Learning from Older Adults
My grandmother made doll clothes with me and showed me how she made soap. A friend of my mom’s taught me to crochet. This same lady helped me with my sewing skills and some basic flower arranging. Ladies in a local nursing home shared their crafts proudly every time we visited there.
Although I didn’t realize it probably at the time, these experiences were just as valuable to them as to me. Giving older adults opportunities to share their experience, wisdom, and skills with young people only makes sense. It’s a win-win situation.
Of course, we have the obvious; the young people learn the skills. They enjoy the older adults who show them warmth, friendliness, care, and concern. Through these relationships, young people can be taught character traits that will influence them and impact future relationships.
But it also addresses the needs of older adults with feelings of achievement, belonging, and even power. The older adults enjoy sharing skills they perform well. It is a constructive use of their time that sometimes passes so slowly during the long days. They still enjoy helping people, working at something they enjoy, and being around young people.
Fellowship, friendship, and feelings of worth are invaluable regardless of the age. I was blessed to be around older adults as a child, and I still love being around them!
Please leave a comment and tell me what you learned from an older adult!