The Vital Role of the Elderly in shaping the future of People Around Them

Life expectancy has increased during recent decades, increasing the elderly’s presence in society. Nowadays, the media’s discussions mostly revolve around the burden of the elderly and the negative changes happening during this period. However, aging is a common phenomenon that we are all going to experience sooner or later. Old age is one of the stages of human development, unlike those who consider it the end of life, it is the beginning of a new chapter, and it can be regarded as one of the most vibrant stages of life. In today’s article, we will discuss the role of the elderly in the family and their effect on our interactions.

The Value of Aging

Aging should not be considered a tragedy, and nobody should feel sorry for being old. It is a great mistake to see old age synonymous with weakness and body degeneration. Although some natural changes happen during this period of life, and the person might not have the vigour of his/her younger years, it is still a period to enjoy.

Some people spend their golden years filled with concern and regret, and these sensations are primarily due to ignorance or lack of accurate information about old age. Aging is the period of harvesting the fruits of life, in which a person discovers the result of their efforts and activities in full. Hence, it is a period of enjoyment and happiness due to the experiences one has gathered during younger years.

a senior who is hopeful and she is smiling

Some seniors might be disabled and feel excluded from their families and society. But the reality is that they have much to offer, and they can still impart their knowledge and experiences to younger generations. Many of these people are trustworthy and reliable, a source of inspiration for the young generation.

The methods seniors use to resolve youth conflicts are valuable and essential. The elderly should be considered the blessings of life since they can help both their families and societies.

The Benefits of Aging

Old age has benefits, both individually and socially. Some of the benefits of old age are as follows: 

  • Feelings of maturity 
  • Being valued in the family
  • Independence
  • Being respected among the community
  • Tolerance for issues 
  • Having lots of leisure time 
  • Opportunities to take care of and evaluate oneself
  • Being consulted on big disputes

The Role of the Elderly as Touchstones of Life

The elderly are simply more experienced, resulting from what they have seen, heard, and experienced throughout their lives. They can act as role models, and the youth consider them as touchstones and measure everything based on their unique experiences.

The Role of the Elderly as Sources of Vitality and Hope

The elderly are playing drums with family members

The influence of the elderly in the family is undeniable. An active, self-reliant, and happy older person strengthens the emotional relationships between family members. The elderly are always a safe emotional and psychological refuge for young people. Furthermore, their help promotes mental health, self-confidence, and the feeling of hope and motivation among other family members. The elderly can also expand interpersonal and social relationships among family members.

The Role of the Elderly as Sources of Experience

In a typical and balanced family, the elderly play the role of guardian, whose job is to guide and set the family’s general policy. Children follow them, learn how to behave, and use their experiences to achieve peace and success in life. They mainly resolve disputes and their experiences are valuable for the youth to achieve success in life. No one can consider themselves in a higher position than the elderly due to having more knowledge or a higher university degree since nothing can replace the wealth of experience the elderly possess.

The elderly have often lived through wars and have seen various hardships during their youth. Hence, they can recount past stories and help the youth realize that life has ups and downs, solved by determination and hard work. The elderly can act as a mentor and encourage the youth to chase their dreams.

The Roles of the Youth Toward the Elderly

For young people to communicate properly and well with the elderly, they must be familiar with their duties and perform them in the best possible way. Accepting and tolerating the elderly and caring for them with patience are essential characteristics of a healthy and normal family. Benefiting from their experiences and solving their problems are among the responsibilities of young people. We owe our lives to the elderly who have spent their youth raising and protecting us, so we must help them in their senior years.

Respect for the elderly at any age is essential. It makes them proud of their precious savings and not afraid to share their experiences with the new generation. Constant communication with the elderly helps to maintain their physical and mental health.

One of our first roles toward seniors is to create opportunities for the elderly to express themselves. It increases their sense of worth and usefulness and helps improve their mental health. In addition, when an older person realizes others care for him, they become more motivated to live and serve. Hence, they become more active in the community and accelerate the community’s growth.

Generation Gap

The gap between the young and the old is one of the most pressing issues of our time. In short, the elderly show their opposition to the new generation through pessimism, humiliation, and sometimes hostility and attacks. Meanwhile, the youth’s opposition to them manifests itself in resistance and rebellion against their rulings and prohibitions. In conclusion, the modernity of the young, on the one hand, and the adherence of the elderly to the traditions, on the other, provide the ground for conflicts.

