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Of course, the act of encouraging our loved ones’ happiness and social interaction should happen throughout the year, not just on Senior Citizens Day. According to the Administration on Aging, 28% of adults over 65 live alone; for women over age 75, the percentage jumps to 45%. Indeed, loneliness and social isolation are significant predictors not only of physical health problems but also depression and even mortality in the elderly. Some of our favorite activities for Senior Citizens Day have tangible benefits in terms of social connection and individual well-being, as well as encouraging intergenerational contact. Truly, it is the little things that end up being the most valuable – short visits and even quick calls to say hello. Start today in honor of National Senior Citizens Day, but keep carrying out these tips throughout the year and your families will be stronger and happier.
Congress and President Ronald Reagan encouraged the public recognition of our senior citizens, their wisdom, their leadership and their contributions by declaring August 21, 1988 to be the first National Senior Citizens Day. There’s never a bad time to make our loved ones feel special, and there are a lot of different ways to reap the benefits of connecting with seniors, from simple day-to-day check-ins to intergenerational family activities.

While maintaining independence can provide a big boost to self-esteem and empowerment, it also comes with risks for our older loved ones.
Conversely, even a quick friendly conversation with a stranger can increase our happiness for the day, says a recent study by the University of British Columbia. The simple presence of a friend or a hug from a family member can help raise cortisol levels and reduce stress.
Establishing a fun routine that’s specially shared between grandkids and grandparents creates a positive expectation of quality time, as well as an opportunity for families to share some of their favorite activities with one another. Interviewing senior loved ones about their memories and experiences gives them an opportunity to share wisdom and advice, and provides a unique chance to start collecting those old family stories and photos. As noted above, researchers have found that even a brief interaction – a smile, a quick conversation – can cheer people up for the day.
When seniors live alone, without much family or social contact, it can take longer to detect the warning signs of physical or cognitive impairment. Needless to say, grandchildren also benefit from having another source of advice, connection, and family history.

Her visual art has been exhibited around California, and her writing has appeared in a variety of web sites and print publications.
This can put their health and safety at risk, and increase the likelihood of depression and other mental health issues. Not only can we simply pick up the phone to talk to loved ones, we can also chat face to face with software like Skype or FaceTime. In addition to writing about older adults, she also writes for younger ones--her first novel for young adults, THE LATTE REBELLION, was published in 2011 by Flux.

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