From a young age, our elders work tirelessly to give us the best life; filled with opportunities, comfort and pleasure. As they age, it is imperative that we return the love and care for them that they have given us over the years. Even though the generation gap and digital age have made everyone much busier, we should always remember where we came from.
Whether we like it or not, we all get older. As we age, we tend to become more dependent on others. When we see our elders such as our parents or grandparents aging, we can actually see some of the changes before our very eyes.
It is truly said that a disrespectful person never earns respect for himself. Respect for elders is one of the most important characteristic of any culture. This can be seen in all its glory amongst the Japanese, considered to be one of the richest and most developed nation, respect for elders is one of the strongest pillars that have built up this tiny island nation. They have taken the best of the West and blended it smoothly with the best of the East. While adopting the latest technology from the West, they did not in any way give up their own traditions.
India too has an ancient culture in which respect for elders holds prime position. Even now, there are numerous joint families that are headed by an elder who may be in his nineties. Though long retired from actively holding the reins of the family, every child and grandchild is well aware of his position at the helm. A father who has taught his son to respect his grandfather can be sure that he will earn the respect of his grandchildren in future.
Nowadays, there are many teenagers who think being rude is fashionable. They think rude and aggressive behaviour is considered smart. They talk back when corrected, push past elders walking slowly and never even consider lending a helping hand to elderly person.
No society consider all this as good or polite behaviour, but we also do not believe in regimentation. Just as the new generation should respect the elders, so also the elders should conduct themselves with dignity. They should set up a positive example. After all respect cannot be demanded, it can only be commanded.
We are because of our parents. They have made many sacrifices over the years to make a good home for us. They cared for us when we needed them, and now that they need us; it is our responsibility to care for them.
They weathered many storms through life, as they were building a strong future for us. All of their struggles are lessons to us. By caring for them while also spending quality time, we can discover values and learn from their experiences.
Our elders have served a great purpose while building our foundation. As they age, their purpose shouldn’t be ignored. Along with proper care, we should also aim to give them a sense of purpose. This will give them some joy in their later years.
It is a fact that the more we age, the closer we are to the end of life. Unfortunately, we cannot reverse time, however, helping our loved ones to be at peace will also help them lead a happy life.
Our elders love us unconditionally, regardless of what we become or what we do. Of course, they may get upset with us from time to time. However, at the end of the day, they love us no matter what. This kind of love is hard to find anywhere else, so let’s love our elders and be their strength and support.
Aging is part of life. Let us make everything that is possible to bring comfort and ease in the life of our loved ones. The luxuries our aging parents expect are physical and emotional care. So, let’s look at some ways for their mental and emotional well-being.
Spend some quality time:
While aging, loneliness and depression are two very common problems among seniors. These can lead further to a feeling of isolation and cause a decline in their health. Spending quality time with our Elders will show them how important they are to us. Relationships play a key role for healthy aging. You should plan to visit your Elders regularly and engage in positive conversations.
Never criticize their advice:
We sometimes ignore the advice given by our Elders; however, they are the ones with a lifetime of experiences. This can be disrespectful. Try to value and appreciate their advice given because they actually are full of wisdom.
Always respect them:
Our elders have grown up during a time when manners and respect was a part of everyday living. Being polite with them is the best way to show respect. This will help you form a stronger bond with your elders.
Plan to eat together:
There are several studies that show eating together is an important part of family time. When families dine together, it relieves much of their stress. By eating alongside with our Elders, we can spend a quality time where we catch up and have fun with one another.
Help them to age in the digital era:
After the pandemic, the need for digital transformation has become very important, even for our Elders. Being able to navigate the digital media helps our elders keep in touch with family members and friends and also take care of their health. Spend some time and teach your loved ones these digital skills. Though it can be challenging to train, your encouragement will help them to learn faster.
Encourage bonding with your kids:
For elders, grandchildren are energy boosters. The bond with grandchildren brings satisfaction, unconditional love and a sense of purpose. In addition, this helps seniors to overcome depression, enhance their social connections and solidify family relationships.
Choose care giving services
As seniors get older, they will sometimes need additional help in their homes. You may not be able to be there at all times. However, you also have an option to choose senior in-home care services. By opting to these services, you can help elders to age in their own homes safely while receiving personalized care, companionship and a feel of independence.
Our elders are assets to our families. At some point of time, they may become dependent on others to meet their own personal needs. They may require assistance as much as we required when we were their little ones. Stereotyping them is a type of prejudice. Our seniors should be honored in our society. Understand their importance and the sacrifices they have made to give us a strong foundation. Spend quality time with them and show them the respect, affection, and sense of purpose they deserve.
On a large scale, respect is not to be restricted only within the house. Be it the school, college or public place, the elders deserve respect.
The author is a regular contributor.
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.