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Celebrate Senior Citizens Day by sharing knowledge

Posted 19 August 2014 12:00 AM by Cindy Earehart Rinker

Do you know how old Ronald Reagan was when he signed into law National Senior Citizens Day on Aug. 21, 1988? He was 77!

I report that because when I read his proclamation for Senior Citizens Day, his words make it sound like he is not talking about himself. “Throughout our history, older people have achieved much for our families, our communities and our country. That remains true today and gives us ample reason this year to reserve a special day in honor of the senior citizens who mean so much to our land.”

He was right, though. It is important to honor the generations that come before us. We should learn from them - from their triumphs as well as their failures. These are the things that instruct our decisions and shape our future.

Achieving senior citizen status does not mean learning is no longer important. Many seniors are very hesitant when it comes to technology. Younger generations should take the time to get seniors up to speed. In addition to introducing elders to opportunities to enhance their lives, it is also a chance for seniors to share some wisdom with their teachers. As technology rapidly changes and reshapes the world today, it is refreshing to talk to people who grew up in homes without telephones or TVs, not to mention microwaves, DVRs or dishwashers. They can tell you about the good old days and you can tell them about the good stuff nowadays.

Senior Citizens Day is an opportunity to convince your senior friend that while technology is fun, it can also benefit them. Every senior should:

  • Have a tablet or iPad. You can do nearly everything on a tablet that you can do with a desktop computer or laptop – only you can do it anywhere in your home with the help of a Wi-Fi router. Seniors can listen to music, watch videos, share pictures and surf the Web, send email and keep up with national, state and local news and sports.
  • Use Skype or do FaceTime to communicate with family and friends. It could be to chat with family in another country or it might just be talking to a friend across town that you don’t see because you don’t drive much.  
  • Have book reading software for a tablet. It is so easy to adjust the font size and the brightness of the tablet to meet vision needs. People who may have given up reading the local newspaper can now subscribe online and forget about fighting the tiny print and the printer’s ink on your fingers.

On this Aug. 21, Senior Citizens Day, give some thought as to how you can make an impact on the lives of the seniors who are important to you. I guarantee you will learn some great things from them too!

Cindy Earehart Rinker, former editor and general manager of a community newspaper, is a marketing supervisor at Shentel.




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