In 1988, President Ronald Regan declared August 21 to be National Senior Citizens Day. The day is meant to increase public recognition of seniors’ wisdom, accomplishments and contributions. If you have grandparents or seniors that you’re close to, today is the perfect time to do something special for them.
Preserve A Story
Record a senior’s story for StoryCorps. The StoryCorps organization encourages families to record stories their loved ones tell, which can then be uploaded to the collection of stories on the organization’s website. Many of the stories are also broadcasted on their public radio program. This is a great way to preserve your older family members’ stories for future generations. Your senior relatives or friends will love having someone interested in hearing their story. If you’re not sure where to begin, these questions can be good starting places for stories.
Make A Cookbook
Make a cookbook out of a binder or notebook filled with favorite recipes from both of your generations. Many family recipes are passed down, but not everyone has a copy of their grandma’s famous dish. Get together and fill the book with your own favorite recipes as well as dishes your grandparents or senior friends love. Food preferences can change a lot over the decades, and it can be interesting for you and your senior relatives to try what other generations like. When the grandkids are older, the cookbook will be a great keepsake.
Get outside for a plein air painting or drawing session. Plein air is a French term for painting outside in the open, or “in full air.” It’s the perfect way to get some fresh air and be creative together. Head to a favorite park, river, outdoor café or beach and get inspired by painting the scenery around you. It’s also a great way for seniors to talk to others. People are always interested in watching painters at work and often strike up a conversation.
Learn A New Game
Favorite games vary a lot by generation, but there are plenty of games that all ages would enjoy if they tried. Kids love playing Wii, but it’s a game most senior citizens can enjoy playing too. Unlike other video games, it encourages you to get up and move rather than sit in one place. On the other hand, kids might have fun learning a classic game their grandparents enjoyed when they were little. Try playing chess, Clue or Life with your grandparents.
Another fun way to stay connected is to play Words With Friends against your grandparents or senior friends. Help them download the app on their smart phone or get the game on Facebook so you can stay in touch through a little friendly competition.
Make A Donation
Donate books to a local senior living community. Many senior centers are stuck with the same reading material that has been around for years. Drop off a few books you’ve read and enjoyed to freshen up the selection. Make your visit extra special by bringing homemade treats or lunch along with you too.
If you’re still in the giving mood, another way you can make a difference is through a car donation to Wheels For Wishes. Your car donation benefits children’s charities in your area and you’ll also receive free towing and a tax deduction. If you know a senior who’s been holding onto a car they no longer want, why not help them make a donation as a simple way to get rid of the vehicle? Just call 1-877-431-9474 or fill out an online car donation form to get started.