LPT: try and spend time with the elderly if possible. A little conversation with a lonely old neighbor every now and then can really brighten their life.
Most people talk with the elderly as a kind of charity to their elders. I see it when people talk with my grandma. There is this fake excitement to have a conversation with her. The conversation is always "how was that chicken you just ate pretty tasty huh" "the weather is nice today". I know a lot of people that are creeped out by old people and distance themselves. There also those that don't see what they can get out of time with an old person. I hate when people talk to elderly like children. What they never talk about with her is how when my grandma was 20 she was a roller waitress in San Diego. She used to have to drive around the south of the bay to get to Coronado island because they hadn't built a bridge yet. She use to go out there with her friends to make campfires and lounge on the beach. She absolutely lights up talking about that and it really is interesting to imagine my grandma as a young woman exploring the world of the 1940s and 50s. Every old man I meet can tell me war stories about his life as a young bachelor. They are people so don't treat the act of talking to them like a chore to make grandma feel better. Every elderly person is a time machine that most people don't even give a shit about.
My baby daughter has just learned to wave and every day we have a walk round the village and she waves to all the elderly people we see. They love it! Takes us a while to get round now but we stop and chat to them all and it makes the walks more interesting for me too!
I'm a devout atheist, but I call my grandma regularly to read her devotionals to her because she no longer can read. Her faith is very important to her, and I know those 10 minutes mean the world.
EDIT: Yes, devout. I may love my grandma like the air I breathe, but I'm still a cynical, sarcastic motherfucker.
This is what I love about being an occupational therapist in a skilled nursing facility, getting to hear their life stories!! Without revealing too much I currently have a gentleman in his 80s, retired career military man, who owns a trike motorcycle and has ridden across country multiple times. Fucking amazing.
It also gives me good perspective into how I want to live my life and my attitude when I become that age.
Old people LOVE babies and toddlers. I work at a pool, and whenever some older regulars come in during the parent and tot swim, you can just see their faces light up near the youngins
The conversation is always "how was that chicken you just ate pretty tasty huh" "the weather is nice today"
how did my pickup lines get on reddit
I love their stories. When I was a college student had a pub job to pay my way (art school-supplies were pricey af) and every Friday this gorgeous elderly couple would come in for their weekly date and have fish and chips together with a pot of tea. They met as children in school, were married in the 1930's, he served in the second world war, she was Wren during it, they had so many stories to tell, how they saw each decade pass, each new fashion trend and music changes. They would apologise for taking up my time, but it was never wasted time for me. After getting to know them better they started bringing photos in to show me all the big moments of their lives, I felt privileged to be included in their love story, and since I was studying Fashion, seeing true representations of vintage fashion was an absolute delight. I really missed them after I left, and think about them often.
Same way I'm a very devout non-golfer. I go out of my way to avoid golfing. I spend most of my time thinking about not golfing.
No, I have no fucking idea.
Old person here, can confirm. I will always stop and hang out with the babies and lark around with the toddlers. My granddaughter is two, she's literally the light of my life. Just bought her the little tikes cosy coupe.
I grew up in several old people's homes where my mum worked. Do not think that speaking to the elderly only benefits them. Speaking to the elderly made me the man I am today. 90% of the things you'll experience in your life they will have done in theirs. Listen to them.
I recently took my grandmother to lunch and she was so happy. We went to a restaurant 5 min from her house and it looked like we had traveled continents. Just a simple lunch. We re doing it monthly now
I am actually elderly and I would kick anyone's ass who tried to "fake" converse with me. If you want to sit down and talk to me like a human being, then fine. Talk to me like you would one of your friends. Or your uncle. Weather is OK, but if you know anything about me, you would talk about my plants and ask questions or advice about your plants, ask how my newest book is coming along, congratulate me for getting my 20-year-old car to pass inspection the first time around, laugh about how many barking dogs there are on my street.
