The Older and The Elderly
Today is the celebration of the International Day of Older Persons. It is after the United Nations passed a resolution to raise awareness related issues affecting senescence and the elderly. Personally, I want to separate the terms older and the elderly. To how these concepts differ and to how I see them are the focus of this blogpost.
Older is associated with someone older than me, who differs in perspective, culture and ways. That person could be just a 40-year-old individual. On the other hand, the elderly is a term denoting those whose physical functioning has been significantly reduced due to natural aging process. These are the individuals I met at work, comprising the greatest resident population portion in a nursing home.
Something different from ourselves provides us a challenge. A person coming from an earlier generation lays a challenge to anyone, as well as a test of one's patience, tolerance and personality. These older individuals have seen the same world in a different view than us. Knowing them better would expand our understanding of not just of ourselves, the society we live in, as well as the world. Same experiences are interpreted in various ways, thus through exchange of ideas and experiences, both from the older and younger generations gain meaningful insights and realizations.
The elderly is often associated by physical degeneration, but not necessarily reduced mental and emotional capacities. They are rich source of learnings, as well as serve as good reminder on how we could initiate changes on how we could live our lives. Meeting the elderly, one would easily hear regrets, failed aspirations and continued wishes. Through the elderly, we could reflect that life indeed is short not doing something that is both good and meaningful for ourselves. This is perhaps the greatest contribution of the elderly to us that we should be thankful.
I could say I am person who has old-directed mindset but still liberal and open. It is old-directed because I think older than my age, I admit that and as what others around me think. The topics that I can relate are perhaps very uninteresting for those in my age. With this, I easily lose patience talking to someone of my age. I find it weird. However, I do not consider myself old-fashioned and traditional. I am very open, and even has a weird mixture of liberal ideas and virtues. My residency in Norway has primarily affected that I could say. However, whatever the effect is, I think it has helped me understand how important it is to have better relations with the older and the elderly.