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Easy Ways to Show Respect for Elders

Show respect for elederly, such as this woman with walker in black and white photo

Many people feel that the elderly are somewhat inconvenient. And it’s those same people who do not or have not experienced the wealth of getting to know a senior. Remember, the elderly do not exist in a static state; they weren’t “born old.” They have lived a life of experiences that you can only imagine, no matter how frail they might seem at this late stage in life. Age brings with it dignity, and dignity brings with it independence. Thus, the elderly deserve respect, the utmost respect we can give. What follows are simple ways to show respect for elders, to make them feel what they are, which is truly and completely vital to the fabric of society.

Care for Their Health and Well-being

We all know that with age comes growing health concerns. As someone reaches the age of 70 or 80, the care they get must change in both structure and intention. Also, be certain that you’re giving this care in ways that the senior wants and are truly necessary.

For example, some people put their relative in an assisted-living home when they reach a certain age or their health declines to a point where daily independent living is inconvenient (not always impossible). While a care home can have many benefits for the right person of age, it is a blunt strategy. It can be a big shock to be ripped from a home lived in for years and placed in a new, strange place with strange people.

If your senior parent or another relative warrants it, in-home care is an option. It can offer a great balance between their regular schedule and the dignity of having their pain levels and other needs taken care of privately. This approach shows respect for elders as you give them the space and quiet ownership of the house they know and love, while also showing that you want them to live in comfortably and safely.

Show Respect for Elders by Listening to Them

Old family members and friends are a wonderful first-hand source of history. That’s why it’s important to bring your children to visit their grandparents and nurture a close relationship between them.

Seniors are usually fountains of wisdom. Their tidbits can surprise both you and your child regularly. And, as you visit more, they’re likely to open up more. They’ll probably also love the fact that you care about their views. When you listen, it is a sign of respect for elders.

Essentially, you are placing them in the position they deserve, as the matriarch or patriarch of the family unit. Likely a parent or grandparent cares more about than you and your children than anything else. Thus, be sure to visit them regular to nurture this love. Also, call them for no reason and take them aside regularly to voice your appreciation and love for them.

Also, for your kids, grandparents can be a great source of relationship advice. Asking their opinion and truly listening to their wisdom is one of the many things that feeds an elderly soul. 

Final Words on Respect for Elders

I hope the tips above will help to strengthen your bond with seniors, from your parents to friends. Furthermore, may the benefits of doing so blossom for a long time to come.

What are some other ways to show respect for elders? Do you think less people today show them respect than in past generations?

46 thoughts on “Easy Ways to Show Respect for Elders”

  1. I got to see this a lot recently during my hospital visits… The way I was treated and how the elders were – stark contrast! I was treated sane while they were considered borderline senile. Was horrible!

    1. Yes, it’s ageism that you saw, unfortunately, Prajaka. The mistreatment is not what those patients deserve.. Your kind heart shows through in your passionate comment here xx

  2. It is a tragedy when we as a society do not listen to, or take seriously our elderly citizens. They have so much to offer and someday we’ll all be in their shoes. Great post, Christy!

  3. Actually I am eighty and want to speak out for those of us who don’t think of ourselves as much different from the rest of the population once we get going on our handy rollator walkers. I think old age is a relative concept. I do appreciate the wheel chairs in airports when I fly around visiting relatives.

  4. Great post Christy. My mother in law is in her 80’s and living in an assisted care facility. It is a really good one, and she gets treated with so much respect. We had Mother’s Day brunch there (10 of us), and she was beaming with pride, the center of attention and surrounded by love. So important.

  5. This is just such a perfect post, so honest and true. I couldn’t place my parents in a care home hence my decision to stay home to care for them and with them. I try to give them as much independence as I can and ensure I’m there to step in. We have two fabulous companion carers who call in during the week and they have great chats with M & D. My friends are angels who call in and chat away to my parents and love to hear their stories and thoughts. I’m blessed with a b/f who also sits and talks away with them when he is here and he goes with Dad to do small DIY jobs that Dad would like to do. You are spot on when you say these things are important to them, my parents relish visitors and it really helps break up the week for them. Thank you for your lovely post 😊

  6. I have always felt the same way about the elderly. The history and insight they can share with us are undeniably full of heart and the depths of their souls. My own mother is in her mid 70’s and has had several health issues over several years, but I find her to be one of the most intelligent women I know. Her mind is sharp, and the tremendous wit about her is like no young chick.
    All my friends, for the most part, are older than myself by 10+ years. I find myself rather fortunate and blessed to have all of them in my life.
    Awesome piece. Thank you for sharing.
    Beckie

  7. To be able to respect the elderly, we must learn ‘old’ when ‘young’. Unfortunately, that consciousness is metaphysical. Conscious can be interpreted not drunk. Not conscious = drunk. If we do not: respect, care, listen, to the elderly, do we get drunk? Metaphysical consciousness, like physical skills, must be developed. Your post leads to a higher consciousness. Awww I also realize, that your knowledge is much higher than just what you write. You are a mirror. Smart mirror for the soul. You are young, you must be better than Freud, Maslow, Erikson, Piaget, Jung, Wilber or Skinner. All you need is another perspective. You can do that. You are very smart. You can align your heart and brain waves, that’s why you can work quickly, Christy. Hugs

  8. Thank you, Christy, for creating awareness for respecting the elderly. One of my deepest regrets is that I did not take the opportunity to take more time to learn more about my mother when I was younger. It was not until I was older that I understood the hardships my mother faced raising 5 children when she was widowed at age 40. She left an inspirational legacy which I hope I can continue.