And remember that if I tell you I don't hear well, you will need to speak a little louder but mainly just distinctly and make sure I can see your mouth because I read lips a lot. If you ignore that, we can't carry on a conversation and I will just smile and nod a lot because I have no fucking idea what you are saying.
You are an incredible human being
My great grandma would tell me stories from WW2. She used to work in a Russian tank shell factory
They were honestly two of the nicest people I have ever met. I had lost my last grandparent about a year before starting college, and I kinda latched onto to them as my replacement grandparents.
What I loved most was the effort they made, he was always in a three piece suit and trilby, she was in a cute twin set or tea dress. Never let the standards slip, never let their love fizzle out.
Thats so sweet. Thank you for your comment. I don't have kids yet, but someday I will be so glad to, and I think it's largely our older population who have the perspective to realize how amazing our little ones really are.
I've heard of combined elderly nursing homes and children's daycares also, and I think that's such a brilliant idea. It's a shame that western society has largely moved away from it, but I think a world in which the very young and the quite old interact regularly results in great outcomes for both parties :)
How is one devoutly atheist, may I ask?
Depends on the old person. Plenty of them I have fascinating conversations with my maternal grandmother however was pretty old and the last 15 ish years of her life (so from when I was 7 and on) she'd had so many strokes that the only thing you could get a response to was the "how was the chicken today?" Type of questions. We would tell her about what was going on in our lives or in the news or town gossip but you'd get very little reaction from her. The last few years of her life I'd just go over to hold her hand for an hour and she'd Pat it sometimes but she really wasn't there most times.
So I get what you mean but if talking about chicken is the best you can get, then you should talk about the chicken.
Also remember that your grandparents are (probably) sharper than you think they are; treat them that way. my grandma is in her 80s and spends her time playing cards with her friends, going to shows, seeing her family, game nights, movies, etc. she's a busy lady and if you treated her like a sad child she'd kick your ass
Cuz I got shit to do grandma jeez
The other day I was in a little rinky-dink shop in my local mall that I'd never noticed before. The sweet little old lady behind the desk shouldn't have even still be working, but you could tell she loved selling all of the knick knacks there. Normally I'd just browse around and leave, but she seemed so tired and hardworking. I hadn't planned on getting anything, but I grabbed a few homemade candles. As I was checking out I noticed she had April the giraffe live on the tablet behind her, next to her knitting supplies. I asked her "How's April doing today?" And she INSTANTLY lit up and was talking to me very excitedly for a good few minutes. When I left she had a big smile on her face.
Little things really do matter.
Most people talk with the elderly as a kind of charity to their elders.
35 years ago, I had a summer job at a railroad museum. The museum had a 20 mile train trip, with a steam train. We lived in cabooses (cabeese?) on a track in the back of the museum, and the engineer lived in an old Pullman car, right next to my caboose. So every day, after supper, we went to his car to have some cognac.
The engineer was 84 years old, and he had worked for the railroad for almost 60 years. The guy was in great shape, which he attributed to the cognac…
He was a wealth of stories, anecdotes and jokes, pranks and whatnot. Spending every evening with him was well worth it.
Old people have seen it all, and from this experience, I always found it interesting to hang with old people (and in the case of the trains, the old railroaders were delighted to see kids who were really interested in their work, which isn’t as glamorous as it used to be).
My grandma has no idea who I am but when I visit her with my boys she welcome us in and really comes enjoys the time with them. Well for about 15 minutes then she gets irritated with them and asks us to leave.
My dad became a CNA about a year ago, when he was 54, and worked mostly with people only 20years older than him. He's told me countless stories, like a patient of his, she didnt speak English, but spoke spanish, but my dad sucks with spanish, but one day was counting something in German, and she lit up. After several visits, he found out she was french, and in WW2, had married a German Soldier, and was smuggled into germany so she could be with him, and their neighbors helped conceal her identity from superior officers and anybody who could cause trouble. It's these small histories that get lost with our grandparents, and partly why I am becoming a nurse, cuz old people are amazing!
