Aging and The Elderly

Aging And The Elderly

Today, I want to talk about the elderly. While going through a nurse’s journal (a nurse that is very near and dear to me) for Gerontology, I was reminded many things that I believe people (myself included) tend to forget when it comes to those who are older. Let me preface the rest of this post with a little bit of information about Gerontology. Gerontology, by definition, is the study of aging and the problems that accompany it (basically, the study of elderly).

The first thing that struck me, AGE IS INEVITABLE. It seems like it is complete common sense, but I have noticed that as I get older, the days seem to shorten and the years have become nearly non-existent compared to how they used to feel. I think that,without realizing, watch those around us age with a kind of numb adoration of “freedom” and we miss that they (as well as we) are aging. I mean, those of us that are younger (keep in mind that “younger” is a completely relative term) wish away our days by wanting all of the “freedoms”(no age restrictions) of those that are older than us. Meanwhile, while we are wishing away the time ahead of us, they are wishing that time would slow down. I have yet to meet someone in there 80’s that “just can’t wait” until they are 90, yet all the time I see teens wishing to be in their 20’s. The older I get, the more I see those around me aging and truthfully it makes my heart hurt a bit. Some would say that I am an old soul for at 20, I am already wishing that time would slow down so that I could enjoy the days,months,years, and, most importantly, the people that are around me.

Now, I’m not writing this to seem all doom and gloom. I simply believe that sometimes we need little reminders in our lives to help us slow down and appreciate the time that we are given. Age is as much a blessing as it is anything else. With age comes wisdom, knowledge (yes, it is different than wisdom), and memories. Aging gives you another year of life and more opportunities to touch the hearts of those around you and make a difference. Aging gives you another year to grow closer to God and better yourself. Aging is inevitable, but it is also a blessing.

The next thing that came to mind, UNSHAKABLE FAITH. It seems to me that the older generation has faith that is unparalleled by any other. Maybe it’s just around me and the elderly are as diverse in faith as those my own age; but I have a feeling that those that grew up with God in homes, prayer in school, and God in work (not to mention Church every Sunday – no matter what) might have grown closer to Him. I, personally, think that it is inspiring to hear the older generation talk about the Lord and their faith. They always speak with so much passion and love behind their words that it could move a stone statue to tears. When I hear them, I hear no bitterness in their voices when they speak of hardships. I believe that if the younger generation would start praying as much as they complain, the world would be a much better place. The faith that I read about today and the faith that I see daily in those around me that have been gifted with “old” age is truly inspiring.

The last thing  that stood out to me, LONELINESS. I hate even typing this because here I am writing, what seems to be, doom and gloom again. I don’t write this to be a bummer, I write this to be a reminder. Too often, the elderly are forgotten. Maybe thought of in passing, but often a fleeting though. They too, are part of the family and have so much to offer if you will just sit down with them for a minute or two (figuratively, please stay with them longer than only two minutes). They have amazing stories of harder times, wisdom, and knowledge to share. It doesn’t take long to sit with them and make their day; you’d be surprised to find that it might actually make yours as well.

That’s all for today. I know that it might have seemed a bit long and maybe even a bit dark at times, but I really felt the need to share it with y’all. I encourage you today to go and visit an elderly member of your family (maybe a grandparent or great grandparent) or even go to a local nursing home and see if any of the residents would like to have some company. You wouldn’t believe how big of a difference your presence could make. I hope that you will share this with your friends and family so that maybe they, too, will go out and brighten someone’s day. Plus, you never know who might need this message in their life right now. As always, comments are encouraged and thank you to all who take the time to read! Much love!

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