Our elders have so much to teach us. With a wealth of experience behind them, and new discoveries every day, if we care to listen there is so much wisdom that we can pick up and apply to our own lives. Our older citizens have seen the world change around them, our society reshape itself, and our technology completely revolutionize our daily lives. They’ve lived through times of crisis and of joy, and they’ve gotten through many challenges. Don’t assume that you can learn everything you need to know through the internet – real people with real life experience are an amazing guide in life and can give us so much insight. If there’s one thing guaranteed in life, it’s challenges – and our older friends know all about surviving and thriving in spite of those. So, where do we start with making older citizens a part of our lives and benefitting from their knowledge?
Get Active Together
More senior citizens come from a generation who were far more active in their daily lives than we are. Without video games and television, most will have passed their childhoods playing outdoors, and without the total dominance of cars, people tended to spend more time walking and making physical activity a part of their daily routines. There is overwhelming evidence that this is far better for both mental and physical wellbeing. Walking for at least half an hour outside each day helps the body to reset it’s circadian rhythms, especially in the winter months, gives the brain an oxygen boost which supports creativity and concentration, and get our bodies moving. Sadly, it can often be harder to get out when you’re elderly and have physical restrictions. So why not reconnect with an older relative or neighbour by going for a walk?You can get some much needed perspective on any problems, provide company and exercise gently together. Staying agile and active and not always choosing modern convenience when there are healthier options can be a huge benefit in your life.
Modern life is more fraught and rushed than ever, and it can often feel like real friendships are compromised on in favor of easier to maintain, fragile digital connections on social media which leave us feeling empty. Of all the friends you have on Facebook or Instagram who would really be there for you in a crisis? Befriending older people can restore you to that deeper level of friendship and understanding. Offer to help with shopping or household chores like raking up leaves outside. Introduce them to innovations like ordering prescriptions online, sourcing new reading glasses or Listen Lively hearing aids to help them out. Taking care of our relatives and neighbours is a fulfilling act in itself that has been proven to raise our moods and happiness levels, as well as making a lasting friendship which could really teach you something.
Learn Something New
It’s never too late to add a new string to your bow, and no-one knows this more than older generations. From learning to use the internet in their golden years to getting comfortable cell phones in your eighth decade — our elders can teach us how it’s never too late to embrace change and try something new!