They're like a real life Happily Ever After.
I've recently been reflecting on my grandfather's final years. He had a stroke when I was beginning high school and although I understood it was a difficult thing for everyone, I didn't want to have to deal with all the extra taking care of him when he would come over. He went from being a very proud, active, do it yourself kind of guy to someone who could not close the car door without smashing his foot. Me being a teenager meant starting to have relationships and exploring new things which meant less time for family. When he would come over I would spend maybe 10 minutes in the room with him and then leave, say hi and go back to my room or I wasn't even home and just doing my own thing. As the years went by and his health started to decline more I wouldn't see him for months at a time although he was over at our house at least once a month not to mention he lived in the same city so it wouldn't have been difficult for me to see him.
I think the major thing that got me was I felt like we were not connected. He loved baseball and was a mans man kind of guy. I liked video games and being a teenager. One thing that I noticed after he passed was he remembered everything. Even when I stopped by for 5 minutes he would ask me about obscure things that I didn't even remember telling him from months before. It was like the 5 minutes of busy talk to me was golden to him and he held on to every word. He'd ask me about specific things that I thought he'd never remember.
It wasn't till recently I realized all he wanted was to hear about me. Just know what was going on. I could of told him anything about myself and he would of held on to it dearly. I really feel... I don't know. Like I let someone down. I barely gave him the time of day. I could of spent an hour talking about myself and it would have made him exponentially happier. He was very stoic so I guess I didn't pay attention to the little signs. The thing that got me was one of the last birthday cards i received from him. I found it in my room when I was cleaning 4 days ago and it said "Have fun with pokemons." It was probably between me being 19-21 years old. Like I hadn't played it in years and I know it's from post-high school because that's when he could start to write little messages after recovering from his stroke. It hurts knowing he tried so hard to connect and I didn't reciprocate.
This is probably going to get buried but I really needed to vent. Talk to your parents, grandparents, man just talk to anyone who looks like the need someone to talk to. It might seem like you're just saying whatever but it could mean the world to them.
I took my grandmother to see "A cure for wellness" and later "Get Out," She LOVES horror films. It meant the world to her.
And probably the only one in the will... very tactful.
I clean windows (mostly residential) for a living and a lot of my customers are elderly. Being from the South, I'm very talkative and my mom raised me to show respect for my elders, so those two attributes mean that old people love me, especially since I still have a bit of an accent, and Californians apparently eat it up. So, I get to talking to these clients and sometimes wind up talking a bit too long, but I always tell my fellow technicians to remember that we might literally be the only human interaction that these people have all day, so why not make it the best experience for them that we possibly can. This mindset has really permeated the culture of our company, and I fucking love it.
i didn't realize i was reading lips until i noticed how much better my hearing is when i'm wearing my glasses.
I had an old neighbor at an apartment complex. Her only daughter didn't visit her often. My SO and I would go over to her house and talk, keep her company for a little bit; helped her out with her phone, TV, oven, etc. Then one day we moved, she moved and we never exchanged phone numbers :( it breaks my heart still today thinking about it. I hope someone has kept her company since we left
Old people are just people.
Some of them are cool and some of them suck.
Man, that's awesome. I hope that I end up like that, old and happy with no regrets and a lot of memories.
In general old people have the best stories. Even if they weren't in a war they've simply had more time to collect more stories. The best rise to the top.
I don't know what religion your grandma is but this is a link to various religious resources for the blind. Also, there is a service in the US (http://www.loc.gov/nls/) that assists local libraries in providing various resources, including "Books On Tape", to visually impaired people. You should check with your (or her) local library for more info. Or, of course, there's always Audible and LibriVox, if you want a more DIY solution. Just remember to check for "unabridged" versions; also, there's a big difference between "Read by" and "Full Cast Audio", both are great, but let personal preference decide.
