10 Life Lessons You Can Learn From The Elderly
Start writing a post
Lifestyle

10 Life Lessons You Can Learn From The Elderly

"Each person has a different story..."

7365
10 Life Lessons You Can Learn From The Elderly
Event the Dogs

For a little over a year, I was a Resident Assistant at a nursing home near my hometown. I started working there the summer before my senior year and left just days before I moved into college.

I had the privilege of working with more than sixty residents each day in the dining room, in the halls and in their rooms. Each person had a different story and each one either told that story right off the bat or let the story unfold over time.

Some were not able to tell me anything, but I learned over time and cherished my own unique way of knowing them. I encourage everyone to try to visit your local nursing home from time to time or, if your grandparents are still alive, talk to them.

You never know what you'll learn and experience.

1. Life isn't short if you don't live it that way.

Your life can be very long and adventurous if you choose so. One of my residents had a picture of him climbing Mount Everest with his buddies. He always talked about how he thought his life had been fulfilled by all his adventures and even owning his beloved cat at home. Surround yourself with people, and even animals, that you can enjoy every moment with.

2. Adaptation will come with the changes you make.

"You're resilient, dear, you'll learn to accept change as you grow." This quote always comes to mind when I come across a difficult situation. A lady who passed right before I started college told me this once.

She was British and she told me about how her family had sugar rations during World War II when she was fourteen. She was forced to have only milk in her tea and she adapted so well that even after the war was over, she never went back to sugar, even in her older age.

"Small things and big things will seem like milestones. But you'll learn," she told me.

3. Youth is a blessing.

It was always humbling to be able to walk freely when so many residents around me could not even sit up on their own in bed.

A lady from assisted living once joked when I walked up to her table at dinner time,"Well I used to look like that," she said. I giggled and took her order but she persisted and said,"Enjoy your youth. It won't be with you forever.

One day you may have trouble running around like you can now."

4. Enjoy the world around you.

Mobility and independence in this great big world is something to be cherished and appreciated. One thing that also humbled me was when one lady reminded me that she stares at the same ceiling tile all day long. That thought will stick with me forever. Travel often and enjoy the little things when you do.

5. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.

This one's a little silly but all the ladies told me how much moisturizer was a necessity in your everyday routine. "See how many wrinkles I have on my face and neck? They could have been much smaller!" they would say.

So, yes, it is very important apparently.

6. Your life is all yours.

"Stop worrying about what others think and live your damn life!" An analogy I came up with on my own, which they all agreed on, is that if you order tomatoes on a sandwich and someone tells you that they don't like tomatoes, would you take them off?

7. Stay off your high horse.

Be humble. The residents always reminded me that you don't know what others are going through and that nobody is more important than someone else.

"If you go around acting like a queen, those around you won't bow down to you. Don't expect much."

8. Be mature but learn when to lighten up.

The happiest residents were those that found humor in the little things.

One lady that I always had a good laugh with was in a wheelchair, couldn't move both of her legs and one of her arms. Her one good arm was so shaky that she had to have some assist her at meal times. She always cracked jokes and would talk to you about anything.

She told me once,"You have to find humor here or else you'll be so depressed that you'll lose your noodle." She stressed also to be mature when need be, otherwise, you'll look like a fool.

9. Don't take everything to heart.

Negative moments with some of the residents would hurt my feelings. I couldn't take everything personally though. They didn't like the circumstances they were in. You never know what someone is going through so if it looks like someone is having a bad day and they snap at you, walk away. It doesn't make them a bad person, just means they're having a rough time.

10. Never lose compassion.

"You're a sweet girl. Don't lose that. You'll be sorry if you do." It's always important to sympathize with others and try to put yourselves in their shoes. Be positive and treat others with kindness. "Kill them with kindness. Just because they're being nasty doesn't mean that you have to be."

I learned way more than these ten things but it would take me a century to tell you everything.

Working with this generation taught me a lot and I appreciate all the memories. I urge everyone to visit nursing homes and geriatric facilities. I guarantee that you will double over laughing with them and have a bigger heart when you leave. I know I sure did and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Haunted Houses For Halloween In New Jersey

The Top Scariest Haunted Houses In New Jersey

2289

Residing in New Jersey enables you to participate in various activities, and everyone has a favorite. In New Jersey, Halloween is also celebrated in a spooky way. There are many scariest haunted houses in NJ to celebrate Halloween. If you want to confront your greatest fears, Halloween Scariest haunted houses are ideal.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Leaving My Backpack In The Library

Views about society and the stranger sitting right across from me

45388
https://unsplash.com/photos/O0T1SIgHAfM

As a college student, my backpack is an extension of myself in many ways. It contains my notes, pens, and computer vital for my success in college. It contains the snacks and water bottle I need to survive long days on campus. It also contains the "in-case" items that help put my mind at rest if I forgot something from home: extra hair ties, masks, and that backup-backup snack. With so much in my backpack important to me and my life on campus, it is no wonder that I can get apprehensive about it when it is not with me or in my line of sight. And that makes me wonder.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

5 Cool Gadgets To Make Your Car Smart

Don't let this stop you from making your car smart. You can change the one you have using smart gadgets that transform your car into a smart car.

105252

Cars are no longer just a mode of transport, where you only worry about the engine and how beautiful its interior is. These days, everyone wants to make their cars smarter, those with advanced technology systems. It makes sense for several reasons. It can make your vehicle more efficient and safer when you need to drive.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The Inevitable Truth of Loss

You're going to be okay.

126883

As we humans face loss and grief on a daily basis, it's challenging to see the good in all the change. Here's a better perspective on how we can deal with this inevitable feeling and why it could help us grow.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

'Venom: Let There Be Carnage' Film Review

Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson lead a tigher, more fun sequel to 2018's 'Venom'

104258
Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment – YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FmWuCgJmxo

When Sony announced that Venom would be getting a stand-alone movie, outside of the Tom Holland MCU Spider-Man films, and intended to start its own separate shared universe of films, the reactions were generally not that kind. Even if Tom Hardy was going to take on the role, why would you take Venom, so intrinsically connected to Spider-Man's comic book roots, and remove all of that for cheap action spectacle?

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments