When we get older, birthdays seem to hold increasingly less significance. We tend to focus on the significant milestones that occur in our youth, with the size of our birthday celebrations decreasing with each passing year. However, celebrating birthdays can be beneficial for people across all stages of life, and in many ways, they become even more important as we age.
Birthdays Encourage Reflection
A birthday is a celebration of life. When a senior’s birthday is recognised, they are encouraged to reflect on their past as they recognise their place in the present. Although many older adults feel a sense of melancholy when they are reminded of their age during a birthday celebration, birthday celebrations for seniors can be approached in a way that celebrates their cherished memories and accomplishments, and not just their age.
Many seniors, especially those with memory loss conditions, feel a sense of distance between their past and present. When a senior is encouraged to think about their past, they are better able to assign meaning to their life experience and revisit their place in the world to create a more meaningful present in retirement. This offers a holistic sense of identity for a senior that is vital to one’s dignity and well-being.
Celebration Makes Seniors Feel Loved
In addition to encouraging seniors to recognise their memories and accomplishments, a birthday allows seniors to recognise better and appreciate the circle of love and support that surrounds them as friends and family gather to celebrate. Loneliness plagues our senior population, so being able to gather with loved ones can help reaffirm a senior’s feelings of safety, love, and support from those around them.
Even receiving a birthday card or a congratulatory phone call from an old friend, can serve as a gentle reminder that they are not alone. This is especially beneficial for seniors with memory loss conditions, who are more likely to forget the people in their lives. Even a brief reminder that they are loved and cared for can bring joy to a senior’s day.
At Care in Midstream, every birthday is a special occasion that is celebrated with love, joy and cake!