The World Senior Citizens Day is celebrated on 21st of August every year. It was first proclaimed on 14th of December in the year 1990, by the United Nations General Assembly. The holiday was celebrated for the first time on October 1, 1991. The day is acknowledged to raise awareness about the factors and issues affecting older people, such as deterioration with age and to examine issues that affect their lives such as abuse of elderly people. It is also a day to recognize and appreciate the contributions that older people make to society.
World Senior Citizens Day 2019
World Senior Citizen Day was observed worldwide on Wednesday, 21st August 2019. The day is dedicated to drawing world’s attention to all the health and social issues concerning the aged.
The day was observed in different ways throughout the globe. People raised awareness about the needs of the elderly in the society and also about their health and social concerns. Awareness was spread through social media and other communication platforms.
Community events were held by NGOs and other social organizations, to teach people about the health issues common in elderly people and also their prevention and treatment.
India also celebrates National Senior Citizen Day on 21st August every year. It was celebrated in many ways. Some took the elders in the family to doctors for a routine checkup while some took them along on a family trip, just to cheer them up and reaffirm their love and respect for elders.
Many people or organizations visited old age homes to interact with the elderly housed there. They listened to their concerns and tried help them in whatever way they could.
History of World Senior Citizens Day
The history of International Senior Citizens Day comes from the period of 1988. It was officially established by the former president of United States of America i.e. Ronald Reagan. He had signed the 5847 promulgation on August 19, 1988, which manifested August 21 as the National Senior Citizens Day. Ronald Reagan was the first to promulgate the first National Senior Citizens Day. The promulgation mentioned as quoted below.
“For all they have achieved throughout life and for all they continue to accomplish, we owe older citizens our thanks and a heartfelt salute. We can best demonstrate our gratitude and esteem by making sure that our communities are good places in which to mature and grow older – places in which 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”.
Why world senior citizens day is celebrated?
The main aim of observing the World Senior Citizens Day is to raise awareness of the condition of elder people and support them through the process of senescence. The day is also acknowledged for the welfare of elder persons to enroll and appreciate their achievements and involvement in the society to get promoted from their ability and knowledge.
The reason for celebrating this day is to thank and acknowledge elders for all that they have done for their children. They sacrifice their entire life in nurturing their relationships. Such a selfless service rendered throughout their life for their family deserves some importance. That is the reason why World Senior Citizen Day is celebrated. Dedicating a particular day of the year for the elders provides their families an opportunity to acknowledge their love and efforts.
The World Senior Citizens Day is an important time to remind the government about its pledges to work towards developing Goals towards helping the elder people and among other things, to end hunger and poverty for older persons and people of all ages.
Themes of World Senior Citizens Day
Celebration of World Senior Citizens Day has its own theme every year .The theme is different in the observance of the day each year.
- Theme of World Senior Citizens Day 2017 was: “Stepping into the Future: Tapping the Talents, Contributions and Participation of Older Persons in Society”.
- Theme of World Senior Citizens Day 2019 is: “The Journey to Age Equality”.
Theme of World Senior Citizens Day, 2017
The World Senior Citizens Day on 21 august 2017 was celebrated with the theme of “Stepping into the Future: Tapping the Talents, Contributions and Participation of Older Persons in Society.” This theme was all about expanding and enabling the contributions of older persons in their communities, families and societies.
It emphasize on the support of people in effective, efficient and fuller participation in old age, in accordance with strengthening and promoting the participation of older people in the aspects of cultural, social, civic, economic and political life keeping in mind the basic rights, needs and preferences of old people.
How world senior citizens day is celebrated?
Since 1998, World Senior Citizens Day is celebrated across various countries. The day is celebrated yearly all over the world to celebrate the life and accomplishments of elderly people. People enjoy celebrating World Senior Citizens Day by arranging a variety of programmes. A number of other events are also organized by the people to mark the day.
World Senior Citizens Day is a special day when people worldwide celebrate the true spirit of elderly people. It’s the day when elders get together and showcase their strength which indicates how effectively they have struggled to bring in positive energy in the world. This day is marked by grand celebration. It is a day for the grandchildren to make their grandparents and parents feel that how grateful they are for having such lovely elders.
People take efforts to thank them for their great parenting, which has shaped up their life in such a beautiful way. On World Senior Citizens Day, people try to adopt every method in which they can make their parents feel special and convey their heart feelings.
Some of the examples of events held in recent years across the world are as follows:
World Senior Citizens Day is celebrated to honor the elderly people. The event in India is celebrated in various states in the form of several activities undertaken by groups of people. The Central and State governments have been setting up measures for the welfare of such people and also to advocate for the rights of senior citizens. Concerned authorities take necessary steps to ensure elders receive the benefits they must, from the schemes.
On the day, there is a focus on the lack of facilities and government support and the measures on how they can be upgraded and improved. Apart from this, certain organizations and schools organize special events on the day with various themes to spread knowledge about the day. In schools, grandparents of children are invited where special performances are organized to pay a tribute to the seniors of our nation. Special lunch is also organized for their happiness.