Not to say that this should replace the regular calls, but as a person who's both visually impaired and has had occasion to be hospitalized for long periods, the down times can get lonely, and a good audio (for when your eyes get tired) can make the lonely hours melt away. These might be a good supplement for those other times you can't call, and a concrete reminder of how much a grandchild cares, yes? Just sayin'. :)
I went to lunch with my granddad and he told me at lunch last week that he used to dismantle atomic bombs in the sixties. WHAT! I never knew that. I'm 28 and I've been close to him my whole life, but seriously. Wow.
They've done so much. Out of all those TIL posts about a guy that lived an unimaginably wild and interesting life, how many of them are young men? Pretty much none.
There's an old man I see every day when I'm walking the dog, I always stop & say hi. Yesterday he asked me if I'd heard him going on about the frying pans, then said "look there's one" and pointed at the sky.
Seeing him always makes me smile, & I worry about him over winter when I don't see him for a while.
You gotta be careful with this though. Some people absolutely do not want to talk about it. My dad served in Vietnam and I hardly know anything about it because he doesn't want to talk about it. Sometimes even just asking about it can put a damper on their whole day.
Every 30 minutes
Do it bi weekly.
Call your grandparent's every now and then if you're lucky enough to still have them. Just talk about anything, they love that.
I try. They just turn their hearing aids off and go about their day.
Do it weekly.
I'm a reporter and I have an ongoing series called Senior Stories where I just go into nursing homes and talk to people (with the permission of their families of course). The stories are amazing, and the people are so, so sweet.
my grandma used to tell me stories about WW2 too, sadly she passed away a year ago
edit: just wanted to add that she was the best grandma ever
Just a side note on this tip if they are a veteran ask them about their time in the service. Then pass the stories on through the family just don't let it die. If they had a more horrific experience in the war that has hurt them tremendously don't pry just ask them kindly. My family didn't ask my great grandpa of his time no one ever thought of it and now we will never know his service.
My grandfather used to love telling stories about him fooling around (as a kid) during WW2, places they'd gone, talking about history, etc. Unfortunately, just as I'm really starting to appreciate that stuff, he's been developing Alzheimers and getting increasingly confused. It's killing the personality he had only a few years ago.
Since retiring I got a part time job driving a government sponsored public transportation bus. One part of my job is to fill in when other drivers take off at Senior Centers picking up and bringing them to the center for some recreation and a hot meal. After they are brought to the center I deliver hot meals to the home bound folks...I am 64 y/o and this has been a very eye opening experience for me and I really enjoy doing this. On Wednesdays I deliver a box of 7 frozen meals and 7 cartons of milk to home bound seniors that are too far from the center or do not choose to come to the center on the bus. These people are so happy to see me coming, I stand and talk with them as long as I can however I am on a schedule and must move on after only a few minutes...I deliver to 15 to 17 homes over a 65 mile loop...I do this rain or shine...Most of them hear me drive up because I gently sound the horn and knock..If the door is unlocked I open it and call out their names..if no one is home I place the meals in the refrigerator and check the house to make certain they have not fallen or worse...one 103 year old man is usually on the sofa and when I knock I shout his nickname which is "Rooster" and just go inside and he smiles as I chat with him a few minutes...one day I knocked and called his name and got no answer so I opened the door and he was on the sofa with his eyes closed and he did not look like he was breathing, but he is 103 years old..I got a sinking feeling and as I moved closer I still could not see him breathing...I felt for my phone in my pocket and pulled it out ready to dial 911 and I said more to myself dammit Rooster you better wake up...just at that moment when I was reaching for his neck to check for a pulse he awakened and was startled and yelled then I yelled and then I pissed myself a bit and we both had a helluva a laugh at each other...I sat with him and he asked what I was doing and I told him I was gonna check for a pulse and call 911 or the undertaker and we both laughed hard and he cried and told me thank you over and over...this is just one of the many experiences I have had...I am making a difference...for the first time in my life I am making a difference...and I love it...I can see it in their eyes and hear it in their voice...I will give you some advice...call them by their first name or nick name...I love to get them talking about things in their distant past...you can make a difference, help a fellow human being, see them smile when you come in...you do not have to carry a present, just yourself...I feel so important, it has helped my self esteem so much...yes, I am important, valuable, I made a difference in a human being's life....this past Wednesday...damn! they love ME!
