Communications and our elders

Technology has made us a different people. We text on the phone and do not communicate via our voices any more. I much prefer to talk on the phone or face to face. That way we can communicate our emotions and use our body to communicate our feelings as well. Texts are so impersonal. Those who prefer to text have their reasons as one woman said this morning on the TV, she did not have to know whether the person she was sending a text was ill or not. I found this statement rather sad.

This brings me to the way we communicate and treat our elders. In days gone by and still happening in other cultures, our elders were respected and allowed to use their talents even though they might be very old. The youngest grandchildren talked to their elders and respected them but also loved them and were loved in return. The elders played a part in family life and also community life.

There are many in the older generation who cannot or will not use mobile phones. They like to see their family and talk to them face to face. Here in the UK, at a certain age you retire from working life and then what? If you do not have a hobby or some kind of interest then you can stagnate and fall into depression. But what happens when you find your home too large to look after? So many older people are now in retirement homes which are generally very small and have little space for hobbies. Of course these places are secure and have emergency pull cords so the rest of the family feel that the older members are safe and so do not visit or worry about them so much. But the joy of sharing with family members is no longer there and for me that is an important part of life. Sharing with friends too is good and also important but as older people are we the same as the elders of other cultures? Do we get the respect that we deserve and the treatment by others that we deserve?

Many are happy in their retirement homes and enjoy the activities that go on there but others like me are frustrated by the lack of space to enjoy my hobbies and the lack of encouragement by others who think I am a bit weird! Should we be more aware of how different we, as the elders, all are? We all have something to offer to those younger than us but often this is pushed away. It is so easy and I have seen it done, to push Granny into a retirement bungalow and then forget about her. What has happened to our feelings of family and our love for them?

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1 thought on “Communications and our elders

  1. As a funeral celebrant I see the best and worst of family life. It’s such a privilege to hear children, grand children and even grandchildren have the courage to stand and speak of their memories, funny moments but, above all, the inspiration that they have received from their elder family member. Then, on other occasions, it is a time of recriminations, fallings out and arguing over who gets what. It’s difficult, indeed unhelpful, to generalise as to why so many older people end up in homes….but it seems such a sad way to live out your final days in this life. I greatly value the freedom to open a door or window to feel the breeze or smell the air etc….if I were to lose this freedom to be me…my life would not be worth living. John /|\

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