The Oft-Forgotten Importance of Respecting the Elderly
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It’s quite troubling to hear references to the elderly that are negative. All too often, snarky remarks about one’s advanced age are made. “Getting old” seems to be one of those things that too many of us frown upon. But how does that make any sense? We all aspire to live long lives, don’t we? So, why is it that the older we get, the more respect we lose?
Certainly, this isn’t the case amongst all people. The vast majority of us love our parents and grandparents and continually seek ways of making their lives more comfortable. This is especially important when our elderly loved ones begin to experience mobility issues that may be brought on by their advanced ages. That being said, it must never be forgotten that seniors are deserving of our respect, just like everyone else.
Seniors Are Adults Too
Dr. Cheryl Woodson is a geriatrician and author of the books “To Survive Caregiving: A Daughter’s Experience, A Doctor’s Advice,” and “The Doctor is In: Answering Your Questions about How to Survive Caregiving”. She feels so strongly about treating elders with a respect that she even despises when people refer to elderly individuals as “cute”. They are, after all, adults. With that being said, Dr. Woodson also disapproves of young people calling seniors by their first names.
“They do this thinking that familiarity signifies bonding and is less intimidating,” she comments on APlaceForMom.com , “That may be true for children or for people with dementia who have regressed to an earlier time and remember only their first names. However, for many seniors, it is just disrespectful, especially when the person speaking to them is younger. Many seniors will not comment, but they will withdraw, making further communication ineffective.”
Seniors Deserve Compassion, Not Disdain
Of course, calling a senior by his/her first name is one thing. Not all of them mind that. Being outwardly disrespectful towards them is another thing altogether. Yes, elderly individuals can be slow-footed. It comes with the territory of aging. However, one should never be so rude as to push by a senior citizen or hurl an insult in his/her direction. As Harleena Singh of Aha!NOW writes, seniors deserve respect even when they haven’t expressed pleasantries of their own.
“Remain compassionate and polite even if your attempts to engage with elders are met with anger, gruffness, or annoyance,” insists Singh, “Perhaps there are years of pain, frustration, and intolerance at the society or people that they use as a means to cope and protect themselves.”
Shower Bay Helps to Restore Dignity – a Sign of Respect
At Forward Day, we strongly champion the act of respecting the elderly. As a result, we stand firmly behind any action that helps to restore their dignity and independence. As most caregivers are well aware, seniors that require assistance often endure emotional hardships because of their losses of dignity and independence. This is especially true during the bathing routine.
Naturally, one must remove his/her clothing to bathe. And when assistance is required for bathing, privacy goes out the window. Our Shower Bay portable showers provide seniors who use wheelchairs the privacy they deserve. The showers enable wheelchair users to enter and exit the showers without assistance, closing the doors behind them, so that they may enjoy full and thorough bathing experiences with running water.