I know I'm late but I have to say...
I have delivered meals on wheels for almost 7 years now and I have to say it is the most amazing thing I've ever done.
It's so easy to make a huge difference in someone's life, a lot of times you are the only person they come into contact with each day. It amazes me how many elderly/disabled people there are who don't have a single person who checks on them/talks to them.
If your life situation doesn't allow you to volunteer on a consistence basis then you can sign up to be a sub to fill in when you can. If nothing else than PLEASE donate money!
I'm telling y'all... please help... this will be us... help them!!!
How is this a life pro tip? This doesn't improve my life it adds a chore to it
You go to atheist church every day.
I have a photo of my 4 year old daughter with our 94 year old neighbor. They would talk gibberish to each other. Wish I had a recording...
Those generations have amazing stories if you can get them talking. My Mimi didn't talk much about her childhood, but one day my sister and I got her started and holy fuck!! Covered wagons and Indians and life on a ranch in the middle of nowhere.
Yes! I did monthly lunches with my grandmother, too, and I'm so grateful I got that time with her and got to learn more about her life. Plus, awesome life advice, like how to deal with pushy neighbors and how to make a relationship work in the long term.
Do you remember a time before the internet? That's going to blow your grandchildrens' minds far more than anything that your grandparents can tell you.
"adamantly" would probably be the better term
I hear you man. You could try playing some music from his youth (or mid adult hood) that he liked. Apparently, it helps them be more in the present (? Not sure how to say this). Degenerative brain diseases suck as much for the family as it does for the one affected :(
Why not daily?
My girlfriend has a resident who is German. She gets a shot of whisky every day and she married an American GI she met who was over in Germany during the war.
I call my 91 year old grandfather at least twice a month. We used to talk about trivial things like the weather, etc.. after years of these conversations though, we now talk for over an hour without much pause. At the age of 36 I feel like I finally know him as a friend and look forward to these talks. He has opened up to me in ways I never expected and the stories... It's a bit weird at first but I recommend you all do the same. You'll be surprised at the long term returns and your grandparents will appreciate it more than you think.
Hey, just wondered if you fancy coming to our Vegan party on Saturday?
Uh, maybe. Will Bob from the Golf club be there?
Sure, Bob's been a Vegan for like 20 years now
Ok, well I won't be coming then, and I wish you'd show a bit more sensitivity to my moral choices
Probably because those young guys are living it up right now.
You can laugh about cognac helping, but it can be a tremendous release for stress, and that is very beneficial just before you go to sleep. Many people who complain about stress related immune system suppression relate that they don't sleep well, they toss and turn because of worry. All joking aside, I would guess legal weed consumers in Colorado may live very long and happy lives.
Honestly I couldn't agree with you more. They're so full of such vast experience. I don't think I'll be anywhere near as interesting a person as my grandparents when I'm their age. They lived through arguably one of the most interesting periods in history, how can you not want to hear about that? I'm sure they'd much rather talk about life in the 50's, or the Cold War, or any number of things rather than the usual awkward elderly bullshit small talk.
Your relating this brightened my day. Thanks!
Nice try, Herbert.
Baby dont hurt me,
I have the time. I absolutely have the time. I don't have the energy or interest. Ain't nobody gonna talk to me when I'm old either. Fuck 'em.
And get them a small present like chockolate but be careful if they have diabetes.
So much respect for the elderly. I keep meaning to volunteer at a nursing home or retirement center, by finding the time...always that excuse.
