Self Reflection on Aging & the Elderly
Living with and learning about the elderly and the aging process helps us understand the society in which we live and alerts us to certain processes and problems that we may experience as we grow and age. The health and aging of family members and friends affects us and our perspectives. We really are all linked.
I think about several of our clients in their 80's and 90's and their stories touch me and I believe help me to more fully understand my life as I am aging. We are all exposed to issues of aging. One client in particular, in his 90's is a retired physician who in his younger days held an important job in a hospital system locally and internationally. His wife is unable to speak or move or communicate. He is beginning to experience forgetfulness and make mistakes that he is unaware of. In addition to our caregivers being in the home, I make friendly visits to spend time with him as his wife sits in a recliner with the caregiver. He and his wife have no living family except for a second cousin in the northeast who does not visit. A friendly neighbor checks in with them often. Many of our elderly clients have lost most, if not all of their friends and some have survived their adult children. I know many elderly are lonely and have little to no social contact. As I age I feel the psychological and biological changes creeping up on me. I often quietly wonder and reflect on my own life and aging. Our clients have shared with me their family, friends, history and stories. It touches me. It's changed me. I am learning and grateful for the experience. I love my job.