Too often, much of what is being communicated by our elder parents and friends is misinterpreted by those not listening with the understanding of the elder developmental stage. Many a chasm has been created in a relationship because one fails to understand the other, and this time of life is no exception.
Having spent time coaching nurses in nursing homes, I’ve had the opportunity to interact with people who are in this latter phase of their earthly existence. What I’ve discovered has surprised and delighted me, as well as assisted me in navigating these waters within my own family.
Although most of us are aware that cognitive ability and memory undergo drastic changes at this time of life, there appears to be a lack of understanding family members and caregivers exhibit. However, upon further observation, it appears that people have a very difficult time accepting that their elder relatives or friends are not “who they used to be”. Since this can be said of anyone at any developmental phase of life (does that 10 year old resemble the 5 year old they once were?), it stands to reason that we simply need to become more educated in the arena of developmental stages.
I’m discovering that this is a phenomenally precious stage, and if we can check in with our own growth, we can learn to love this stage as well as those we have too long considered “prime”. It’s all prime, folks!
©2010 Natalie Tucker Miller, IAC‐CC
Founder, Ageless‐Sages.com, Picture Books for Elders™