With chillier days and nights drawing in there’s nothing nicer than spending time surrounded by friends and family — preferably with a chocolate in hand!
However, autumn and winter can be very isolating for the older generations. As they stay indoors to keep warm they don’t see as many people as they might do ordinarily. Therefore, it’s important for younger generations to pop in and visit the seniors in their lives.
Here are just a few of the benefits that come from building a relationship with seniors — of course, there are many others, and you should feel free to share them in the comments below.
Wisdom and Life Experience
The elderly have lived through a lot and have a wealth of knowledge to share. They can offer valuable insights and advice based on their experiences. With such wisdom at hand it would be wrong to not learn from these experienced elders.
Stories and Anecdotes
They often have fascinating stories from their youth that can be both entertaining and enlightening. Remember though that these stories won’t make it into the history books so try and record them for future generations.
Perspective on Aging
Spending time with the elderly can give us a more realistic view of aging and help us appreciate the different stages of life. We will not only feel more grateful for the lives we have, but also pray to have a long life so that we, too, can get to share our own tales and anecdotes with future generations.
Loneliness can be a significant issue for older individuals, and your companionship can provide them with much-needed social interaction and emotional support. There have been numerous studies that have backed up the importance of community with aging well. Therefore, by being a part of this community, you will reap the rewards of spending time with older people.
If you consider that today many people use the internet as a source of information, these living fonts of wisdom and experience can teach you a thing or two about skills or hobbies that might have fallen out of fashion but are still incredibly valuable.
Sense of History
They can provide a personal connection to historical events and eras that we might only read about in books. By listening to their tales we can place an even greater social dimension to events that took place.
And to make sure you can make the most of your time together, here are some top tips to make the visit a real joy:
You might be surprised at the wealth of knowledge that can be shared over a plate of cookies or a good cup of tea. It’s therefore a lovely idea to bring something you know the senior will like to munch on while you chat away.
Learn the art of slow pacing
They’ve had a lifetime of experience, so don’t be in a hurry. Savor the moments, even if they involve slow strolls and leisurely conversations.
Embrace technology (with patience)
Be prepared, just in case you have to explain that Facebook is not a literal book, and that Google isn’t just a funny word. You’ll be their tech guru in no time and open up the digital world to them so they can keep connected and part of society. (On the other hand, there are many tech pioneers among today’s older generations, so your senior friend or family member may be more tech savvy than you!)
Master the art of nodding and smiling
Sometimes, it’s best to let them reminisce, even if you’ve heard the story a dozen times. It makes them happy, and as a bonus you can practice patience, just as they probably had to be patient with you many times over the years.
Appreciate the fashion wisdom
They may not be rocking the latest trends, but they have a sense of style that transcends generations. Embrace the vintage and take inspiration for your own closet.
Share a laugh
Laughter is a universal language, and humor can bridge any generation gap. A good joke or a funny story can break the ice and create a bond.