Some things change as generations go by and some stay the same. The way that people interact with each other may be different; manners people use definitely are different. The elderly generation in general may have built up some barriers to friendships with younger people because they have been tricked, scammed or abused in some way. Yet deep down, the older generation is more trusting (that’s how devious scammers find success with the elderly!)
Today’s generations are more independent than in the past. Technology brings people together from all over the globe, yet in a very impersonal way. People can easily hide behind their computer screens and avoid very much human contact. Elderly people didn’t grow up with technology and they relied heavily on each other for help and support. They used family and friend networks to accomplish large tasks. They more readily lent a hand to someone who needed it.
As an in home care provider, it would be very beneficial to learn how the elderly view others and what you can do to become a closer friend to them. An elderly person can bring so much knowledge, humor, friendship and joy into your life; you really don’t know what you’re missing until you’ve experienced it!
Here are some things you can do to start up a friendship with an elderly adult:
- Introduce yourself using the best manners possible. Don’t give a compliment unless it’s a very sincere one. They will see right through a fake one that’s given as an attempt to win their trust.
- Look for clues about something the senior is interested in, and ask them about it. Don’t try to talk their ear off about you and things you know; get them to talk. Be a good listener. Maybe you see a fishing hat in the corner or a crochet hook on the table. Or Ask about their culture or country of origin.
- Be careful about telling jokes. A joke you may think is funny could actually hurt their feelings. Perhaps that way of talking means something else to them. The way that words are changed, especially in humor, makes them mean something different from one generation to the next.
- Be friendly on a consistent basis. If they don’t open up to you the first time, be consistent in your good manners, friendly attitude and helpful disposition. Always ask before offering help. It will be easier to build a bond of trust.
For more information about home care services in Fenton, MO contact Senior Services Unlimited. We are an elder care agency providing affordable and respectful home care to couples, veterans, and the disabled. call (314) 646-8131