National Senior Citizens Day: Date, Activity Ideas & How to Celebrate

Updated

You have heard of Mother’s Day and Veteran’s Day, but did you know there’s a day for celebrating senior citizens? It’s not a widely celebrated holiday, but it might be worth adding National Senior Citizens Day to your calendar. It’s likely you have a senior in your life that would enjoy the recognition. 

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Keep reading to learn about National Senior Citizens Day. We will tell you when it is and teach you how it came to be. Finally, we will give you ideas on how to celebrate.

When is National Senior Citizens Day?

National Senior Citizens Day is held on August 21 every year.

According to Forbes Magazine, by 2035, there will be 78 million people over 65 living in the United States. People are living longer than they used to. And they’re continuing to work and be involved in the community even as they age. Many older Americans are living productive and happy lives. This is definitely something worth celebrating. 

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What is National Senior Citizens Day?

Why does the U.S. have a National Senior Citizens Day? To understand why, consider reading the original document that declared its existence.

This document, Proclamation 5847, was signed by President Ronald Reagan on August 19, 1988.

History

National Senior Citizens Day was designed as a day to thank our elderly citizens. You might be thanking a family member for their role in your life. Or thanking someone for their contribution to the community. 

National Senior Citizens Day is an opportunity to say “thanks” to older Americans for what they have done to make our families and country better. It’s also a time to reflect on our current communities.

Proclamation 5847 encourages “places in which older people can participate to the fullest and can find the encouragement, acceptance, assistance, and services they need to continue to lead lives of independence and dignity.” Are those things happening in your neighborhood? It’s an important thing to ask. No matter the answer, National Senior Citizens Day is an opportunity to improve your community's support of the elderly.  

How to celebrate

You can celebrate National Senior Citizens Day by giving thanks to the elderly in your life. It’s also a good time to examine your relationships with them.

And take a few minutes to think about your community and how it supports and assists senior citizens. Make a plan, so when August 21st rolls around once again, you will know how to commemorate this special day.

How to Honor Seniors on National Senior Citizens Day

What should you do to honor senior citizens on their special day? Here are some ideas.

Thank the senior citizens you know for their contributions

Think about the older adults that you know. Some of them are veterans. They may have fought bravely for our country. Some were teachers who may have assisted you during your formative years. 

Regardless of their careers, some older people played an essential role in your childhood. Thank them for it. Tell them about the difference they made in your life. 

Visit a nursing home

Do you know someone living in a nursing home or senior living community? Use National Senior Citizens Day as an excuse to visit. 

While you are there, take a moment to smile and say “hi” to the residents who don’t have visitors. Listen to their stories and share some of yours. 

Learn about the concerns of senior citizens

Use August 21st to learn about concerns of senior citizens on a national and state level. Visit AARP’s website to familiarize yourself with proposed bills that would support older Americans.

If there are bills you think would have an impact contact your federal or state representatives to get them to support it.

Volunteer at a local senior citizen center

Most communities have senior citizen centers that offer services and support to older adults. Contact the staff of these centers and ask how you can be of help in your local community.

Perhaps they will encourage you to volunteer with the Meals on Wheels program. Or maybe they will ask that you create toiletry kits to distribute to seniors in need. They might ask you to use your knowledge to teach a class to older people in your community. You can make a difference in a senior citizen’s life in many ways. 

Donate to a charity that supports seniors

Think about what charities support senior citizens at a local and state level. Donate your time or money to those charities.

Thank the senior citizens who volunteer in your community

There are plenty of seniors who are using their free time to volunteer in your community. They are reading to kids at local schools, serving meals at funerals, and watering trees in public parks.

Take a moment to say thank you to those people who are making the most out of their retirement. They have worked hard all their lives and could be spending each day on the golf course. Instead, they are giving back to the community.

Encourage others on social media to do something nice for a senior citizen that day

Think of all the silly things you post on your social media accounts. Instead of sharing another silly video, let them know National Senior Citizen Day is approaching. Encourage them to do something nice for a senior citizen.

You could even include this article to give your friends ideas on what they can do.

Interview senior citizens about their life

Think of all the historical events that the seniors in your life experienced. They were around during world wars and assassinations. They saw the invention and development of the car and the telephone. They may have lived in homes without running water or electricity.

Ask your senior friend about their life. No matter how they grew up, you're sure to hear some interesting stories. 

Help a senior in need

Do you have a senior citizen living in your community? Do they need rides to the doctor’s office? Do your senior neighbors need help with their yard or snow removal? 

Maybe the senior living in your neighborhood needs help. They might need items brought down from their attic or someone to take donations to the local Salvation Army. Even completing small tasks can be a big help. 

Help an older adult do something special

Is there something that the elderly person in your life had always wanted to do? Help them fulfill their dream. or check something off of their retirement bucket list.

Research your family tree

Do you know the names of your great grandparents? What about your great-great-grandparents? Ask the oldest adults living in your family to share stories about your ancestors. 

Researching your family tree is easier than ever. There are many online resources that make it easy to fill in the blanks on your tree. You may even be able to connect with some long lost relatives. 

Visit your parents or grandparents

The time that we have with our parents and grandparents is limited. The years go quickly, and it won’t be long before your parents have a few more grey hairs.

If you are lucky enough to have grandparents or great-grandparents, National Senior Citizen Day is a great excuse to spend time with them. 

Do Stores or Restaurants Offer Discounts on National Senior Citizens Day?

It seems as if most retailers that offer discounts for senior citizens do it all year long instead of waiting for National Senior Citizens Day in August. Here are some retailers and restaurants that offer discounts for seniors. 

