As an adolescent I used to wonder why my grandpa was so cranky and stubborn. I used to brush with him very now and then over many things. “you shameless teenager, you always play meaningless music.. have no taste at all..where all our culture has gone?” Often he would begin with “during our days.. we used to walk 10 miles to go to school,.. you guys find it difficult to…” I used to wonder why this old man cannot shut up from verbal diarrhea of old day stories.
When I took up career in senior living industry, I had little idea that it will change my perceptions about senior citizens and will help me learn more about life, personalities and age related personality changes. The basic traits of personality often gets consolidated as one ages and behaviors can become cranky. As we age, our physical energy diminishes and the speed of mental activities slows down.
Seniors find it difficult to keep pace with fast changing pace of life. They find modern world is designed to thrill the younger generation and lack of equal opportunities cause frustration. Small fonts do not stimulate anymore, staircases become avoidable challenges and honking traffic becomes a nightmare. The frustration has to be vented somewhere if the person is not equipped to deal with it. That’s what happens with seniors and the anxiety and helplessness is perceived as “cranky behavior” by us.
Its me who should involve an elder in decision making discussions of family to boost his/her esteem. I should make attempts to make him/her important and valuable for the family, I should find activities that can be doable and attractive for my grand parents and aging parents. I realized when I changed my attitude towards seniors, everything suddenly become smooth, to best possible extent. I started to accept them as they are.