Anti aging guide

Be An Aging Asset to the Society

 

 

Older people can still be useful and contribute to society in many ways which the younger generations could not

Society owes much to its aged members, for their achievements, their hard work, taxes, and their love and care in years past. However, the role of aged people is not one of passivity and retrospect, and the elderly are not just our living history. They are also part of our present and our future.

Became a volunteer

The traditional pool of volunteer labor is shrinking as more middle-aged, middle-class women take paid employment and young women fail to give up employment on becoming mothers. The gap left can only be filled by adolescents and elderly people. The latter bring wide experience and can offer continuity for ten or more years. Many services now depend almost entirely on elderly volunteers, for example, the meals on wheels service, the hospital car service, the guides and custodians in museums and National Trust properties, and the Leagues of Friends of Hospitals and other institutions. By becoming involved in such activities you can not only provide a valuable community service, but you will also find the opportunity of developing new interests and of broadening your own horizons.

Become an adviser

In a rapidly changing society the knowledge of machines and techniques has a short shelf-life and rapidly becomes outdated. Fortunately human behavior changes less rapidly and perhaps not at all. Skills acquired during a long life with regard to counseling and advising remain valuable. It is the elderly who have these talents, which can be indispensable in organizations, such as the Citizens’ Advice Bureau, CRUSE, the Samaritans, and many other support groups.

Become a carer

This usually happens more by accident than by choice. However most carers are pensioners. Most do a magnificent job and with great dedication. It is an important role which should be taken seriously by society in general and carers in particular. More help and support is needed to sustain carers. The more carers there are the easier the task will become and the better the recognition of their role. Caring need not be only for other elderly people as carers are also needed for children (grandchildren) and youger, disabled people. The range of need is wide and the opportunities therefore great.

Become a ‘teacher’

The elderly have much to teach other age groups. Commonly, the greater the age difference between pupil and teacher, the greater the satisfaction to both participants. The great natural affinity that often occurs between children and their grandparents is evidence of this mutual appreciation. Socrates was 70 years old when he was accused of corrupting the young with his teachings. It was perhaps his success and popularity, as much as the content, which particularly threatened the security of his political rulers.

As the value and interest of oral history are increasingly appreciated, there should be more and more opportunities for the elderly to share their earlier experiences. Thus the young can be taught a richer and fuller understanding of our society’s past. Contemporary and live commentaries of historic events recorded on film greatly enhance the experience of the viewers, especially when they are young and impressionable. The technique can be used nationally (on television), locally in schools, and amongst friends, neighbors, and family. Opportunities are therefore open to most elderly people with a desire to recount and describe their previous experiences – but be discreet.

Many politicians continue to teach us about our past when they reminisce after retirement, on television interviews, in newspaper articles and guest lectures, or in their autobiographies. Harold MacMillan – born in 1894 – became a favorite political commentator, even of his previous political opponents, his accounts and interpretation of twentieth-century history being valued by all.

Dame Freya Stark, even in her nineties, was still traveling widely and was able from her own experience to teach us of the changes which have occurred in the Middle East during the past 50 years. Pablo Casals, (1876-1973) was conducting and teaching the cello until his 80th birthday. Famous dancers, such as Ninettte de Vallois, have been able to offer encouragement and opportunity to the young, and although no longer able to practice their art, they have been instrumental in setting up schools and performing companies.

Clearly the elderly have much to offer. We must not hesitate to involve them. We must not be too proud to learn from their previous experiences, including their mistakes. The older the person, the more precious is his knowledge as much of it will die with him if not collected and preserved.

Posted by Carol Hudgens - March 25, 2012 at 4:24 pm