Senior citizens account for a significant percentage of the overall population. Estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau released in 2020 indicate the nation’s 65-and-older population had grown by more than one-third over the preceding decade. By 2050, the number of senior citizens is expected to be close to 90 million. As of 2021, Statistics Canada reported there were roughly 7.1 million persons age 65 and older living in Canada.

People are living longer than ever, and as individuals age, the demand for senior services continues to grow – as does the need to be patient and respect the elderly. There are many ways to show seniors just how much they’re appreciated.

1. Help with chores. Lend a hand with chores around the house that may have grown difficult for seniors. This can include mowing the lawn, weeding garden beds, shoveling snow, raking leaves, or even taking the garbage pails in and out on collection days.

2. Visit more often. Frequent visits are one of the simplest ways to show seniors you care. Whether seniors live in a private home or managed care facility, visitors brighten their days, especially if they no longer get out and about as frequently as they once did. Spending time together and sharing stories can bring smiles to the faces of older adults.

3. Plan activities with seniors in mind. When organizing parties and special events, consider the needs of seniors on the guest list. Add music from their era to playlists or DJ requests. Seat seniors with mobility issues near exits and restrooms. Make sure to arrange for photos with the guest of honor to keep family history alive.

4. Thank seniors. Find any reason to thank a senior. Perhaps someone served in the military or volunteered their time with children. Celebrate accomplishments big and small with a simple “thank you.”

5. Prepare a meal. Invite a special senior over for a home-cooked meal with the family. Make it a regular occurrence on the calendar. If he or she cannot get out easily, bring a hot meal over to his or her place, instead.

Simple gestures of gratitude and appreciation can brighten a senior’s day and let that person know he or she has not been forgotten.

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