There is an art to listening. Some people are natural listening artists, other aquire the skill through understanding and practice.
Byron Katie, a favorite author/philosopher of mine, said it best when talking about it in parenting context, however it can applied to any situation: When I became quiet, they could hear themselves.
One of the ways to expand your comfort zone with elders is to forget what you know and just listen. If it’s a litany of complaints, just listen. Listen with love, listen with compassion, listen as if you were instructing someone how to listen to you.