United States of America
World Senior Citizens Day celebrations in USA, take place with lots of enthusiasm and gaiety. The day is observed as a time for a reunion in families, as people who are staying away from families take time out to celebrate the day with their families. Observing the day, people reflect on the invaluable role played by elders in building the character of people and in the development of the nation. On World Senior Citizen Day people of America express gratitude, love and affection and honor their elders.
World Senior Citizens Day is celebrated in Australia in the same way as in other countries around the globe. Taking opportunity from the occasion, people express gratitude for their love and affection for the elders and thank them for all their support and care.
Though the occasion is celebrated in several clubs, households and societies take initiative to organize special programs to encourage and entertain people. Various types of games and activities are organized on the day as get-together to strengthen the bond of love with elderly people. Breakfast meeting for families is a common feature of Senior Citizens Day celebration in Australia.
Taking full opportunity of the day, people honor their elders and express gratitude and affection for them. Similar to many other countries, people indulge their elders by presenting them with loads of gifts and allowing them a day of rest. People take their elders out for dinner or lunch or treat them with a relishing breakfast. People whose elders are no more, pay tribute to them by giving donations or by giving free services to others.
Several cultural organizations and clubs in Ireland organize World Senior Citizens Day programs to stress on the important role played by elders in the development of the family. Besides, children are also encouraged to pay full attention and respect their elders.
Like many countries around the world, people in South Africa also do not miss this golden opportunity to honor their elders by celebrating the World Senior Citizen’s Day. The day is celebrated in the country by marking the beautiful occasion. People express affection and love for their elders and thank them for their great guidance and support. As a tradition, children also pamper their elders by presenting gifts like flowers, neckties, gourmet gifts, cards or any other present their elders love to receive.
As World Senior Citizens Day is celebrated in line with the theme of the prevailing year, people get all the opportunity to enjoy the occasion with the friends and family. Many people in South Africa go out for fishing, picnic or just for a dinner in restaurant. Apart from private celebrations, several social and cultural societies in South Africa host World Senior Citizens Day celebrations to stress on the important role played by elderly people in building and nurturing stronger society.
New Zealand, the beautiful island country celebrates World Senior Citizens Day with much charm and enthusiasm. Just as in several countries around the world people of New Zealand celebrate the occasion by paying tribute to senior citizens and honoring them in general. People take advantage of the day to pamper their elders with flowers, handmade cards and chocolates. They spend quality time with elders by indulging in joyful activities with them and express their affection and love towards them in many ways.
World Senior Citizens Day in United Kingdom is celebrated in very much the similar way as it is celebrated in the United States. In UK too, World Senior Citizens Day is celebrated by people by honoring their elders and expressing love and affection for them by presenting popular gifts like flowers, cards, neckties and chocolates.
Several cultural societies, clubs and schools in United Kingdom organize senior get-togethers, parties and provide people an opportunity to celebrate the day. Games add joy to such celebrations.
Some more Suggestions for Celebrating World Senior Citizens Day in India
According to the population census of 2011 in India, there were around 104 million old citizens with an age of 60 years and above, out of which 51 million were males and 53 million were females. According to a report, the number is expected to increase year by year. Considering the large population of elderly people in the country, it is our utmost duty to serve them with care and affection. World Senior Citizens Day provides the best platform to show our elders how important they are to us as well as the entire community. Here are some suggestions to celebrate the day in India.
- Making a meal together is a fun experience and lets people use their intellect to get something done. Above that, they get to eat together as a family. On the day, children can cook with their grandparents and parents. The dishes will turn out to be amazing.
- People can also make a picture book of memories and present them to their elders. It is a great way to relive the old times and stay connected.
- If it’s a nice day, have a picnic. Pack up the basket and head to your favorite destination together. Or you can visit your parents or call if they don’t live nearby.
- Take a break from technology. Make an effort to spend less time absorbed in smart phones, TV or the computer and focus on spending the day together without those distractions.
- Help with chores around the house. If your elders get stuck doing all the chores around the house, today is a good time to step in and help them out.
- The simple presence of a friend or a hug from a family member can help raise happy hormones and reduce stress. Even simple eye contact can help encourage feelings of connection. So try to give lots of hugs and smiles to your elders on their day.
- Restaurants and clubs can offer special discounts to senior citizens or even organize free meals for them.
As people grow old, they begin to lose their ability to do basic everyday tasks. They begin to rely on others for help throughout the senescence. Thus, teaching children to serve the elderly is important. World Senior Citizens Day is an opportunity for our society to honor the very critical and tough job that every elder does every day i.e. “raise the next generation of citizens,”.
August 21 as Senior Citizens Day, is designed to help us remember the contributions of the elders they have given to our society and give something back to them. It is the little things that end up being the most valuable. According to recent study on Aging, 29% of adults over 67 live alone. Maintaining independence of elderly can give a big boost to empowerment and self-esteem. When elders live alone, without much social and family contact, it imposes risks on our elders; it usually takes long time to detect the signs of cognitive or physical impairment. This leads them to safety and health risks, and increases the chances of depression and other mental illness. We must live with our elders and take care of all their needs.
Of course, social interaction and happiness should happen yearly, not just on Senior Citizens Day. Each and every day is important to make our elderly people feel special.