Oct. 1 is the “International Day for Older Persons” … nicknamed Senior Awareness Day.
This holiday was established in 1990 by the United Nations General Assembly. Many key factors were responsible for the creation of this holiday. One was the awareness of the phenomenal increase in the number people living longer.
Between 1950-2010, worldwide life expectancy increased from 46 years to 68 years. In 2019 there were 703 million persons aged 65 and older. This number is projected to more than double over the next 30 years.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau there are now more than 54 million adults in American who are considered senior citizens which is approximately 16.5 percent of the nation’s population. It is estimated that number will rise to 86.7 million, or about 20 percent of the country’s population, within the next 30 years. It is becoming a major national concern as to how to safeguard and care for these older Americans.
It is easy for us younger citizens to become frustrated and impatient with the slowness of the senior citizens 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.
A personal example is, I plan on writing until the day I die as a way to educate and inspire my readers. Yet I am frustrated that my next Aging Successfully book is still not finished.
The majority of seniors have lived productive lives and they desire to continue doing so. Just because their bodies have slowed down does not necessarily mean their minds have also. (Only 2 to 5 percent of the senior population suffers from dementia, which I will discuss in some future column.)
We can learn much from these people and I propose that we change Senior Awareness Day to Senior Appreciation Day. It was this generation which created our modern day society, and invented the wonderful machines we take for granted. These seniors worked hard to make life easier and healthier for the rest of us.
Who are the senior citizens in your life? What have they accomplished? How have they enriched your life and the lives of others? With good senior role models our personal goals can become more attainable.
One day each of us will be elderly ourselves and our bodies, if not our minds, will slow down. It is my opinion that on Oct. 1 — and throughout the upcoming holiday season — we should say thank you to all of the seniors in our lives and tell them how much we appreciate 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.
Send an email and share with us about the senior citizens in your life. I personally respond to each and every email. email@example.com.
Crystal Linn is a multi-published author and an award-winning poet. When not writing, or teaching workshops, she enjoys reading a good mystery, hiking, and sailing with friends and family. See crystallinn.com.