P l e a s e W a i t . . . .

The Importance of Remembering

Seniors are an essential part of our society and have a wealth of knowledge to share with us. Memories of the past, how our society has advanced through the years, and exciting stories about where we came from can provide vital insight. Not only does it help us understand the seniors of today, but it gives us vital knowledge about who we are and improves our sense of self. There are many important reasons that we need to encourage seniors to speak up and let their voices be heard. While they speak, we need to be present and listen to not only better their lives but to create a brighter future for the next generation as well. When we take the time to hear the stories of our elders, we reap these essential benefits:

Improve mental health

As we age, the incidence of Alzheimer’s and dementia increases. These diseases affect the brain and eventually lead to a drastic decline in recall ability and a loss of important memories. Encouraging seniors with these disorders to tell their stories can help enhance their mental health in so many ways. It allows them to feel as though they are being heard. It provides them with crucial social interaction. Plus, it helps them work on their memory skills and encourages them to remember facts and details about their life that they may otherwise have forgotten.

Break down ageism barriers

Ageism is far too common in society today. It occurs when we discriminate against people because of their age and is most common in the elderly population. The negative attitudes that society holds towards older people can make it difficult for seniors to have a voice. It prevents them from being allowed to be productive and contributing members of the community, even though they are still mentally and physically able.

When we encourage seniors to share their unique stories, it can go a long way towards helping break down stereotypes. It allows them to share their history, struggles, accomplishments, and future views. It helps increase their sense of self-worth while adding value to others' lives and creates a better, more age-inclusive society.

Share the good memories of the past

Our past is the key to our future. Knowing where we came from as a society will help shape where we are going. Innovation and technology have advanced throughout the years, and our methodology and daily practices have changed dramatically. Our values and belief systems have changed as well.

Speaking with the elders of our community about the changes they have seen over their lifetime can help give us a detailed view of the past and a deeper understanding of how life used to be. It can also provide a different perspective on the things we place value on and help us be more grateful for the things we usually take for granted.

For example, we can learn what life was like before computers. We can better understand how computers have helped shape our lives for the better. At the same time, we can perhaps gain a deeper understanding of how disconnecting from technology for periods of time can be beneficial.

Our seniors can give us insight into how life once was and how it should be going forward.

Teach us lessons about history

We often think of history as being a subject to learn in school. However, speaking with seniors can often provide us with more information than any textbook will be able to. The history of our country and our entire world is stored within the minds of our older generations. When we ask these people to share their knowledge with us, we gain insight into historical events and get a first-hand perspective from someone who has lived through them.

Wars, famine, depressions, and recessions are all interesting to read about, but getting details from someone who has experienced them will provide far more information than just text alone. It will let us know the thoughts, feelings, and struggles that were endured during this time period, something that no lecture or educational video will be able to convey as accurately.

Teach us about our family history

For many of us, the seniors with whom we have the most contact are those from our own families. These family members hold secrets about who we are and where we came from. They can help us get to know our family tree and share stories about our ancestors.

Not only is learning about our genealogy fun, but it can also be highly educational. It can help us identify where specific physical traits originated and, in many cases, where values, beliefs, and interests have stemmed from.

Knowing our ancestry can help us get to know different cultures and traditions from across the globe. Plus we can learn about the histories of other countries.

Our genealogy can also provide crucial information about our health. It can show us what genetic medical conditions we may be predisposed to and give insight into illnesses that we may be at risk of getting.

On top of all this, knowing our family story helps give us a more profound sense of self. It provides a better understanding of who we really are by showing us where we came from. It can help make us more confident and comfortable in our skin.

The next time you want to gain insight into the past or have a broader view of the future, it is time to talk to a senior. Many cultures across the globe view their elders as the most important people in their society, and for a good reason. It's time we embraced this belief as well.

Seniors need to share their unique stories with the world. Not only will it help improve their mental health, but it will help shape our future for the better. When we have a clear view of where we came from, we can avoid past mistakes and move forward into a better and brighter tomorrow.