Wednesday, October 28, 2009

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!

15 comments:

  1. I am a young person with an old person's soul. I love antiques, gardening, sewing, canning and quilting. Maybe it is because my Mom had me at 45 years old. But I also chose my profession as geriatric rehab so obviously I was drawn to that group. Nice post today Diana!

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  2. remember my apple pie post? Yep, learned that from an older neighbor...next tuesday I am learning from that same lady how to make fleece hats and gloves. Woo hooo. It is so fun.

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  3. I learned many of my cooking and baking techniques from my grandparents...also the value of maintaining different things so they would last longer...the main thing I learned is that I have a lot to learn!

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  4. My grandmother taught me how to crochet. At the time I was probably 12 or so and not very interested. So I only learned a couple of simple stitches. But as I got older and more interested her eye sight wasn't well enough to teach me anymore before she passed away four years ago. In the last couple of years I have bought books and taught myself more, but not nearly what she could have taught me.

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  5. So true. Made me stop and think of all the things my grandmothers shared with me.... that helped form me into the woman I am today.
    Blessings!
    Gwen

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  6. Great post. I learned, from my mother, not to be wasteful in the kitchen. I take pleasure from adding a bit of this and a bit of that and coming up with wonderful meals. Waste not,want not!

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  7. and a biblical concept, too--Titus 2. I learned a lot from my grandmother about cooking and life in general. I especially benefit from being in a Bible study group with older women who are able to share wisdom and encouragement because of what they have already experienced and learned from the Lord.

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  8. Nice thoughtful post. I have many older friends... like 25 and 30 years older and the thing I have learned the most from them is patience...and that you can survive anything...even when you believe there is no way you can... just a wonderful post! Thank you.

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  9. Diana,
    I was so touched by this post. You are so right. It is a win win situation.
    My grandmother taught me so much, and as my dear Mother is getting older I am appreciating her wisdom and knowledge as never before. She always teasingly tell us children. "I have already forgotten more than you all will ever know,' and she probably is right. May we always give the honor that is due to our older adults. I so enjoyed reading this post, thank you for sharing.
    Blessings,
    Sue

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  10. This post is a treasure and so full of wisdom! Thank you for sharing this. I truly appreciate it.

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  11. My mother/father-in-law, now deceased, come to mind. They had such a gracious way of hearing you out, rarely (if ever) giving their opinion unless asked for. In that way they freed their children from judgement and/or unwanted "fixing". They were the quintessential sounding boards!

    I'm learning to zip-my-lip and allow my own children (and others) to navigate life without worrying about my reactions. Not only does it free them, but me too.

    Kathleen

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  12. So sweet. I remember my Aunt Judy that taught me to push back my cuticles. I try to be a good Auntie to my neices too.
    XOXO

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  13. Most of the things I have learned have been from my mother- how to cook, bake, and pray for my kids. I haven't really had a lot of older women in my life to learn other things from, but I wish I had! I hope to be someone who can pass on what I know to a younger generation someday!

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  14. I work at a High School where I am the older adult! What is so great is that I can teach them something and they always teach me a thing or two. That's how I learned to text!

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  15. I learn from my mom everyday...what kind of mom I strive to be, learn about strengthening my faith, and wisdom...

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