On August 19, 1988, President Ronald Reagan said, in his Presidential Proclamation, “Throughout our history, older people have achieved much for our families, our communities, and our country. That remains true today, and gives us ample reason this year to reserve a special day in honor of the senior citizens who mean so much to our land.” He added, “For all they have achieved throughout life and for all they continue to accomplish, we owe our older citizens our thanks and a heartfelt salute. We can best demonstrate our gratitude and esteem by making sure our communities are good place in which to mature and grow older.” With that proclamation, he designated August 21st to be National Senior Citizens Day.
Today is a great day to honor our Senior Citizens! Whether you are celebrating your parents, grandparents or other relatives it’s likely that you have heard stories of “walking up hill both ways” and other bits of wisdom from these family members and friends. Seniors have experienced great change during their lifetime from the advent of radio broadcasts in the home to streaming video, from no phones to smartphones and more.
It’s no surprise to many of us that seniors want to age in place. Statistics tell us that nearly 90% of older adults want to remain in their home as they age yet the CDC tells us that nearly one out of three senior suffers a fall each year. With that in mind, it’s important to maintain, and increase, safety in the home so your loved one can improve their chances of aging in place.
While there are options such as hiring a caregiver or asking friends and neighbors for help, there are some common products that can make everyday living a little easier.
- Non-slip shower/bathtub mat – Many falls happen in the shower. Help keep those feet safely on the floor by putting down a non-slip shower mat.
- Safety Bar - Put a safety bar in the shower, around the toilet, in the kitchen and around any steps or other obstacles.
- Shower Power Chair – Get one with a backrest and customizable legs to allow you to safely and securely take a shower while sitting.
- Medical Alert System - Perhaps the most essential product you can subscribe to. Whether you've fallen, you require medical assistance, or just need your neighbor to come help you up, a push of a medical alert pendant provides access to help in an emergency.
- Extended Grabber – This is an irreplaceable item that practically anybody, regardless of age, could use. Whether you've dropped something or aren't exactly tall enough, an extended grabber will help you get it by adding nearly three feet to your reach.
“Back in the day”, as they say, families often lived together or at least, lived in the same city. Now it is far more common for families to live in different cities and even different states so staying in touch is another key component for seniors. FaceTime, Skype and Facebook all offer ways for families to share pictures and face to face talk time allowing seniors to be more engaged in the lives of their children and grandchildren. If the senior citizen in your life doesn’t own a computer, a tablet or a smartphone – now might be the time to get them online.
All of these things aside, take a few minutes today to thank your older family members and friends for their contribution to our country, society, technology and most importantly, your life.