On August 19, 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed Proclamation 5847, declaring August 21 as National Senior Citizens Day.
Most people probably are not aware of this significant date, just as most are not aware of the senior citizens in their own lives. In this new digital age, when all things analog are unappreciated and considered old, it is unfortunate that often times the same attitude is taken toward the people that grew up generations ago.
Given the fact that, according to Data USA, residents of Richmond County are getting older and that Richmond County is considered home to many retirees, one would think that senior citizens are recognized and well-respected in the community. But as a millennial living in the community, that really isn’t the case. In fact, there seems to be an undeclared war of “baby boomers” versus “millennials.”
Millennials often view their grandparents and their “old world thinking” as the source of many problems today, and the opposite is true of baby boomers. They often see millennials as menaces to society and their “free-spirited” thinking as the cause for much of the chaos in the world today. While I can see both sides of the argument, I wish to focus on cooperation rather than competition.
My grandmother is 94 years young and she is everything to me. She is a source of great wisdom and an example of longevity and strength. I often get so focused on my own goals and aspirations that I don’t take the time out to visit her as much as I should. However, not only are millennials guilty of taking grandparents for granted, but many of their parents, who fall in the middle-age category, often view their parents more as burdens rather than assets.
It wasn’t until I got interested in my family’s ancestry that I realized what a wealth of knowledge my grandmother was and how privileged I was that she is still alive and able to share her life experiences with me.
The Hamlet Senior Center celebrates senior citizens everyday by offering many classes, programs and events. They celebrated National Senior Citizen Day by honoring Senior Citizens with a pizza party at noon Monday. The Hamlet Senior Center does a lot to support senior citizens by way of Alzheimer’s and Grief Support groups. They also offer legal aid assistance the first Wednesday of every month. They host a number of activities ranging from wheelchair volleyball to educational classes, and are proud to announce their first health fair coming up in September.
Hamlet Senior Center will be hosting “Aging Out Loud”, on September 7th, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Attendees will be able to receive free screenings, information from various vendors around the county, food, giveaways and much more. They can also enjoy the wonderful amenities of the facility by participating in shuffleboard, bocce ball, horseshoes and corn hole. Pharmacists will also be on site to administer vaccines for flu, Hepatitis, Shingles, TDAP, or Prevnar/Pneumococcal.
Nikki Sewell, the director of Hamlet Senior Center, believes that the generational gap that exists in our community can be bridged, and would like the community to know that these resources are available, not only to seniors, but them as well.
In the words of esteemed author Mark Twain, and included in the email signature of Sewell, “Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been”.
Hamlet Senior Center is located at 102 Veterans Drive in Hamlet, N.C., and it operates Monday through Friday, 8 a.m to 5 p.m., and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Please contact Nikki Sewell for further information at (910) 582-7985.