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Treating the elderly with respect

Life is in seasons and the mere fact that we have an older generation among us proves that in no small measure. They are a part of us and would remain a part of the community. We wouldn't cease to have them around as parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, neighbors, and friends. And like old wine, we can confidently say they get better as the years go by. These older folks have a bank full of life's experiences that money cannot buy, and from them, we'd be wise to glean wisdom better than silver and gold. It is never good to be unkind to anyone, most especially the elderly people whom we ought to cherish and adore. We need to treat the elderly with respect and dignity. It is sad, however, that the manners of several people in this regard are appalling. Our generation of youths treat the elderly with contempt and disdain simply because their bodies and minds are failing them; they abandon them as an object of care to nursing facilities and senior care homes. How would we feel, if people disrespected or neglected us just because gray hair lined our temples, or because of wrinkles sitting on the cheeks? Bad! Isn't it? This calls for us to apply the golden rule when relating with elders. We should remember that we won't always remain young and what goes around would definitely come back around. Life is a cycle. These older ones are faced with the realization and loss of their independence and worse, they need to depend on someone else to do what they used to easily do on their own without requiring assistance. Already, the process is painful and we could learn to embrace, appreciate and respect them as they go through this phase instead of treating them with utter disregard. Perhaps, we forget that these elders were one time young and happening and have had their own time of youthful indiscretions. The stories they have to tell will not only bring intrigues, they will also educate us. They have great wisdom to impart and contribute to society in an account of their life histories. This generation of youth must learn the importance of listening and spending quality time with them. It's important to remember to be not only considerate but also polite to them. The habits of older people are being spoken about as if they are not there; they are yelled at for repeating words or forgetting word and names. This should be curbed. With them, our patience will be tried and perfected. Providing even the smallest assistance may help make their day a little easier. A simple "hello" on the street, "excuse me" as you walk by, offering your seat on the train or bus, opening the door, reaching out the shelves to pick items in the store, pushing their wheelchairs, or offering to cross the road with them is all part of respect and thoughtfulness towards them. When we know they are abused, it is our obligation to report. A lot of elders in facilities reportedly are neglected or overlooked by overworked hospital and nursing home staff. A once-a-month visit to the senior care home to spend time with them is a splendid idea since they often feel isolated because they aren't active, and going out isn't as easy as it used to be. Some of them are in a depression and need just a little good time. Pick them flowers; get classical music, photo albums, and other important stuff to make them happy. Our responsibility is to give them the support they need to help them live the rest of their lives peacefully. Having exemplified this culture, when the inevitable happens, when we find ourselves in the elderly circle of the community, we will be assured that we'd always be valued. No matter what you do in life, who you become, where you live, or what you are worth—our elders will always love us unconditionally. It is true they might have disappointed us in the way they lived their lives or in what they did or didn’t for us, yet they need our unconditional love, for love is not love when the going is good alone. The mere presence of our elders gives us hope and strength to keep calm and carry on with whatever challenges life throws at us.

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