You may not know this but, in 1988, President Ronald Reagan declared August 21st National Senior Citizens Day. This important occasion is, unfortunately, rarely recognized but we can do more to increase its visibility. We would not be here without our elders and they deserve to be celebrated, respected and remembered. A small amount of your time can make a huge difference in someone else’s life. Here are a few ideas for how you can give back on this special day.

Visit the Elderly

Take the time to visit with your aging family members. Whether it’s parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles, most of us have an older person in our lives who would appreciate a visitor. You can also stop by retirement homes or hospitals to brighten the day of a senior who may not have anyone in their life.

Do Volunteer Work

Find out if there are any organizations in need of volunteers that focus on the elderly. Help deliver preparing meals. Assist them with walking around the block. Read to them from their favorite book or magazine. See if any of the older people in your neighborhood could use a hand with yardwork or errands. There are a variety of ways to help out! Be proactive.

Plan a Special Meal

Consider hosting a meal at your house to honor the older people in your life. Find out what foods they love and make it a truly special occasion. Print out menus and dress up to show them that they are worth the extra effort. Another option is to take them to their favorite restaurant and encourage them to order anything they want from the menu. Make them feel valued and appreciated for all they have done in their lives.

Go Down Memory Lane

What better way to let someone know you care than to ask them to tell you about their life? Ask about their childhood, their dreams and favorite memories and then actively listen. As you hear them tell their stories, consider how these events helped shape the person that they are today. You may be surprised by how much you learn in those precious moments.

This year, for National Senior Citizens day, put your phone away (unless you’re taking pictures!) and reconnect with the special seniors in your life. Cherish the time you have together and let them know how much you appreciate them!