The more time I spend with older people the more I realize that their greatest fear is being alone. Not just physically alone but having to fill up to 12 hours a day with something other than silence.
Many elders are widows/widowers and some are just not very good at socializing. It’s amazing how happy a simple conversation can make someone when there’s not much else going on in their life.
So, next time you see someone sitting alone on a bench or staring off into space, try interacting with that person and you might both feel better!
In my community, I recently saw a sign posted that offered a class in defensive driving for seniors. My initial reaction was that it was a bit of an oxymoron. After all, more people today are living longer lives and driving vehicles long after they really should be. No offense to anyone whose faculties are still intact but there are some statistically accurate points that need to be addressed.
Reflexes slow down as a person ages. There’s no disgrace in that fact but that doesn’t mean that you can react with the same speed and accuracy you once did. Your eyesight is less sharp and that, added to slower reflexes, is more of a menace when faced with a sudden oncoming obstacle. Even though you’ve clocked an impressive amount of years (even successfully) behind the wheel does not guarantee you immunity from error – both in judgment and in action.
So, next time I see a senior driving over the speed limit, or over the center line, or over my shoulder as I’m walking, I will secretly hope they attended that driver’s training class but will, nonetheless, give them a very wide berth!