When they speak to elderly seniors, middle-age children and and other adults tend to say things, often unintentionally, that demonstrate a lack of respect and empathy.
Sometimes it happens when a person tries to solve a problem quickly; at others the goal is to move along getting to work or school on time. Not infrequently adult children are frustrated when they need to repeat things which they have already said multiple times. Unfortunately, every time we make one of these comments, the elders in our lives grimace, sigh, or merely shake their heads, making allowances for our rudeness. We don’t mean to say unkind, disrespectful, and yes slightly nutty, things to our elder family members and friends, but we do.
As I’ve talked with elder adults that I know, I’ve discovered three phrases that they dislike hearing. Continue reading →
“… old age is a place we have never been. We may see it up close as our parents age, but we will never know what it’s like until we’re there.”
The quote comes from a piece I just read, a post by Paul Staley at the KQED Perspectivessite. Staley describes a conversation that he had with his father about dying (and living). Contemplating the end of life –mulling over the cycle of life — is one of the most interesting aspects of life as an adult child. The more I pitch in to assist my parents, the more I find myself considering the fragility of our lives, realizing that I am not really that much younger than my parents. I’ve never felt as close to the aging period of my life as I do right now, despite the fact that I have some distance to travel before I get there.
Somehow, as people get older, they learn to deal with it, and it will be interesting to observe myself as I learn to do just that, figuring out, I hope, how to live well.