Tapping Into The Experiences And Wisdom Of Our Senior Citizens Benefits Everyone
Pegasus home healthcare specialists in Tujunga and elsewhere know that sharing knowledge with the elderly benefits everyone. They also know that many younger individuals are unaware of how much the older generation has to offer. Keep reading for their tips on tapping into the experiences and wisdom of our senior citizens.
Everyone accumulates experiences from the day they’re born until the day they die. Life hands them good experiences along with the bad. Some experiences they learn from, and some they don’t.
Along with experience, individuals accumulate knowledge. Most knowledge comes from their experiences. Factual knowledge, such as learning the times tables in school, comes from study.
Wisdom Resists Definition
Wisdom is one of those words that has different meanings to different people. It’s also a word that philosophers have struggled for centuries to define. They’ve generated a lot of theories and continue to argue the validity of their definitions.
Quotes on wisdom include: “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise” ~Ben Franklin. A practical definition of wisdom for today’s world is using experience and knowledge to make good decisions and judgments.
Regardless of how wisdom is defined, most older individuals have a measure of it. Despite the difficulty of describing wisdom, acquiring it is supported by biological facts. Although memory tends to fade with age, the way humans process information changes and improves.
Increased Emotional Intelligence Is A Part Of Wisdom
As people have more experiences and increase their knowledge, their minds grow and develop. As a result, seniors have more ways to solve problems. They also gain a form of “emotional intelligence” that improves their ability to make good life decisions.
Part of that is because aging allows them to use more parts of their brain. They are better able to connect past situations and circumstances to what’s happening now.
It’s easy to dismiss older adults as being out-of-date, even obsolete. They may not be computer-literate. That didn’t stop them from making advancements in the arts, medicine, and science, among other fields.
Although they functioned in a world that wasn’t high-tech, their skills and accomplishments created our so-called “information age.” Along the way, they accumulated wisdom from living with and without technology.
Seniors know how to celebrate victories as well as recover from disappointments. They know better than anyone else that nothing is permanent. Situations, people, and things change.
A person who has lived long has “seen it all.” They can give you practical advice when appropriate. They can also tell you how important humor is to a well-lived life.
If You Ask, They’ll Share Their Wisdom
Usually, all you have to do is ask. Many elders are happy to share what they’ve learned. In fact, the baby boom generation regards family stories as a more valuable inheritance than financial assets.
However, seniors often don’t volunteer to talk about their lives and experiences. Many of them have been taught not to talk about themselves. Others think they led a boring or uninteresting life.
You can overcome your senior’s reluctance, if any, by asking questions. Start with old photos or scrapbooks if those are available. Ask about the people in their lives.
Encourage elderly adults to share their stories about other family members. Then they may begin to share their own stories. When appropriate, ask open-ended questions, such as what they thought about when a specific event happened.
Ask what they were doing before, during, or after that particular event and what they learned from it. Ask what other family members said or did at that time. From general events, you can ease into personal milestones.
What was their first job? What were some of the obstacles they had to overcome? What about the work was most satisfying?
When your senior is ready to share, ask about their personal lives. What are they most proud of and why? What was their biggest disappointment and why.?
Share with them what’s going on in your life. Are you considering changing jobs? Or maybe going back to school?
Has a personal relationship fizzled? Have you outgrown your friends and want to move on? Debating about bringing a child into the world?
Your senior has wisdom to share about these and any other circumstances in your life. If you ask for their advice, they can tell you what they’ve learned. Their experiences and knowledge can give you a fresh perspective.
It’s entirely possible that they may tell you what not to do. That’s sometimes more important than suggestions of what to do. After all, who wants to make the same mistakes as those before them made?
Pegasus is a licensed Home Care Organization and a Joint Commission Accredited Home Health Care organization. Our home healthcare services in Tujunga and our other locations are customized to meet your loved one’s needs. And we’re always willing to listen and learn from those older and wiser than we are.