fun Day

While you must take their specific needs, preferences. and limitations into consideration, try to do something he or she will enjoy. Maybe there is a movie or music venue that your aging family member loves that you could see together. Perhaps you could enjoy a cup of tea and a board game, a walk to take in the fresh air, or a scenic drive. Try to do something that gets both of you out of your usual routine. 

Enjoy Family History

Ask your grandparent or older friend about experiences from their life and childhood, and look through photo albums together. They will love re-living those special moments with you, and you’re sure to learn something new. 

Volunteer

Don’t have any seniors in your family or your nearby? Volunteer at a local retirement home and bring joy to the lives of those who may not get many visitors. You can offer to read a book aloud, run an errand, or just sit and chat. You may never know how much your kindness means.

Random Acts of Kindness

It’s always a good idea to treat others with kindness and respect, but try to go out of your way on Senior Citizens Day. Offer to carry a senior’s groceries to his or her car. Surprise your elderly uncle with a batch of homemade cookies. Do some yard work for your aging neighbor. You will be amazed by how many opportunities to help there are if you pay attention.

Do you plan to do something special for Senior Citizens Day? Share your ideas and experiences in the comments section!