“And as the evening twilight fades away, the sky is filled with stars, invisible by day” (last lines of the poem entitled Morituri Salutamus by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow at age 68). This poem can be inspiring to both younger and older generations.
For younger generations, this is something to ponder on how they look at the late adulthood stage of life as it relates to themselves and to the elderly people around them, especially in the face of ageism and the threats of stereotyping that make the elderly less significant and intelligent. Most of the younger generations are surrounded by myths and negative emotions about late adulthood which, in effect, can cause them to fear late adulthood.
In my 3 years working as a caregiver to the elderly, I realized that there are a lot of things to look forward beyond aging, and it also reassured my compassion to help them achieve happiness as they live through the final stage of their lives. And, it is true that aging is inevitable and universal; changes in skin, hair, body shape occur; cognitive processing is diminished and overall, health declines. But, despite these realities, one can combat these through selective optimization and compensation with what society offers.
These insights are likewise very applicable and it is imperative they be told to older generations. For some elderly people who feel depressed, hopeless, sick and resign themselves to isolation, they need to hear the tale in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, stressing this stanza: “...something remains for us to do or dare”. I work with elderly clients seeking help in managing the following issues and concerns:
- Financial Insecurity and Dependence
- Elderly Abuse
- Planning for Retirement
- Coping with Senescence
- Managing Intergenerational Gap
- Elder Care Consult