Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"DO YOU THINK I AM OLD?" Seniors allergic to help

It is very interesting observation, seniors are very allergic to the term "HELP". I was recently talking to a friend Dan who was recollecting the conversations he had with his 87 year old mom. She has been diagnosed with Dementia and uses a walker "What do you think I am, old & senile?  I am just fine".

The seniors in their golden comes from a generation where they are self made. They have been extremely self reliant and never accepted help from anyone. True to their credit, they are very proud of their accomplishments and would be the first one to jump up to help anyone in need. To them taking help does not come easily.

I was researching for the upcoming seminar "New Concepts in Living Well". The topics we cover are designed to improve or maintain the lifestyles of the seniors. The inputs we received from many seniors we talked to are very revealing.

  1. We do not appreciate being perceived as weak and helpless.

  2. We don't need help, just because we are not able to manage ourselves.

  3. We like to enjoy the life to the fullest and what can you do to support that?

  4. How can you enrich our lives?

I know a 92 year old client who is very excited about the new book he is working on. They always look at what they can do and not how much time is left.

Dignity is very important to them and hence in dealing with seniors we need to keep in mind what  the important attributes are . Seniors still have dreams about what they can do. So in dealing with seniors, it is important to steer away from compassion and kindness. Sounds strange right?  They feel it makes them look weak. Compassion in your heart should be there and should be the platform to do the right thing in a timely basis. However, the communication should be built on the foundation of how we can enrich their lives, about how we can maintain their independence and dignity.

Respect them, they are achievers and they still have a lot more to offer. I am eagerly waiting for my 82 year old client to publish his book.

No comments:

Post a Comment