With huge advances in healthcare and medication and an improvement in the standards of living older generations are living longer and in better quality lives than ever before. It has been estimated by 2050 but people aged 65 and up will make a massive 15.6% of the global population which is huge.
I’m sure most of us have had to help out older relatives be it parents or grandparents with things they’re not familiar with, most commonly technology because a lot of them cast of that they’re ‘incapable’ to work or learn new things. Bathing Solutions have been asking “Why does society often cast off its seniors as ‘incapable’ or ‘unable’ to learn new skills?” and I completely agree. Just because people are older doesn’t mean they can’t learn new things. Yes it might take them longer to practice the skills and it might take them longer to remember things, but this doesn’t mean they can’t.
I think a lot of older people lose faith in their own abilities when they grow older and don’t feel they can do things even if it’s something they have done before. With the time and patience, the older generation can achieve more than they think they can. Such as:
Photography- Regards of age all older people have used a camera in the past so this isn’t a huge jump it’s just that cameras do a lot more now than they ever used to. If they’re just looking for something to take pictures of the grandkids on then they don’t need a fancy camera or a heavy SLR which they might struggle to pick up. To begin with, they should only need to know the basics: turning the camera on and off, how to zoom, how to take a photo, how to view a photo, how to delete a photo, how to put the images on a computer/ print them and how to charge it. Most local colleges hold basic photography classes if the older generation feel they want to learn more from the abilities of their camera.
Computing- This is usually the most daunting thing for the older generation as chances are they won’t have had much contact with them depending on their age, but again like a camera they don’t need to know how to do anything fancy just the basics of being able to search for information, send and receive emails and play the inbuilt games on the computer (I know my nan loves the solitaire!) With computer skills it’s helpful to write information down so older people can look back on it and remember step by step how to do something, just be patient with them. Imagine how excited they’ll get if you’re able to e-mail them a photo of you on holiday. Little things mean a lot.
Horticulture/ Gardening- Older people tend to take a lot more care over their gardens – maybe because they have more time to tend to them but obviously gardening has its hazards and older people shouldn’t push themselves. Learning how to care for plants, what grows best in a garden and how to keep plants alive are all things which I have no clue about but there are plenty of gardening courses out there which the older generation can benefit from.
Learning a language- Older people’s memories might not be quite as good as it was when they were younger but that doesn’t mean they can’t learn a language. Knowing the basics of how to communicate/ ask for directions/ order a meal can come in very useful when on holiday and can give older people that sense of independence that they can cope and manage when on holiday.