Let’s Celebrate our Older Seniors this National Seniors Day

October 1 is National Seniors Day in Canada.  Although I would technically be described as a senior myself,  I am referring to that generation born in the first decades of the last century.  They have come to be known as the Great Generation.

It’s a day we can acknowledge the life-long contributions our nation’s seniors have made to their families, workplaces, and communities, and the important roles they play in society overall.

Show your respect and gratitude

Each of us has at least one older senior who has made an impact on our lives. They could be our parents, neighbours, volunteers, or other loved ones – individuals who have become our role models.

It’s easy to show your respect and gratitude.  Spend some time over coffee and have a good conversation with them.  I’m sure I’ve heard some of my parents’ stories a gazillion times, but a well-placed question can steer them in a new direction and you could be surprised.

I once asked my late father how many countries he’d been to.  This topic led to accounts of his time in the war (which he had never spoken about before)  and reminisces about growing up with his parents – my grandparents – who died before I was born.

I wish I would have recorded that conversation as he passed away not too long after.

How can you thank a senior in your life?

Many older seniors don’t go out often and may be in a home with some level of care.  Here are a few ways you can say “thank-you.”

  • Take them out for a meal – older seniors love to go out for breakfast or lunch, and it breaks up their day.
  • Go for a leisurely stroll at a nearby park. 
  • Treat them to a favourite activity.  They might like to take in a movie or attend a local event.
  • Cook an old family recipe together and learn special tips and techniques from someone who has been making it for years.  Relive favourite family food-related memories.
  • A visit to play cards and have a cup of tea and a chat is always appreciated.
  • If they have a fondness for young children (many do) take them to see the youngsters in your family participate in a sporting event or concert.

If you don’t have an older relative near you why not volunteer or visit a senior’s centre.  You’re guaranteed to make new friends who can probably teach you a thing or two about life and share a few stories.

Relive history

It’s important to remember that our elders are a living connection to history – people and experiences. 

Learning about your family history can give you insight into who your ancestors were, where your family came from and if that story about your weird Uncle Albert is really true.

Take this opportunity to ask where your elder was during important historical events – you might be amazed.

Related:  7 Life Lessons From Those Who Have Lived it

We take our technology for granted these days but our elders have experienced the beginnings and grown up with a lot of changes.

People who will turn 80 in 2020 were:

  • 7 years old when the transistor radio was invented
  • 11 when the first colour television broadcasted
  • 25 when it became possible to dial long-distance with the help of an operator
  • 26 when the hand-held calculator was invented
  • 27 when the first consumer microwave ove became available
  • 37 when personal computers became widely available
  • 40 when VHS became standard format for home video recording
  • 43 when audio CDs first hit the mrket
  • 55 when Amazon.com opened for business
  • 61 when the iPod was first released

(thankyou Twitter for this list)

Final thoughts

National Seniors Day is important because it formally recognizes the importance of the contributions seniors have made in shaping our nation.

Their contributions to our society provide benefits for us all.

Join in the celebration of our older adults across Canada – whether a parent, neighbour, or a friend.

They deserve our appreciation.

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