Unprecedented might be a word used to describe this pandemic, but it certainly cannot be the word used to describe the way the way older adults get treated. Ageism might be might be a better choice. Contrary to much of what we see and hear, older adults are not undifferentiated blobs of neediness and vulnerability. This may be our first “pandemic” but this is not the first time many of us have had to pivot when it comes to life’s surprises. Remember the ice storm of 1998? The residual effects of Polio? The Swine Flu? And more recently Zika and Ebola virus? Not to mention two World Wars, the Korean Conflict, Vietnam, and Desert Storm. Society is again missing what older adults can contribute. So enough with the persistent treating of older adults as needy and vulnerable!
In fact, a recent study reviewed data of both US and Canadian adults between the ages of 18-91y/o. It found that older adults are emotionally more resilient than younger adults. Compared to younger adults, older adults displayed a stronger sense of well-being and less stress reaction to this pandemic and all of its restrictions. The researcher also found that younger adults are at greater risk for loneliness and psychological distress during this time. This same scientist believes that older adults also possess better coping skills and greater life experience which helps them balance out the health risks from the Coronavirus. “Remarkably, older adults have adapted to the situation remarkably well, experiencing more daily positive events (such as remote social interaction) in 75% of the daily surveys.” (The Journal of Gerontology July 17, 2020 –https://doi.org/10.193/geronb/gbaa096)
So keep up that positive attitude…. Let’s show the youngers how it’s done. Perhaps we should be the ones “checking” on our younger neighbors.
PS: we have enough interest to begin the Walk with Ease walking group. I will be contacting those who signed up with detailed information.
Answers to last Tuesday Funnies:
Rhyme time wonder: can you find the two-word answer? (Hint: they rhyme and the letter count is included in the brackets.)
What will you do, “Just for Today”? “Stop letting people who do so little for you control so much of your mind, feelings and emotions.” - Will Smith (actor/rapper)