Knocking Down The Senior Stereotypes
As our loved ones continue to age and get further into their senior years, we need to guard against stereotyping. You know, they are forgetful, they are depressed, they are cranky, they are overly dependent.
Forgetful? Depressed? Cranky? Overly dependent? We can all get that way from time to time and seniors are no exception.
Seniors have earned our respect by spending their lives building careers, raising families and serving as the pillars of our community. Maybe they are now in retirement and the kids are out of the house, but many older Americans are still vibrant and active.
Did you know that six of the nine Supreme Court Justices are 63 or older? They are not ready to slow down!
Studies by doctors associated with the Midlife in the United States project found that seniors who were active and regularly exercised their brain did as well on intelligence tests as younger people. Age, as they say, is just a number.
As caregivers, we can help by engaging seniors in activities that keep everyone sharp, such as:
- Brain games and exercises
- Social activities
- Physical activity
- Reading and continuing education
A television show that includes a forgetful older person may be good for a few laughs, but it should not be a stereotype for seniors. Caregivers and family members need to encourage their loved ones to continue being involved.
Conversation can sometimes be the greatest way to keep active. Many older people are happy to share their stories, serving as historians who help connect past, present and future. We should revel in those stories and appreciate their connection to our past and where we came from.
We are fortunate to work with seniors every day who possess experiences, knowledge, cultural relevance and wisdom not yet obtained by the younger generations. They are helping us make a better future and are a resource that should be treasured.
By empowering seniors, caregivers can make sure their loved ones enjoy their golden years by living life to its fullest. We find events not only keep seniors active, but give them a community to be a part of through activities such as:
- Book readings
- Exercise classes
- Concerts and music with dinner
- Holiday crafts and baking
- Field trips
Americans are living longer. The age of retirement continues to be stretched. And even when we settle down and stop working, our productivity should not be expected to stop. After all, we are not just getting older, we are getting better.