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National Senior Citizens Day

Today, August 21, is National Senior Citizens Day! It is a great day to think about all of your beloved seniors – how much they have impacted your life and what you can do to make their day a little brighter.

Here is some good news about seniors and those who love them, to start the celebration!

  1. A nursing home in Washington has come up with a creative way to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association – residents recreate iconic images for a calendar. Residents mimic movie posters, such as those for Blues Brothers, Elf, or Wayne’s World. Or, residents can mimic a famous photograph of a world leader, such as Winston Churchill or Queen Elizabeth. The residents have a blast dressing up and being someone else; the residents’ families have a lasting memory of their loved one; and all of the profits go to help find a cure for Alzheimer’s! Great idea!
  1. A novel idea has been invented to allow seniors to be able to hug their loved ones during the pandemic – a hug curtain! A man from the UK has been deemed the inventor of this device. It is a plastic curtain with arm sleeves on each side. This allows a senior to stand on one side of the curtain and a loved one on the other. They can slide their arms in their respective plastic arms sleeves that are attached to the plastic curtain. Then, hug! This may not seem like a lot, but it sure means a lot to those seniors in isolation that haven’t been able to hug their loved ones in months. If you run a nursing home, take note! This could be a great solution for your facility.
  1. Jeffrey Wall, a 15-year old young man, has been helping seniors stay active through karate. Wall, who has already been inducted into the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame, started giving seniors at a nearby nursing home karate lessons last fall. Then, COVID-19 crashed down. Knowing his students would be disappointed to miss lessons, Wall started a YouTube channel, Golden Age Karate, for the lessons. Now, seniors all over the country can take up this awesome sport that also teaches valuable self-protection skills. It’s never too late to try something new!
  1. What would you do to reunite with your beloved senior during the pandemic? After international flights were cancelled, Juan Manuel Ballestro decided to sail solo from Portugal to Argentina to be with his elderly parents. Understandably, Juan encountered problems along the way – storms, closed ports, and a food and fuel shortage. However, thinking about being reunited with his 90-year-old father and 82-year-old mother kept him going. He also had some close encounters with the animal kingdom, including a pod of dolphins who kept him company off and on for almost 2,000 miles. Juan literally crossed the ocean and risked his life to be with his aging parents.
  1. Did you ever have a pen pal as a child? Remember the excitement you had when you opened up the mailbox and there was a letter from your pen pal? A nursing home in North Carolina has revived the tradition. After the pandemic hit and the nursing home had to close its doors to visitors, staff noticed that residents were saddened by the loss of communicating with loved ones. To battle the loneliness, staff helped residents post signs on social media asking for pen pals for the residents. The sign was held by the resident and gives information about the resident’s favorite hobbies or interests. Residents have since received many letters, including letters from folks in Germany, New Zealand, and various African countries.

In the swarm of the seemingly endless media reports of negative or depressing news, it is nice to take a look at the heart-warming stories that are around us every day, if we just look hard enough. Hopefully these stories have inspired you to find a way to make the world a better place, or simply find a way to connect to a senior in your community. Happy National Senior Citizens Day!

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