    Best wishes,
    Linnea

  9. Sean’s Grandma is 94. She lives at home and has a daily caregiver – who actually just died unexpectedly this week. They were together 6 years so this will be quite an adjustment on top of the grief. However, Sean’s mum has been adamant that she stay in her own home, only because her body is failing, her mobility is limited, but her mind is sharp as ever. In a care facility, her needs are high enough that she’d be placed on a floor with the most challenging cases – most often, Alzheimer’s patients, and she fears this would isolate her mother.
    Sean’s other grandmother, turning 94 later this year, is in a retirement home, but still drives and travels the world. She enjoys the social aspect but does not require any care and is still independent so it’s a great solution for her.

  10. This makes me sad as it reminds me that my parents are growing old :( i took them for granted when I was younger. But with growing older myself, and since been through Motherhood, I have learnt to appreciate them so much. I no longer take for granted their recommendations. I take time to spend with them! Respect them.
    There is always so much to learn from them!

  11. I can remember my grandma (my dads mum) vaguely as she died when I was about 5 years old. I loved her and I have one memory in particular that sticks in my mind. I never knew my grandad (again on my dads side) as I was much younger when he passed away. My grandparents on mums side I never knew as they dies when I was either very young or before I was born.
    I am having time enjoying my uncle, knowing more about him than I have ever done. I make sure I at least see him once every month. I don’t want to lose contact with him and I want to check he is ok as it was only new years eve when he lost his wife (my mums sister.) My uncle I see as a father figure which I always have growing up. For his age, he does very well and I only hope this continues for more years to come.

  12. Irrespective of age, a person’s experience(s), lifestyle, should never be disregarded, disrespected, “steam-rolled” over, it was how they knew or know life as being, provides inner happiness.

    “Age brings with its dignity, and dignity brings with it independence” – I will slightly, only slightly disagree with this statement, via having experienced my father having been in hospital etc, where he said “there is no dignity in old age”, as have others. Seeing him in this situation, I could understand where these words came from.

    It may be that in their eyes, if they decrease their independence, decrease it further than it already is, give it up, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, they are relinquishing the little dignity, independence they think they have, therefore based on their experience(s), thinking it the end, or at least it near.

    At the end of the day, I wouldn’t think anyone would like these thoughts, irrespective of age.

    1. As an addition, I realise your post is more to do with elderly in the latter stages of life but (oh oh, here’s me being me again), does everyone not have an ‘elder(s)’ who should be respected, irrelevant of their stage in life?

    2. But don’t you think he felt no dignity because of the environment, specifically because of the ageist treatment that happens in some hospitals and senior care facilities? When an elder is not given respectful treatment then it takes away his or her dignity. Just a thought xx

    3. Partly yes to the environment.

      I wouldn’t bring age into it, remember in today’s society, there is not supposed to be ageism.

      The way I dealt with it, deal with it, although I’m not a parent and never will be, I would now compare it to bringing up a child in their very early years although, during a child’s early years they haven’t yet discovered their voice, which as you go through years, encountering situations, learning, you do and although it becomes ‘your voice’ or at least you think it is yours, you can never quite be sure what it is going to say (hope that makes sense, ever thought to yourself, did I just say that!?!, sometimes followed by, ‘wash my mouth out, with soap and water’).

      Despite the environment and situation he was in, it did bring some fun moments, fun memories, he did keep his sense of humour, which is good to have, keep for any situation, know when to use, everything too serious these days.

      What I would say in regards to hospitals & care facilities, these service providers is, they need to be very, very careful, 110% certain, they have the right people in the right roles. Over the year’s, not just in relation to this scenario, I have become aware of differences in how people that want to be there, doing a role and people that don’t want to be there, doing the role, actually do the role. x

  13. Sweet and powerful post, Christy. I love how you refer to elderly relatives as “fountains of wisdom.” We will all be elderly one day, and we can learn to cope with aging by loving and listening to our fragile loved ones.

  14. An elderly person is the treasure of past life with full experience and knowledge. Care and listening are the essential aspects of old age when brain and body are not functioning properly. The support of relatives may be helpful in loneliness and desperation. I appreciate your writing about elderly people. Thank you very much.

  15. I love talking to them. So much to learn and enjoy listening to. I took care of my grandpa and I loved the time we had left together. I learned so many things I never knew about his life. ( He got me into Big Bands music 😊 )

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