I am well aware that teenagers often think that people over thirty don’t know anything. They are partially right—many of us don’t know much about things that interest teenagers, and don’t really want to. But that’s not what I meant by the title of this article.
When a group is formed at church or in some other organization, a Senior Citizen is seldom asked to lead it. It is just assumed that they aren’t capable of thinking clearly enough for such an important job.
If a senior citizen applies for a regular 9-5 job, he or she is not likely to get it if there are other equally qualified applicants, or often some not as qualified applicants.
Should a Senior Citizen choose to run for President, a major talking point against him is his age. He is referred to as dottering, senile, not all there, and/or suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. (Although, I don’t see how they could prove that last point since even doctors admit that they have to examine a brain after the patient has died to be sure of that diagnosis.)
Today, I was called “Hon,” at least 3 times by a clerk that waited on me in a local store. Do you think she would have called a woman in her 30’s or 40’s “Hon?” I don’t think so. Do we older people look like little children or something?
Sometimes, when a older person loses a spouse or someone close to them, they experience a temporary period of time during which they may appear to be withdrawn and confused, but this is not limited to seniors. It is often used, however, to take advantage of seniors.
Recently, an elderly relative of mine lost her husband, who left a legally witnessed will, leaving everything to her, but, within a few weeks relatives began to descend on her, claiming that “Dad,” or “Uncle,” or “Grandpa,” had promised him or her a particular item.
His wife, still grieving, and a bit bewildered by it all, rather than risk dishonoring a promise her husband may have made, handed over the items without question. It was months later that she realized she had been the victim of greed.
Even senior citizens are sometimes guilty of assuming another person is senile just because of their age.
I overheard two older single men in a group I belonged to discussing a lovely, but very quiet widow lady in our group. One suggested that the other invite the lady in question to a movie, but the reply was, “No way. I think she’s senile because she doesn’t say much. Besides, she’s too old for my taste.” Neither man was under 70 and both were overweight and almost bald. They assumed that this woman was senile without even knowing her. The truth is that she was younger than either of them and her shyness kept her from talking much until she got to know a person well.
Senior citizens are not all senile, as some people seem to think. True, many are not quite as strong in body as they were a few years ago, but most still have as much if not more wisdom than many younger people today. If you are guilty of leaping to conclusions due to a person’s age, take another look. You may be missing out on one of the very best relationships of your life.
Jeanne Gibson writes from her home in Springfield, Oregon on a variety of subjects such as marriage, divorce, kids, cats, electric bikes, working from home and senior citizen issues. To learn more about keeping your brain alert, check out her blogpost at: http://sowingseedsthatmatter.blogspot.com/2010/07/perk-up-old-brain-cells.html
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