What I am learning from working with people in their 80s and 90s…

As I suspected, they are true to themselves. What you see is what you get. They have no need to employ subterfuge, and they no longer need to make an impression. Believe me this is refreshing coming from the world of work where one is always thinking about the best way to act and talk.

No matter the age, these people do not want to inconvenience anyone. They hate to ask people to do something for them. They even worry about whether I am enjoying myself when I take them places they want to go or do something they want to do. I have to always promise that if they ask me to go with them someplace or do something I hate, that I will let them know. Frankly this is just not a problem since this age group is likely not to ask me to skydive or zip line, and I simply never learned to play bridge. Their food tastes are not exotic so I don’t have to worry about faking a liking for sushi.

They do not worry about dying but also do not think about it either. Frankly there is an attitude that they will wake up tomorrow and live another day. However, they do want to not to live to the point that they are helpless and cannot take care of their own hygiene. (A common comment.) Frankly, I’m with them all the way on this.

Many more things I have to learn, and I will. I get a return far greater than I provide. I really have a good time. What is not to like about spending the afternoon at the movie and calling it at work? By the way, older people like a little R-rated. (I think they’ve seen it all.) What’s not to like about a tour of the arboretum and a lunch there? Even an hour at the local card shop allows me to browse for myself. Pinch me, this is work? And finally, talk about a little funny and totally unexpected witticism, I say: This is coming from the mouth of a lovely dignified 92 year old woman? Always, priceless.

So in signing off, remember to allow your older loved one to give you some good backtalk. If you simply cannot, call me.


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