At work do you ever feel especially old when teams or committees neglect to include veteran employees? Do you occasionally see younger colleagues roll their eyes or flaunt up-to-the-minute technology skills when an older colleague makes a suggestion or comment? Does this situation make you think defensively, sometimes making jokes about your senior moments or aging? We’ve all been there!
I’ve noticed that when a few people in their late fifties get together and talk about their jobs, it is not uncommon for them to mention how workplace environments, while building leadership skills in younger workers, forget emphasize how older employees continue to have much to share.
Two broad reasons that a variety of age groups work together well and produce better results are:
- Every generation has its blind spots so the different ages and perspective help to avoid problems and compensate for them.
- Each generation can shine based on individuals’ experience.
Sometimes at my church in late October we sing the hymn, For All the Saints. At that service we remember the many dedicated and committed people who have died over the course of the year. For me, this service is always a time to think about long time members, most of them elders and many the age of my parents, who have accomplished much and made the world and community — not just our church — a better place.
This celebration of All Saints’ Day makes me think about getting older, how much life I have left to live (quite a few years, I hope), and whether, when the time comes and my life ends, I will look back and feel like I have lived my life with service to others.
My church is celebrating its centennial year, and right now it’s mid-May, not October. I just enjoyed another opportunity to listen and ponder the well-lived lives of elders (age-wise, not in the church governing sense), some departed, but a good many still alive and active. So many of these people, contributing time and talent, ensured during the first 75 years, that the church would endure for generations, making is possible for the rest of us to celebrate this 100th year. For three hours people shared stories and special memories about the history and lives lived in ways that affect change without rubbing their religion in the face of others. Though it was a long afternoon, hardly anyone left before the event ended.
I am tiring of “the boomers are coming” dire warnings that seem to be everywhere. Boomer bashing is nothing new — it’s been going on since it became clear that the demographic cohort would be a large one.
Yes there are problems with so many people growing old in one generation, but it also means there are lots of people who have time and energy to give back. In my life and in the lives of the boomers I know well, we have time after time given more than we’ve received. I expect this giving to continue.
Whether we were fighting for civil rights, starting careers later than usual because we worked on projects that supported other types of change, or continuing throughout our lives to contribute major amounts of community service, giving back has always been a theme in our lives.
What a delight to read Dorothy Sander’s April 11, 2012 post in the Huffington Post describing a “new way of aging” that involves deepening a vision about the many things that are left to be done even as we grow older. Sander, the founder of Aging Abundantly, expresses ideas that many boomers share.
Two Important Quotes Read more »
It’s that time of year again.
Many blogs and caregiving articles are encouraging adult children to “be alert for signs” of extreme aging. With titles such as “Ten Things to Observe When You Visit Your Aging Parents Over the Holidays” or “How to Spy and Check Out Whether A Parent Needs Support,” the posts explain that family crisis time may be just around the corner, and you may need to use the holiday get-togethers as an information gathering period. And, yes, one recent piece really did use the word spying.
These articles describe a real phenomenon. Unfortunately, many of us adult children — some of us living far away and others just around the corner from parents — do not tune in until significant problems arise. What puzzles me, however, is why so few articles try help us figure out how to begin these conversations in advance — mastering the communication basics and expecting typical setbacks — long before the problems build up and crises loom.
If you are still thinking about purchasing an iPad, either for yourself or for a senior parent, read the excellent, and very entertaining, iPad battery tribute over at Paul’s iPad blog. iPad batteries last a long time. Even when a person is working on heavy-duty projects, charging on a daily basis is rarely required.
Best Quote from Paul’s Post
How good is the battery? You find yourself doing funny things when you buy an iPad. I noticed this on day two of my iPad journey where I took her on an obligatory trip to Starbucks when I found myself doing something funny … I stopped looking for the seat next to a plug, I looked for the comfy chair.
My dad continues to write away on his iPad, and rarely does he need to think about the battery. Total convenience! And I have the same experience with mine.
If you like this post, read some of the other descriptions of our Father/Daughter iPad for Dad adventures – iPad for Dad, #1, iPad for Dad, #2, iPad for Dad, #3, iPad for Dad, #4, iPad for Dad, #5, iPad for Dad, #6, iPad for Dad, #7, iPad for Dad, #8, iPad for Dad, #9, iPad for Dad, #10, iPad for Dad, #11, iPad for Dad, #12, iPad for Dad, #13, iPad for Dad, #14, iPad for Dad, #15, iPad for Dad, #16, iPad for Dad, #17 , iPad for Dad, #18, iPad for Dad, #19, iPad for Dad, #20, iPad for Dad, #21 and iPad for Dad, # 22.
Again and again over the past five years, I’ve chatted with other adult children who are beginning to help out aging parents in a variety of ways. In each conversation I am struck by the degree of information sharing about issues such as medical care, chronic diseases, aging in place, technology, and so much more.
Collaboration among adult children, especially on senior parent health issues, ensures that we benefit from the information and experiences of our peers. More importantly our increased knowledge helps us become better partners with our parents.
Recently I read the Pew report on Peer-to-Peer Healthcare over at the Pew Internet and American Life Project. It describes how we seek health information from one another, sharing what we know and pooling our information–just what I’ve found myself doing with other adult children. While this sharing is something that we’ve always done, the report explains how the digital world communities where we spend time make inquiring, sharing, and collaborating easier as we seek health-related information. And it’s exactly how I find myself communicating with other adult children these days.
So you have a senior parents who’s interested in smartphone? Here’s a story, and some interesting statistics to boot.
Last Wednesday I dropped my iPhone on the driveway. I’ve managed to avoid such a mishap for more than two-and-a-half years, but Wednesday was my day of reckoning, I guess. The touch screen shattered like safety glass, not falling apart, so I put clear package tape on the screen to ensure it did not come apart while I made some fast decisions. Interestingly, the touch screen still worked and with the tape, I could carry on.
At first I thought I might just purchase a new iPhone the next morning, but then I remembered that the presumed announcement for the iPhone 5 is next week, in early October. Also, I’ve promised to give my 85-year-old mom my iPhone when I get a new one. She is really excited about this, and if you read a recent post, Smartphone Ownership Among Boomers and Seniors Explodes, over at Aging Online, you’ll understand a bit more about why mom is eager to get started with a smartphone.
The thing is, she is simply tired of everyone else being able to look things up on their phones when she can’t do it too.
In light of my previous post about the apparent extra protective layer that grandparents have when they drive their grandchildren around, I decided to post this BMW distracted driving advertisement. I believe that telephones and texting play a big role in parents’ accidents these days.