There have always been “bad apples” in any segment of Society. That includes in the elderly section and in the section responsible for their care, as well. On the other hand, there have always been those elderly who comport themselves with decency and dignity, in wisdom and in love. How can such ones be shown the honor and respect they are due? First, consider what the most widespread and important book on earth says about how the elderly-those gray-headed-should be treated by those younger in years.
“‘Before gray hair you should rise up, and you must show consideration for the person of an old man, and you must be in fear of your God.”– Leviticus 19:32. This scripture is part of the so-called Mosaic Law, which was intended for God’s covenant people, the Jews-though the principle applies even today within the Christian arrangement.
Young men were always taught to rise when a woman enters the room, however, the Bible indicates it is when an older person enters the room that one should do so. Yes, it is tied in with the fear of God. If we do not show such respect, we run the risk of suffering for it at the hands of God, whether or not we choose to believe in Him.
Why Respect Seniors?
Older persons have not only experience more in life and may have much wisdom to share with younger ones, most of them devoted themselves to securing a living, not only for themselves, but for their children. In addition, life itself was passed on through them, and it becomes primarily the responsibility of the children to care for them, even if affection does not run deep. Sadly, in so many situations today, parents may have a handful of children, yet when they need loving care, the burden falls upon one or two of them, not because of necessity, but because of the unwillingness of the others to give of themselves. Curiously, when such ones pass away, the first ones with their hand out toward an inheritance may be those delinquent children.
How to Care for Seniors?
Although the necessities of life are of great importance to seniors, and it behooves us to care for these, there is much more to caring for seniors. Consideration needs to be taken for their emotional and spiritual needs, as well. If they maintain their mental faculties to a reasonable degree, it is especially important not to treat them like children! Their offspring may be in the driver’s seat, but they cannot drive however they please. Special consideration-which is what respect implies-needs to be shown. What do they want or prefer (within reason)? To what degree can they maintain their independence, or be kept within the decision-making process? Is it possible they can maintain their own residence, with a measure of oversight and consideration? If they cannot, can they be kept in surroundings that closely resemble that?
Caring for the Elderly-Getting the Point
The thing is, the elderly should be given ample opportunity to go on with living as close as possible to their original lifestyle, while not working undo hardship upon their caretakers. Caretakers, after all, are primarily responsible for their own immediate families-husbands, wives, and children. If they must reside at some sort of care facility, are they regularly visited? Are their needs-all of them-attended to? If they are, and if that is because we honestly do our best to care for our seniors, we can rest assured that we will maintain a fine name, not only with the people we may know, but with the one who instituted the family arrangement in the first place.