August 21 is National Senior Citizen Day, so in preparation, find a way that you can show your appreciation to a senior citizen in your life, spend time with a senior, or volunteer to help the elderly in your area. Often seniors become homebound due to physical and medical impairments, and it is important both physically and mentally for them to be kept active. Take them out to get fresh air, and enjoy the time you have with them. There are numerous activities you can partake in with your senior friends, so choose what is best for their interests and ability level.
Share in Their Hobbies: Is your grandmother excellent at sewing, crocheting, or cooking? Or maybe your grandfather loves to fish, grill, or watch his favorite sports team. Nothing shows your grandparent or other senior friend that you care like sharing in their hobbies. Plus, you get to learn something new and carry on something that you can share with others!
Take Advantage of Senior Pricing: Senior discounts are quite common if you know where to look. Take your grandparent or senior friend to restaurants like Friendly’s, Applebee’s, Chili’s, and IHOP – just make sure you ask when you arrive if they will honor a senior discount.
Help them Digitize their Photos: Spend some time going through old photos and hear all of the stories behind them all while you digitize them to save them for generations to come. This is also a great time to reprint any photos, make larger prints, and even teach Grandma or Grandpa how to use websites like Shutterfly or order prints from their local CVS or Walgreens.
Go Fishing: Just a simple fishing outing is enough to brighten a senior’s day. You could even rent fishing equipment, head to a local pond or river, and see what you catch. Bring chairs and snacks, and simply enjoy the time talking and catching up.
Take a Stroll on the Beach: The boardwalk at Sunken Meadow is a great place to bring a senior and get a little exercise in. The boardwalk is dotted with benches, making it perfect for a less-mobile person who may need to stop and rest.
Board Games and Cards: If you are thinking of the other “Go Fish,” many less active seniors also enjoy a good game of cards, and can teach you older games that you may not have learned. Board games are also a good bet here, but stick to the classics – Scrabble, Monopoly, and Chess are all games that will test their mental acuity and help keep their minds sharp.
See a Movie: You can likely also dip into senior discounts when you bring your grandparent or senior friend to the movies. Pick something that won’t be too outrageous for them (unless you know they like that sort of thing), and show up early to get good seats without having to climb too many steps.
Take Your Talents to a Nursing Home: Maybe you don’t have any seniors in your life – instead, cheer up the elderly by going to a local nursing home and spending time with seniors who may not have many visitors. If you are musically talented, share your music with them, or perhaps lead an arts and crafts class. Even if you cannot think of a particular talent, what is truly important is spending time with a person and having a conversation. Everyone likes to talk about the good old days, so help out by pulling up a chair and lending an ear.