Everyone is aware of the common holidays like Memorial Day, Labor Day, Halloween and Thanksgiving. However, throughout the year, there are also holiday observances specifically for seniors. Many of these focus on senior nutrition and fitness. Here is a list of some of these holidays, by month, in case you and your family want to make note and do something special to commemorate. Consider creating a new tradition.
February is American Heart Month. Since heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women, it makes sense to dedicate a month to keeping our hearts healthy. Making the right choices is known to prevent heart disease. It is recommended you encourage your loved ones to make small changes this month to improve their heart health. Use spices instead of salt to season your food. Make physical activity a part of your day every day to form a healthy habit. Wear the color red to symbolize that you are celebrating American Heart Month.
National Nutrition Month has been celebrated in March since 1980. The organizers suggest you think about how, when, why and where you eat, not just what you eat. Realize that no one diet is perfect for everyone. You must eat what is best for your personal health. Also, try to be mindful when you eat. Enjoy the flavor of the food. Take your time to enjoy the meal.
In 1963, President John F. Kennedy designated May as Senior Citizens Month. It has since been renamed Older Americans Month and is intended to honor the contributions of seniors in making a positive impact in our communities and the country. The theme for 2016 is "Blaze a Trail." Suggested activities based on previous celebrations are:
- Creating a community garden
- Cooking with multiple generations
- Dancing for lifelong fitness and recreation
- Education programs for lifelong learning
- Photography to emphasize images of aging
- Volunteer recognition of those that make a difference
National Senior Health and Fitness Day is also celebrated in May. This year, the 23rd annual celebration will occur on Wednesday May 25th and the theme is "Improve Your Health for a Better Self!" Organizers anticipate 100,000 older adults will participate. The goal is to promote keeping older Americans healthy and fit. Many locations will hold an event that day. If you are interested in participating, look for an event at one of the following locations in your town:
- Health Clubs
- Places of Worship
- Parks and Recreation Departments
- Senior Centers
- Retirement Communities
- Government Agencies of Aging
In September, it is time to celebrate Healthy Aging which focuses on the positive aspects of aging. Consider trying one of the following suggestions to reinvent yourself and celebrate Healthy Aging Month.
- Don't act your age. Instead pick your favorite year and act that age instead.
- Surround yourself with energetic, happy friends.
- Smile often. Research indicates people who smile more are happier.
- Socialize by calling a friend or relative. Or consider volunteering.
- If you haven't been to the doctor in a while, schedule an appointment. Get a thorough checkup and follow the advice of your doctor.
- Learn something new. If you have always wanted to play an instrument or create art, sign up for a class now.
President Barack Obama declared November National Family Caregivers Month in 2015 to put the focus on making sure caregivers have the support they need. This allows them to take care of themselves and their loved one. The theme for 2016 hasn't been announced yet. In 2015 the theme was "Respite" which emphasized ensuring the caregivers avoided chronic stress.
Finally, November 8-14th is National Home Care Aide Week. This week is intended to allow families the opportunity to recognize the difference Home Care Aides makes in the lives of their families.
If you have a senior loved one, consider celebrating the above holidays in the upcoming year. If you are in need a home care service, contact us.