When we are young, we often consider a community retirement home to be a boring place for older members of our community. We do not often look at these senior citizens with as much respect as we should and often find a way to file them away from the rest of the world into a community retirement home, only to forget about them as time passes.
Contrary to this thought, there is a whole lot that we can learn from the elderly in our society and that their experiences can teach us life lessons that we could not learn anywhere else.
Learn to Volunteer
One of the greatest gifts that you can give to anybody in need is your time. I have learned this firsthand with my volunteering experience at a local community retirement home. It is important to remember that when a younger person enters the building, almost everyone notices immediately. For this reason, be a beacon of light in their world and cast happiness around as your volunteer. If you decide to give some of your precious time to a community retirement home, bring a happy and loving spirit with you and you will never go wrong.
In my experience as a volunteer, the look on the faces of the older people as I would sing or play the piano for them was very rewarding. There is simply no substitute to bringing laughter and joy to the lives of others, especially those that are less able to enjoy the things in life that so many of us take for granted. With the elderly, we often tend to forget that they do not move as fast as we do and may not be able to process things as quickly as we can.
We need to find ways to be patient with the older members of our community and try putting ourselves in their shoes for a moment. For a long time, I used to think that the elderly were to be feared because of the frailty of their bodies and the slowness of their minds. As they aged, I began to be afraid of my own aging process, and I think many of us see a mirror image of ourselves when we see an elderly man or woman and forget that compassion is one of the most basic ideas that we can spread to combat fear or hesitation.
Therefore, it is imperative that we learn patience when we are dealing with the older people in a community retirement home. I needed to learn this as a volunteer and needed to grasp what aging meant so that I could relate to these people with greater ease and understanding.
There is nothing easy about getting old and therefore one of the most harmful weapons in a community retirement home could be the ignorance of the staff and volunteers who are not living such lives.