Recently my wonderful 84 yo neighbor passed away, fell and hit his head and couldn't recover. Other than that he was perfectly healthy, always maintaining his yard with his wife. He had a young soul, and was witty and joked all the time. The best neighbor. His absence is a huge loss. I am still so sad for his wife, who seems to be holding it together better than me.
I miss my grandparents terribly and wish I had more time with them while I'm older, to better appreciate them. I cherish my parents for just that reason.
Talk to your old people, people, it will be too late before you know it.
Fuck that, then they'll want to talk every time they see me in the driveway. It's a fine thought and all but I don't have the time for all that.
What is Love?
Devout is usually used in a religious sense, but can refer to a total commitment to any cause or belief
Don't hurt me,
I wish I could like this more than once. It's such a little thing and brings so much love to both parties, it really should be common practice.
There is an old folks' home on the way to the grocery store. I would stop and chat when not in a rush as there were seniors hanging out in the yard. Usually they tried to start up a conversation.
Turned out I met someone who worked in intelligence in Iran. 1970s. That two hour long conversation transformed my entire outlook. I really began to wonder if he was bullshitting me, so I asked him to say a couple things in Farsi that I actually knew how to say. The Iranian revolution, at least to him (and possibly only in retrospect), was a foregone conclusion years before it happened.
I am going to tell my grandma to tell me a story next time I talk to her
Yes! I hate when someone talks to an elderly person like they are a toddler! It's disrespectful & makes me furious. Old people are just people...the outside may be worn but inside they are still that lovely girl with the freckles on her nose roller skating, or the boy with the dimples who drove a race car.
When my granny had dementia I had to start speaking very simply to her like she was a child so she could understand a little, I hated it but it was necessary. Other than that, speak to a human being like they are a human being!
And your grandma sounds awesome!
Try disc golf.
This is lovely advice, a great suggestion that will doubtless spread happiness and all, but LPT?
b- "Grandma, [girlfriend] and I broke up. This kind of sucks, and I'm a bit sad about it. I wasted all these years."
G- "What the hell happened?!"
G-"Well, damn. You dodged a bullet there. If you stayed with her, I bet in short time she'd be asking you to fuck her in the ass like some goddamn Frenchman."
praying just for a few minutes when times get really rough,
I do this. If things get so bad that I have to make a quick mental prayer I always add in "Sorry I only believe in you when it suits me".
I mean, honestly.. Who else is going to have some archaic map of acient burried treasure?
I barely give a shit about myself. But you inspired me to talk with my older family
it helps if you know the elderly in question ahead of time
My grandparents were born in the late 20s, early 30s, married around 1950ish, so it's interesting the slight differences. By the time I was around, my granddad occasionally wore hats, but not so much, and pants with collared shirts, and my grandmothers wore slacks and blouses more than dresses.
Yes. We didn't even have a TV for many years. They existed, we just didn't own one. And we lived in the country. We drove to town once a week to do laundry at the laundromat and also to check out a week's worth of books at the library. And you used a paper card catalog.
I fixed a TV we did own once with something called a vacuum tube. Also, no remote control, or clicker as they were initially called. You got up and spun a dial to change to one of 3 available channels or change the sound.
Don't get me started on phones. My grandmother had a party line.
That's so awesome.
Im in that kind of position now. Im an assistant manager at a retirement home that actually has live in managers. So i live here amongst the old people. But it is super peaceful and quiet and the things i learn from them and the stories is just invaluable
Hijacking the top comment thread to say I wish someone gave a shit about the disabled. Being young and disabled is just as if not more so lonely and depressing than being elderly.
I call my grandmother every couple weeks and talk for 30 minutes or so. She gets so god damn excited, how could I not? It. you feel like the most important person in the world when you talk to your grandma! She has like 15 grandkids, and only 3 or 4 of us regularly call. Damn shame. She calls her friends and brags about her grandkids calling her! Glad something so simple makes her so happy!