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Three Reasons working with Older Adults Is So Rewarding

Three Reasons working with Older Adults Is So Rewarding

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  1. Solomon

    Seniors may have traveled extensively, held numerous jobs, raised families, or fought in wars, and nearly everybody has met some interesting people along the way. In many cases, they have a treasure trove of stories to share, and plenty of time to do so. You can learn from their lifetime of experiences and be entertained. Think of it as the opportunity to step into a time machine or even an epic American novel. Even simple reminiscences can prompt wider conversations. Walling said that one of the activities he enjoys with seniors at Gramercy Court is baking cookies. Some will help bake, and others just watch and wait for the tasty result. But that simple activity can spark memories of family gatherings, favorite childhood desserts and even trips to the market. Walling also tells the story of a patient who was very private and wouldn’t come out of her room. Eventually, he discovered that she loved music and was a former music professor. So when planning his next music activity, he pleaded with her for help. “From that point forward, she became one of my best advocates for a music program in my facility,” he says. “So that’s how it is. We learn from them, and they learn from us.” It’s difficult to work with seniors for any length of time and not put yourself in their shoes. At some point, we might all need somebody to help us. “When I look at these people in our facility, I’m looking at me,” Walling says. At the same time, seeing someone face struggles might help you appreciate your health. Or it might help you stop fearing death. There’s no question that after you work with seniors for an extended period, you can expect to look at life differently. But it could also spur you to act differently. Think about Scrooge being visited by the Ghost of Christmas Future. Start asking seniors about their amends, regrets, and triumphs, and you might change or reinforce your own priorities. “Knowledge is power,” Walling says. “And seniors have wonderful knowledge that they share and that I try to emulate in my own life. We have to let them teach us.”

    1. kate

      Love this!! Thank you for sharing!! 🙂

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