National Senior Citizens Day is traditionally held on August 21 and while things might look a little different this year, it’s still possible to celebrate the amazing senior citizens in your community. If you’re looking for creative ways to show support and appreciation for this special group, you’ve come to the right place.
Option 1: Virtual Programs
Completely virtual activities are likely the safest way to celebrate the senior citizens in your community. Depending on your group’s tech knowledge and internet access, you may need to get creative with offerings.
- Senior Spotlight – Collect photos and videos of your senior citizen community and showcase them in an online slideshow. Send the slideshow via email or post it on your website to remind everyone of the fun you’ve had this past year. Alternatively, you could choose to highlight specific seniors and perhaps assign awards e.g. “Senior Most Likely to Kick Butt at Zumba.”
- Online exercise class – Offer a free class geared at the senior citizen community. Yoga, stretching or meditation might be popular choices.
- Send an e-card – If you’re short on time and long on seniors to celebrate, nothing beats a classic email greeting card. Be sure to thank them for being a part of your community!
- Online cooking class – While it may be tough to enjoy a meal in person right now, we can still show off our culinary skills virtually. Send out an ingredient list ahead of time and participants will be able to cook along at home.
- Offer a discount or freebie – A simple way to show appreciation or support is to team up with a local business and offer a coupon for a free coffee, snack or 10 percent discount.
- Raffle drawing – Enter everyone’s name in a raffle drawing (or have them do it themselves the next time they visit the YMCA or rec center in person), then select a number of prize winners. Hold the drawing via Facebook live or Zoom for extra excitement.
Option 2: Socially Distanced Programs
If state and local regulations allow for in-person interactions and your seniors feel comfortable participating, it maybe possible to celebrate in a more traditional way. Here are some safe ideas!
- Breakfast, lunch or snack pick-up – Put together some bagged lunches or individually wrapped ice cream cups; then invite seniors to stop by and pick up their treat during specific windows. Encourage everyone to make the pick-up brief, socially distant and safe!
- In-person yoga or stretching class – If your organization has the space, considering holding a seniors-only exercise class outdoors. Space out mats at least 6 feet apart to ensure plenty of space and airflow.
- Night at the drive-in movie – Everyone loves a movie night! Consider renting out the local drive-in movie theater for a seniors-only event. If that’s not possible, you could set up a screen and projector outdoors and encourage your community to come in cars (or set up chairs outside). To make the event really special, offer single serve cups of popcorn, boxed candy and other treats.