“Older persons make wide-ranging contributions to economic and social development. However, discrimination and social exclusion persist. We must overcome this bias in order to ensure a socially and economically active, secure and healthy ageing population.”

– United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

5 Ways to Celebrate National Seniors Day – October 1!

National Seniors Day was established in 2010 to recognize and pay tribute to the seniors who have helped build our country and make valuable contributions to Canadian communities, workplaces and society.

Today is a reminder that not all experiences and information can be read on a smart phone or taught on a short video tutorial. With one in seven Canadians being over the age of 65, it’s important to remember that our elders are a living connection to history, people and experiences. Today, spend some time with the senior in your life – whether it’s a family member, neighbour or a new friend – appreciate their experiences and learn. Here are some tips to help you celebrate National Seniors Day:

Visit or volunteer at a senior’s center

When you volunteer or visit a senior’s center you are guaranteed to make new friends. While they may not be your age, they can probably teach you a thing or two about life and share a few stories.

Learn about your family’s history

Learning about your family history can give you valuable insight into who your ancestors are, where your family came from and if that mysterious story about your extended family is true. Take the opportunity to ask where your family was during important historical events and if any relatives were directly involved – you might be surprised.

Call a grandparent or elder

In a world where tweets, likes and snaps reign, we can forget how meaningful a phone call can be. Phoning your grandparents or family friends can be a great way to let them know how much you appreciate them.

Encourage schools and students to get involved

Having students spend time with the elderly creates a sense that they are linked to past events and will help them develop a sense of time and realize they are part of history in the making.

Learn a recipe from a senior

Many of us have recipes that have been handed down from family member to family member, often on hand written cards. Instead of relying on someone else’s bad handwriting, why not spend the afternoon in the kitchen with someone who’s been making it for years? Learn special techniques, tips and tricks and relive favourite family food-related memories.