Seniors have a lifetime of experience and knowledge to share. However, due to generational gaps in outlook and expectation, elderly people tend not to connect regularly with younger generations. Ideological differences due to technological advancements and reliance along with differing cultural attitudes create barriers between generations but bridging this gap can create cross-generational collaboration which is beneficial to both the young and young-at-heart.
Moreover, sharing with others help seniors avoid isolation and loneliness that so often comes with aging. Our industry partners at ClearCare have highlighted a few unique things that seniors can offer younger generations. Check out their thoughts below:
What Can Young People Learn from Seniors?
Culinary and cooking skills improve with practice and seniors have had the time to home their skills and create the perfect recipes. Seniors should consider sharing a recipe that they have mastered over the years. How about offering a holiday cooking lesson to share family recipes with younger, more inexperienced family members?
Many games are passed down family lines, generation after generation, and novices can only learn by playing with experienced seniors. Use this holiday season to spend time together playing family games and educating loved ones on a favorite past time.
When faced with difficult situations, many people may have a hard time finding a working solution. Older people have the benefit of a life lived and can offer great advice to younger folks facing similar experiences. Using the holidays to really connect and find out what is going on creates a wonderful opportunity to share the gift of good advice.
Hands-on skills that require special training like knitting and woodworking are best exemplified by long-term practitioners. Older generations have an opportunity to pass down these skills to the younger people around them, both keeping the tradition alive, and creating special moments between new friends.
Seniors can help the younger members of their family connect with their history and heritage by sharing important stories from the family tree. Not only will younger family members learn more about the cultural circumstances that affected their family, recounting stories can also help seniors maintain a sharper memory. Use this holiday season to keep the spirit of family alive by sharing the stories of generations past.
Thriving through several decades affords seniors an incredible level of perspective. With key insights on cyclical trends, seniors can offer a clear viewpoint on whether the social, political, and cultural events of the year are unique or reminiscent of past happenings. This unique perspective can provide peace of mind and a great conversation starter for younger people.
How Seniors Can Connect with a Younger Generation
Now that we have reviewed what special gifts seniors can offer younger people, let’s evaluate how can they go about sharing them.
Volunteering, whether at a local school, library, or communal event presents easy opportunities for communication and sharing ideas with younger people. Seniors who volunteer may even learn a thing, or two about how younger generations are approaching life.
Write a Novel or Memoir
Seniors should write their story down whenever possible. Writing about the good and bad times and reminiscing about life not only helps sharpen memory, but it can also aid in fine motor skills, especially if using traditional media like pen and paper or technology like computers or tablets. Writing their life story is great for keeping the brain active and can help to battle conditions such as stress and depression. Seniors can even use their creative skills to pass on valuable messages to their loved ones.
Use New Technology
Technology makes it possible for anyone, seniors included, to easily share their thoughts and feelings. The knowledge seniors have acquired over the years doesn’t have to be lost. Even seniors with mobility issues can share their story by creating a live feed that can be viewed on social media platforms. Seniors can also record their thoughts and stories on video which can be preserved and referenced later. Family members yet unborn will also benefit from such recordings in the future.
Join Special Programs
Some community and educational programs allow seniors to share their life experience and spend some time interacting with youngsters. Such programs provide seniors an opportunity to meet new people, talk with them, and make positive impacts on everyone involved.
Sharing your experience is all about caring for younger generations and helping them to navigate life smoothly. It will bring you closer to younger people and make you a trusted source of wisdom and advice while helping you live a more purposeful life.