An elderly is reading a book to his grandchildren

Therefore, having a calm and peaceful environment depends on the young working with the elderly. Understanding the causes of differences, and the nature of the two generations and choosing the right way to bring the two closer to each other, are also very useful in creating a calm and clear environment.

a young woman is communicating with the elderly.

The bottom line is 

The elderly are a blessing to society. Above all, they have sacrificed their youth for us, and now we must care for them.
Many of the youth’s failures are due to ignorance and lack of experience, and they cannot resolve them unless they leave their pride aside and ask for guidance. It is essential to recognize the valuable role seniors play in our lives.

 

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Source nursenextdoor amadaseniorcare
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Robert
Robert
1 year ago

No one knows more than our seniors. It is critical to benefit from their experience and wisdom. But I wish it wasn’t so hard for young people to communicate with them. I have to say. The younger generation is pretty impatient. You talk to them for 2 minutes, and they start to get bored and tell you they don’t have time for lectures. The age gap is just huge. There’s no way to convince them that they need to hear their seniors out. They work for two days and think they have figured it all out. They think that everything should be experienced directly and are very unlikely to take advice from the people who have seen more. Society wouldn’t be like this if they could listen.

Liliane
Liliane
Reply to  Robert
5 months ago

That’s a pity. I guess the young are the losers if they treat the elderly like that. They would lose a wealth of experience and wisdom the seniors are ready to offer. Yet, I guess the elderly can better fill this gap using their understanding of life and people. They know well enough to treat each character, so they may break this ice and create intimacy by participating in activities the younger generation is into, such as music, playing games, etc.

Noah
Noah
6 months ago

Well, they are the salt of the earth. As someone her parents live with, I advocate for their unconditional love, patience, humour, comfort, life lessons and most importantly, ” homemade cookies.” In my experience, grannies play a significant part in bringing up children. It’s been a decade since my parents moved in with us, and I should say they are the most valuable asset every family can have. I’m so grateful my husband appreciated them.

Charlotte
Charlotte
Reply to  Noah
6 months ago

I agree with you. I’m a single parent and mother of two children. I don’t know what could have happened to me without the presence of my mom. She is a tolerant woman who takes care of my children when I’m at work. She is not simply a grandma; she is their second mother! She tells them stories, makes delicious cookies, helps them with school, and takes care of them even better than me. The point is that sometimes we forget how valuable they are and how we owe our lives to them.

Mary
Mary
Reply to  Noah
5 months ago

Lucky you! My husband’s mum moved in with us a month ago, and she’s driving me crazy! She constantly nags about the food, how my daughter dresses up, even how I dress up! I’m not against the idea of having grandparents around but not this type of them!

Matthew Murphy
Matthew Murphy
Reply to  Noah
5 months ago

I agree with you. 
I have been married for eight years. My mother-in-law lives with us. She always helps me with my house chores, and whenever I am at work, she takes care of my twins. I really cannot imagine my life without her.

Lily
Lily
6 months ago

Not to put them in a stereotypical role, but I would have had a very different life without my mom’s advice. She has taught my kids and me the value of being present and reaching out to friends and family. I am convinced that many of us are lonely for no reason. We market ourselves as being constantly busy, and at some point, our friends just stop asking to see us and assume we have something more important going on. I always try to open up time for people in my life and nurture my relationships. It has paid off.

Ethan
Ethan
Reply to  Lily
5 months ago

I can’t agree with you more. Not only can the family be a great source of affection and make you feel at home, but you can also rely on them in those times when life gets challenging, and you need a helping hand. If we don’t eventually remove the “I’m too busy” phrase from our vocabulary, we will miss the best moments we could have with our loved ones.

Marriah
Marriah
5 months ago

I couldn’t agree more! As we lost our grandparents, life is not going to be the same again. It’s like all of your childhood memories are gone forever, and even family gatherings do not feel like before. I wish I could still have them by my side.

Emma
Emma
4 months ago

Elders are the pillars of our family. Sadly, we sometimes don’t realize it until it is too late. Our responsibility is to take proper care of them at every stage of their life. Especially when they are ageing or face health issues, we should strive to provide them with the best possible care and comfort. 
They teach us who we are and why we are they way we are. We can learn many things about our family history and the history of our country and world…
In my family, everybody looks up to seniors to make decisions and settle disputes.