August 21st is National Senior Citizens Day. Help Celebrate. Give thanks to every senior in your community. It is a day of reflection by all American’s regardless of chronological age. The contributions that our senior citizens have given to our Nation are untouchable. The median age of the United States continues to grow and in most states the median age is over 40 years of age. Pennsylvania has over 1.9 million senior citizens over the age of 65.
There are many challenges of our aging population; chronic illness, split long distance families, decreasing finances, and the lack of healthcare financing for long term care. Our attitudes about and toward senior citizens and our actions to engage in the services for the aging population will help determine whether our senior citizens succeed and thrive in their lives or decline. As a Nation we can help shape the lives of our senior citizens in the communities they live.
Senior citizen centers, senior citizen housing, senior citizen services, senior citizen products, senior citizen activities all are matters of national safekeeping, requiring immediate and significant national attention and well-planned, far-reaching responses. Speak to your government leaders about supporting the continued financing needed for the services intended for seniors. Ask them to support increases in social security, improve and strengthen Medicare, and establish programs to finance long term care. Communities can help by focusing on wellness, nutrition and exercise programs as well as investment in improved transportation with access to care.
Will America meet the challenges of our aging population, leading by example, and protecting this precious resource? I believe we will. But we need to advocate for our senior citizens. We need to be proactive not reactive in our actions. Let’s start by honoring our senior citizens for the contributions they make to our nation and communities. The role we play is vital to not only our current senior citizens but to our youth (the senior citizens of tomorrow). For more information about programs and resources for our senior citizens contact Family Caregivers Network at 215-541-9030 or go to www.family-caregivers.com.