As people get older and they start to lose bodily strength and other capabilities, they start to feel left-over. It’s hard for anyone to accept that they are no longer at the centre of everything, and this feeling is usually compounded by their children and grandchildren. This is ever truer in the 21st century when the generational gap has become wider than ever before thanks to the advances in technology we have seen in the last 30 years alone.
It is important to remember however that these elders are precisely the people who spent their entire lives working hard so that our generation, and our parents’ generation, could have the comforts we have today. Thus, it is the duty of every child and grandchild to care for their elders and make them feel special. Here are a few ideas as to how you can make them feel appreciated again:
Take them Someplace Special
Ever heard your grandma speak dreamily about where she and grandpa had their first date? Ever heard your grandfather boast about golf tours he has been on and the cups he has won? If you have the money and the time, take your grandparent/s somewhere special that will bring back fond memories for them.
For instance, if your grandmother won’t shut up about the house she was born in, see if you can find out who lives there now and make a day out of taking her there to see it. Most people will be happy to accommodate you, as long as you have some proof of your claim. As for your golf-crazy granddaddy, he might like to revisit the great links he played on so take a few New Zealand golf tours staggered over three months or so.
Lend an Ear to Yesteryear
Elders love to reminisce. This is partly biological, as their memories worsen over time and therefore their strongest memories are of times before they turned 40. In addition, with all the changes happening around them, they are more than likely to hearken back to earlier times when life was ‘simpler.’ In truth, life is just as difficult or simple now as then, but the effect of romantic memorialisation of the past renders it in rosy colours to adults. So every week or so, set aside a day (and perhaps lots of patience) to spend as much time as possible listening to their tales or yore. You can also dedicate a few minutes each day to listen to them intently and who knows? You may even learn something.