Just some of the words we use to describe someone who has lived for a number of decades!
Does it matter what language we use to describe someone who is older in years? I believe it does. In many cultures, older people are seen as wiser and have great influence in society. In England, however, this isn’t always the case. The language we use about aging can give how we feel about getting older away. For example I often hear people say they are too old to do something (I have said it myself in the past too!). I think what they really mean is they are no longer fit enough, or they have health barriers or they just don’t really want to.
We use the word girl instead of calling someone a woman and some women are flattered by this. In my opinion it actually infantalises women and it loses us respect if used in the workplace. So I think it would be better if we changed the way we think about people who are older.
Young people do have many positive things going for them which is beyond the scope of this post as we are focussing on older people.
Older people have a wealth of experience of life, work and relationships and I find that it is rather difficult to shock someone in their later years. They’ve seen it all and usually know how best to deal with a situation. But society seems to value youth and not wisdom, which is a shame because older people have so much to offer.
One of the fears about getting older is about losing independence – not being able to drive, look after ourselves and live life to the full are all valid fears once we get older. But there are many options to help you keep your independence. Just one of these options is home care where carers come to your house and support you in daily living tasks and encourage you to do all the things you are used to doing for yourself. They aren’t there to do it for you unless you can’t do it yourself. The carers role is to support you to do it yourself. We find that with a little bit of support you can live a positive life for longer, in your own home where you feel most comfortable.
Of course it isn’t easy letting people you don’t know into your home and so we counter this fear by letting you know who will be attending and what time. We will strive to ensure continuity so you can build up a relationship with your carers and we will match carers with your needs.
You can also get help with
- Running errands
- Preparing meals
- Taking medication
- Personal hygiene
- Paying bills
- Laundry and household tasks
Our use of language is important and will influence how we view ourselves and other older people as we age. Let’s start using positive words to describe our older generation.