Elder care planning is something to take very seriously, whether you are the elder or you are the caring relative of an elder.
What is an Elder?
Definition of an elder…..
1: a person who is older
2: a person having authority because of age and experience <elders of the village>
3: an official in some churches
Therefore an elder can be someone who is worldly wise and to be treated with respect, listened to and someone who you can learn from. A lot of people see the elderly as old and of no use anymore. Some of them are put into homes and then forgotten about.
Does that happen to-day, sometimes depending on what part of the world you come from and what culture you come from.
How old is an Elder?
Well, the eldest child can be considered an elder and that can start at age 2 🙂
Some people are old when they are 40, some people never get old in their mind. I know I still think I am 18. ☺
Today elders are very active – 80 is the new 60 and 60 is the new 40 so the definition of an elder has changed for many. Where I live in Florida there are many people over the age of 60 and believe me some of them are truly amazing. I know people of 90 years old that are still doing happy hour and dancing on a regular basis. They are happy, healthy and motivated also very active.
Does this change that as elders we need to be taken care of? Somewhat…….
Today the Babyboomer Elderly are exciting, educated, knowledgeable and love life. They are travelling, cruising and living life to the full. They are still working and supporting themselves, but there are still a lot of them struggling to make ends meet. Therefore they are even more active as they are working to support themselves.
There are quite a lot of the grandparents taking care of their grandchildren due to the pressures put on their children to provide for their offspring. Often you will see grandparents at the park with kids. also vacationing at the theme parks and cruises. You will very often see the grandparents looking after the kids while their parents are working.
Looking after the grandkids keeps them young and active. Plus it keeps their brain active, the grandkids keep them updated with technology, I know mine do.
There is still care to be considered. Medical care, and care for when they have to live alone. Lots of things to consider but in the meantime living a full life is paramount for sanity and well being. When you see your parents or relatives what do you see, older people waiting to die or an old body with a young mind?
Sometimes when you look at your parents I am sure you are thinking they should act their age. Enjoy them as they are however they choose to live their golden years.
So how do you see an elder?
It is all a state of mind.
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Helen Vella-Basilone – Babyboomer extraordinaire!!