Aging Successfully: Senior appreciation and thank yous

  • Wednesday, November 27, 2019 1:30am
  • Opinion

According to the United Nations, one out of every 10 persons is now 60 years old or older. By the year 2050, one out of every five persons will be 60 years old or older.

In 1990 the United Nations General Assembly officially created a new holiday: the International Day for the Elderly, also known as the “International Day for Older Persons.” It is celebrated each year on October 1st.

This new holiday was encouraged by the United Nations Assembly on Aging which itself was formed in 1982 with the purpose of exploring the needs of the elderly in the world, and of meeting those needs. Obviously, the senior citizen population is of great concern for the nations of the world.

For this year, October has passed yet we can mark our calendars to celebrate the International Day for the Elderly next year in 2020.

However, we still have Thanksgiving and Christmas this year in which we can honor the elderly in our lives.

It is easy for us younger citizens to become frustrated and impatient with the slowness of the seniors around us. It is even more frustrating for them as they must struggle with their aging bodies while remembering the many good things they were able to accomplish in the past. They long for agile bodies and quick minds, and the ability to accomplish even more.

Who are the senior citizens in your life? What have they accomplished? How have they enriched your life and the lives of others?

Ross Hamilton, a well-known photographer who is now in his 70s, still produces the annual peninsula calendar. Ross is now legally blind yet he continues to encourage and mentor younger photographers. All of those photographs will enrich our lives for many generations yet to come.

John Zuerner’s music career began with him playing the oboe in the ninth grade. Later, while in the military, he played in the Navy band and studied at the Naval School of Music. As an adult, John had a long and fulfilling career in the newspaper industry, mainly with the San Francisco Chronicle, and as a professional musician. He even played with the jazz band Stardust. Now, at the age of 83, he continues to perform as often as he can, even with Stardust on occasion. In addition, John is currently re-establishing a saxophone quartet and creating a new flute quartet.

Seniors like Ross, John, and many others are an inspiration to us. It is my personal goal to continue writing words of encouragement until the day I die as it has always been my passion to inform and to inspire others. With good senior role models our future goals become more attainable.

One day each of us will be elderly ourselves and our bodies, if not our minds, will slow down. This holiday season let’s all take an extra minute or two and tell the seniors in our lives how much we appreciate them – how we are thankful for them – and their contributions to making our world a better place.

In addition, let’s make a plan to mindfully thank our seniors on a regular basis throughout the year.

Email me ( and tell us about the special senior citizens in your life.

Crystal Linn is a multi-published author and an award winning poet. When not writing, or teaching workshops, Crystal enjoys reading a good mystery, hiking, and sailing with friends and family.

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