Home    Subscribe    Write for Us    FAQ    Contact    HubGarden    Login

Conversations With Our Elders

by Colleen P Moyne (Colmo) (follow)
I'm a freelance writer living in the beautiful river town of Mannum in SA, dreaming of the day I can retire from the 9-5 to write full time.
Life Skills (425)      Relationships (158)      Attitude (155)      Communication (120)      Family (109)      Wellbeing (67)      People (32)      Caring (12)     

Senior Woman on Phone
Image courtesy of Ambro / freedigitalphotos.net

What is the first thing you say to your parents when you see them? How do you start a conversation with an elderly friend or neighbour?

Chances are you ask them about their health Ė not that there is anything wrong with showing concern for their well-being, but itís easy to fall into the habit of letting that define all of your interactions with them.

Itís fine to ask how they are; we all do it with almost everyone we meet. How they choose to respond to the question is up to them, and if they are suffering from a particular ailment they will most likely fill you in.

Elderly Woman Sittin on Bench
Image courtesy of pippalou / morguefile.com

It begins to become a problem, though, when our conversations with seniors become only about their state of health and nothing else. Even if they are housebound or bedridden, surely we can find more interesting topics to include in the exchange.

I began to think about this after overhearing an acquaintance on the phone to her elderly mother. This is what I heard:

ĎHow did you sleep?íÖpause.

ĎHave you eaten breakfast?íÖpause.

ĎDid you remember to take your tablets?í...pause.

ĎWell, why donít you go and sit outside for a while? Itís a nice day, but donít stay out too long.

ĎOK, Ďbye. Iíll call you tomorrow.í

While it was admirable that her daughter was checking in on her and showed concern for her well-being, I couldn't help but wonder how the mother felt about the conversation. It took all of two minutes for the exchange and was more like an interrogation than a conversation.

Senior Woman on Phone
Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut / freedigitalphotos.net

I wondered if all of their conversations were like that. Was her motherís health the only thing to talk about? Would her mother have wanted to know how things were going for her daughter at work or how the grandchildren were getting on? Did she want to talk about something other than her own health?

I thought about what it would be like for me when Iím elderly and my children phone me up. Iíd like to think that we would have more to talk about than my heath, even if itís only about a book Iím reading or a movie I just watched on TV. I guess that if my memory was failing and I needed a reminder to take my pills or eat a meal, then Iíd be grateful for my childrenís calls, but I hope to goodness that all of our years together would give us something more to talk about.

Senior Woman on Phone
Image courtesy of worradmu / freedigitalphotos.net

I interact with a lot of seniors in my job, and Iím always interested to learn about the person underneath the grey hair and wrinkles. There are always interesting stories and itís great to see them light up when you show a genuine interest. I also always make a point of complimenting them when they look good or are wearing something new. It often sparks a good conversation and it shows them that I value them as a unique individual.

Smiling Senior Woman
Image courtesy of stockimages / freedigitalphotos.net

Perhaps we should all think about that the next time we interact with our elders. Donít let their age or state of heath define the conversation. Letís put ourselves in their shoes and show some warmth, humour and genuine interest in the other facets of their character.

# Life Skills
# Communication
# Attitude
# People
# Relationships
# Family
# Wellbeing
# Caring
I like this Article - 4
More Articles by Colleen P Moyne (Colmo)
Regardless of whether itís right or wrong, people will always judge us by how we present ourselv...
Workaholism can be a serious issue Ė an addiction much like any other
While some people go about their daily lives with no planning or forethought, letting things and...
I'm sure you've heard this all before, but before we can take steps to creating a simple and ser...
Fatherís Day is fast approaching and itís always a good time to show our fathers how much we app...
In I talked about taking photographs to record the moments of your life, but now Iíd like to go...
view all articles by Colleen P Moyne (Colmo)
Articles by Colleen P Moyne (Colmo) on Other Hubs
Most of us have at least one pet Ė some of us have many Ė and we love them dearly
Carrots are a fairly staple vegetable in most diets, and we all know that theyíre good for us bu...
ID: 24078
[ Submit a Comment ]
Trending Articles
Ever since the new year kicked off, social media channels have been abuzz with "new year, new me...
In the past few years, we are increasingly hearing more about the benefits of 'mindfulness'
We often seek medical advice and treatment only after some injury or illness has disrupted our...
are often quite confusing, and sometimes even the grownups involved don't completely understand wha...
Living a healthy lifestyle and seeking regular medical advice can help you to prevent a major ...
In this day and age, many people hire professional escorts because they what to try something ne...
While there are many alternative transportation options, including rideshare services, carpool...
I lived the city life and Iím sick of it
To attain any form of abundance in your life, you must feel good as much as possible
You donít have to be rich to make money, you just have to be practical
Copyright 2012-2018 OatLabs ABN 18113479226. mobile version