“Nana, what if the money you’ve given to the church becomes like planted seeds, what kind of garden do you imagine the community will have a hundred years from now,” questioned Jenny, age 39, as she smiled and listened soulfully for her grandmother’s response.
This scene (with different people and topics, of course) offers a model in communicating with older adults in which all feel satisfied and enriched. Contrast this with, “I’m too busy to stay and hear your fantasies today Nana. I’ll be back again next week to see our you’re doing.” Or even the benign piggybacking, “Oh I’ve heard the stories of you giving to the church 100 times. Speaking of church, last Sunday Mrs. Enoch asked about you.”
If you’re a Baby Boomer and your parents are still living I have important information for you. If your parents are gone but you have responsibilities for other family members that are seniors, even an older brother or sister, this information is vital to you as well.
As our AARP membership cards become more important and less humorous, hundreds of thousands of Baby Boomers face challenges and opportunities of dealing with both the older generation and at least two generations coming up quickly behind us. Some even call us the “sandwich generation.”
In the days ahead I want to alert, challenge, and comfort you with information about the difficulties and rewards available especially in relating to senior seniors as they grow into and through the last developmental stage of human life. We’ll explore critical topics including: what life is like for those who are ahead of us on the path; the two developmental tasks facing seniors; winning the fight for who’s in charge; why seniors don’t necessarily share our priority for taking good care of themselves; and, 10 key strategies that will make each day go better for you and those you love.