History’s Greatest Generation Needs Your HelpPosté le mars 1, 2017 par Ressources Soins Aînés Québec en Alzheimer - Perte de Mémoire, Bénévolat, Blog - English, Centre pour Ainés, Communauté de retraités, Droit des aînés, Éducation, Éducation aux Aidants, Gestion des soins gériatriques, Hébergements, Maladie de Parkinson, Personne Autonome, Ressources communautaires, Soins pour la Démence
Regional Manager, Grand Villa – Looks Like Home. Feels Like Family. ©
Today’s elders are part of what is referred to as both “The Silent Generation” and « History’s Greatest Generation. » These descriptions refer to people born between 1925 – 1945. They are called “Silent” because they suffered through the Depression and World War II. But they are known as the « Greatest Generation » because they contributed to the industrialization and modernization of America. They exhibited quiet dignity during wartime and legendary ambition during the previous century.
The generation that was full of heroes is now 72-92 years of age and are now in an entirely different world. Their memories can show up any box office movie or novel anytime. Yet, chronic illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s have caused these memories to dissipate. They are now in need of the younger generation just as we were in need of them when we were young.
It is important to remember who these people are. Now, time and sickness might have made them more dependent, but they are still our grandparents, aunts and uncles, and those that shaped the world we live in now.
Due to the care that many elders need, some family members can look at them as burdens. It’s true that caregiving is very draining and health issues can increase challenging behavior in seniors, but they still deserve respect and dignity. It is important for family members and caregivers to not « pander » to our aging loved ones, nor should you speak to them like children. This will only make tense situations worse and can result in disdain.
Take the time you have with your aging loved ones and listen to them. Write down their most memorable stories, use video and audio recordings to share their stories with the next generation, and encourage them to write words of wisdom. Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s and dementia are taking away many of memories and stories that should pass down through families are being lost and it’s up to us to be their voice.
Finally, take time out of your busy schedule to visit with them. Tell them your own stories and make them feel involved in the comings and goings of the family. Incorporate them into family events and help them understand new concepts like technology and movies. Remember, by the end, you will never regret having spent too much time with them.