What can you learn from an elderly person today?

The elderly have so much to teach us if we will but listen. I have been working with the elderly for about 3 years now and each one is individual and unique and has something to teach me when I am paying attention and truly listening.

One of the seniors I was taking care of, taught me to slow down. He was always surprised at how quickly I got things done. Then he would have to spend time looking for other things to give me to do. One day he told me to slow down.

You see, I didn’t realize that when you are in that frame of mind of having to do everything in a rush, your breathing is rushed. Your adrenaline is pumping. Your whole body is under a lot of stress.

On the other hand, when you slow down. Take deep, slow breaths. Everything slows down with you. Your heart can rest. Your organs are more at ease. You also notice so much more in the world that you couldn’t see before.

Slowing down helps us become more aware. More alert to what is around us. Colours become more intense. Sounds become louder. You notice scents that weren’t there before. You become more PRESENT.

I think my favourite encounter with an elderly person happened one morning. She was showing me all the photos of her grandchildren and I asked her what was her most cherished moment? What would she choose as being the highlight of her life? You know what she said? “Being born”.

Now there is a life well lived. There is a life full of gratitude and love. May we all be so lucky as to have that life. Where all of it was special. All of it had meaning.