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Senior Citizens' Day, Aug. 21 Honors the Elderly

This year, National Senior Citizens' Day has arrived on Tuesday, with Americans everywhere honoring older members of society.

elderly
(L-R) Anna Lewis, 72, Barbara Owen, 89, and Arlene Keith, 79, converse over soft drinks at the West Liberty Pharmacy in West Liberty, Iowa July 8, 2011. |

Each year on Aug. 21, people take time to appreciate any older person who is either at home, in their community, or within their family.

The holiday began in August of 1988, when President Ronald Reagan introduced National Senior Citizens' Day as a means to change the way the elderly are regarded.

Deemed an official holiday by Congress, National Senior Citizens' Day celebrates the contributions of older adults in society, and provides an opportunity to acknowledge and promote awareness for their unique contributions.

"For all they have achieved throughout life and for all they continue to accomplish, we owe older citizens our thanks and a heartfelt salute," said Reagan while discussing National Senior Citizens' Day.

"We can best demonstrate our gratitude and esteem by making sure … 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," the president added.

On National Senior Citizens' Day, Americans are encouraged to help their elderly neighbors with a chore or volunteer at a senior center, all while showing gratitude for the older members of our society.

There are many ways to celebrate on Tuesday, including simple behaviors to show an older person that you care. For instance, this National Senior Citizens' Day, show your support for an older person with a positive attitude. Invite an older family member over for dinner and offer meaningful ways for them to contribute.

Also, it is important that older loved ones be an active participant in their long-term healthcare needs. Moreover, many senior citizens prefer to remain at home as long as possible, and a good way to contribute on National Senior Citizens' Day is to provide research tools and resources to enable them to stay home as long as they can toward the twilight of their lives.

In addition to Tuesday's National Senior Citizens' Day, Americans are also celebrating National Spumoni Day. The cold, creamy Italian dessert is a favorite with people everywhere, and consists of several layers of different flavored ice cream and topped with whipped cream. The dessert can also be topped with nuts, fruit, and candy.

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