Ensure you check whether the discount is still available before driving to the restaurant or checking out with your purchase. Some discounts are only for specific days or times, and some items may not be discounted because of the manufacturers’ rules.

Kohls

Seniors receive a 15% discount on their purchases at Kohls every Wednesday. However, some items may not apply for the discount.

Christopher & Banks (C.J. Banks)

Seniors aged 60 and older can receive a 10% discount every Wednesday at Christopher & Banks.

Michaels

You don’t have to wait for a specific day of the week to get a discount at Michaels. This craft store will take 10% off all your purchases (even sale items) if you are 55 or older.

Walgreens

Seniors can receive a discount once a month at Walgreens. The discount goes to shoppers 55 or older and can be obtained on the first Tuesday of every month. 

Rite Aid

Seniors 65 and older can save 20% off regular-priced items on the first Wednesday of every month. Purchases need to be made in person to receive the discount. 

AMC

AMC allows people 60 and older to purchase movie tickets at a discounted rate for most showings.

Denny’s

Are you a member of AARP? Denny’s gives members of this organization 15% off their entire check. 

Royal Caribbean 

It’s great getting a discount on your Moons Over My Hammy at Denny’s, but it’s even greater getting a deal on a Royal Caribbean cruise if you’re 55 or older. 

What Hashtags Do You Use on National Senior Citizens Day?

Are you ready to connect with like-minded people who wish to celebrate National Senior Citizens Day? Share a story or photo of how you’re celebrating, and label it with an appropriate hashtag. You can also use these hashtags to search for related content that other people and organizations have posted. 

Show others that senior citizens can be helpful, vibrant members of the community. Growing older should be celebrated instead of feared. 

Here are some hashtags to consider. You’ll quickly discover that some senior hashtags refer to the high school or college grade level instead of those 65 and older. 

#NationalSeniorCitizensDay

Are you looking for content about this honorary day in August? Search for #NationalSeniorCitizensDay on Twitter or your favorite social media platform. 

#SeniorCitizenDay

This is one of the most-used hashtags to refer to this special day of celebration in August.

#SeniorCitizensDay

Some people add an “s” to “citizen.”

#SeniorCitizensofInstagram

Are you posting a pic on Insta? Label it for others to find.

#SeniorCitizenFun

We know that growing old isn’t always fun, but there are certainly perks to living a long life. Share some of those benefits with others by using #seniorcitizenfun to label your posts.

#SeniorCitizen 

This hashtag has broad appeal, as does #seniorcitizens.

Quotes to Share on National Senior Citizens Day

Do you want to share a post on National Senior Citizens Day, but you aren’t sure what to say? Here are some quotes about aging that you might consider. 

“Aging is a life-spanning process of growth and development from birth to death. Old age is an integral part of the whole, bringing fulfilment and self-actualization. I regard aging as a triumph, a result of strength and survivorship,” by Margaret Kuhn

We love this quote that celebrates aging. Stand tall and “regard aging as a triumph.”

“Our society automatically scraps people just like old automobiles. It’s the Detroit syndrome, but the latest models are not always the best,” by Margaret Kuhn

Margaret Kuhn formed the Gray Panthers movement after she was forced to retire at 65.

“Youth longs and manhood strives, but age remembers,” by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

If you want to learn from others’ mistakes, consider the advice of the aged.

“I believe that everybody my age is an adult, while I am merely in disguise,” by Margaret Atwood

Share this quote if you don’t feel as old as you should.

“Growing old is like being increasingly punished for a crime you didn’t commit,” by Anthony Powell

This quote tries to put a humorous spin on the harder realities of aging.

“One of the delights known to age and beyond the grasp of youth is that of Not Going,” by Anthony Burgess

Do you not feel like going on that outing with your friends or family members? Use this quote to reinforce your decision.

“At my age I don’t need drugs anymore. I can get the same effect by standing up real fast,” by Jonathan Katz

We know that this might not put aging in the most favorable light, but the quote is still funny.

“Never trust anyone under eighty,” by Carol Brightman

When was the last time an eighty-year-old steered you wrong?

“Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter,” by Satchel Paige

Try to keep this optimistic view of aging. After all, you can’t do anything about it.

“I’m not interested in age. People who tell their age are silly. You’re as old as you feel,” by Elizabeth Arden

Elizabeth Arden’s real name was Florence Nightingale Graham. She founded her cosmetic empire in the late 1920s.

“My mother always used to say: ‘the older you get, the better you get, unless you’re a banana,’” by Rose Nylund from The Golden Girls

Viewers of The Golden Girls could always rely on Rose for a unique view of the world.

“To be seventy years young is sometimes far more cheerful and hopeful than to be forty years old,” by Oliver Wendell Holmes

Attitude is critical, regardless of age. 

Celebrating the Seniors in Your Life

If we are lucky, we will all be senior citizens someday. Prepare for the transition by reading healthcare books about how to stay healthy. And consider some of the long-term care decisions that you may have to make eventually. 

Use National Senior Citizen Day as a time to celebrate the elderly people in your life. Even if you’re not particularly close with them it’s still nice to acknowledge them. You never know how many more opportunities you’ll get to say thank you. 


Sources

  1. Jefferson, Robin. “Now In Its 31st Year, National Senior Citizens Day Is Perhaps More Relevant Than Ever.” Forbes. forbes.com
  2. “Proclamation 5847 of August 19, 1988 National Senior Citizens Day, 1988.” govinfo.gov
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