The aging segment of our population rarely gets the adoration and respect they deserve. Our culture has major issues about growing old and feel that the elderly have nothing to give back anymore. They are all used up.
Americans adore youth and believe it’s the younger people in communities that have all the answers and are smarter than older people. But if you think about what would our society be like without the mature and the experienced it would be quite boring and flat, don’t you think? SeniorCare.com knows there is a lot of debate around the topic of ageism. So, we took the question to leading experts in the field to find out what our world, communities, and family life would be like without the older generation around. It’s time we have serious thoughts about it:
What would our culture be like without people over 65?
Alex Chamberlain, Easy Living FL – It would be lacking context and history. Grandparents also play an essential role in the care of many grandchildren worldwide (and in loving them and being role models for them), so our kids would definitely suffer.
Shannon Martin, Aging Wisely – We would lack history and a lot of great cultural advancements. Many great works of art and other creative endeavors were created at late ages by past greats and this would be more true as people live longer, healthier lives. Japan is a great example of treasuring those who preserve its cultural heritage.
Evan Farr, Farr Law Firm – If there were no people over 65, our culture would be lacking a practical knowledge, and in some cases wisdom, gained from life experience. This is because seniors carry with them a world lost to younger generations, and they may well be our greatest practical repository of the social capital.
Rhonda Caudell, Endless Legacy – A huge loss of wisdom, experiential stories, and capable mentors who could walk along-side the younger generation and help keep them out of the “potholes” of life. Loss of a broad view perspective that can cross the continuum of all life stages and advise how to capitalize on each new stage and prevent one from becoming stuck in their past.
Kathy Birkett, Senior Care Corner – Our culture would be adrift without people over 65. Who would show younger people how to be leaders or lead by example or be strong role models, be grandparents nurturing our children, remind us where we came from so we know where we are going, and show us what true character is through deeds and words? We’d miss them and their contributions! They show us there is hope for the future.
Anthony Cirillo, The Aging Experience – We would lack mentors to help younger people succeed. Without voices of experience, we cannot learn the lessons of history and help each other grow together.
Michelle Jeong,, Reminder Rosie – Rootless. If you visit some countries today such as Cambodia or Vietnam, there are very few people over 65 since many passed away during wartime. This had a tremendously negative impact on society. Many dialects, traditions, art/dance forms were completely lost – creating a loss of identity in many communities.
Nancy Wurtzel, Dating Dementia – Our culture without elders would be totally lopsided. Wisdom really does come with aging and we need the perspective of older people to have a well-rounded society. Imagine a world without grandparents and older relatives? Their influence on children, teens and young adults is enormous.
Rhonda Harper, Penrose Senior Care Auditors – When today’s boomers were kids, the life expectancy of their grandparents was 65 years. Now, with Boomers turning 65 and life expectancy at 80 years, we are just beginning to learn what life is like with this longevity. These “extra” 25 years may allow Boomers to pursue ‘first love’ careers, perhaps in more artistic and humanistic areas. This could dramatically improve our culture.
Kaye Swain, SandwichInk – Boring! Lacking in wisdom! And bereft! Many companies are still run by and staffed by skilled workers over 65 – including our government! Remove them and you would have a serious hole in many places – including technology companies!
Margo Rose, Body Aware Grieving – There is an old joke, “Where does good judgment come from? Answer: Bad judgment!” In a society exclusively oriented towards the youth, we would not have the ability to learn from our mistakes and begin making better choices. As well, essential access to traditions and cultural differences would be lost as the youth of today become increasingly homogenized and guided by international technologies.
Donna Schempp, Family Caregiver Alliance – People over 65 are the wisdom carriers; they have made their mistakes and can help younger people who are going to make mistakes get perspective on things as they happen.
Kelly Lee Hardin, Telcare – Individuals over 65 have so much wisdom to offer. Many have lived through a time where access to care was at a minimum and the financial freedoms that many are afforded now were not available to them. This group knows the benefit of hard work and physical activity. Our generations rush through life with a head in a phone screen; the aging population are the one’s with the stories to tell.
Ginalisa Monterroso, Medicaid Advisory Group – Our culture without people over the age of 65 would be a dull culture. People over the age of 65 are history, they have experienced good and bad in their 65 years. It would be a boring day for me if I could not hear the life and times from someone who actually lived the history instead of reading it a book. People over the age of 65 are pioneers, wise and experienced.
Bryan London, Best Care Jobs – t wouldn’t be the same. I would not have my parents or would I not have the many mentors who have guided my path and helped me to be a good husband, father, and businessmen. So much has been learned from their experience and history. Our culture would most definitely suffer.
Nancy Ruffner, Navigate NC – Reflect on the ‘Pay It Forward’ concept. Consider what those who have gone before us have bestowed. Largely good, largely strong. From pioneering our country, developments in medicine, housing, in technology- not all our doing! Rather they are gifts of those before us. Understanding of multiple perspectives and origins is what trains us to think differently and to become innovative ourselves.
Leslie Kernisan, MD, Geriatrics for Caregivers – It would be less interesting, and probably sadder too. People over 65 have lots of insights, wisdom, and life experience to share. Plus, research finds that people tend to get happier as they get older and that they get better at appreciating relationships and even everyday life. Who wouldn’t want people like that around? Older adults add a needed richness and diversity to our culture.
Gjenes Belamide, Bay Alarm Medical – Those who are over 65 have experienced major tragedies and triumphs growing up. They witnessed oppression as well as overcame it. Without them, we wouldn’t have it in us to fight through any obstacles just as they did. We also wouldn’t know the love that comes from a grandparent or the meaning of true beauty. They have shown us that age does not define what one can do. They are our life teachers.
Eboni Green, Caregiver Support Services – Barbara Walters (86), Tina Turner (76), Raquel Welch (75) embody what most aspire to. Yet, our culture that focuses on healthy aging would not be embraced the way it is today without individuals over 65 openly and proudly representing what it means to be smart, beautiful, empowered. Just look at Lisa Rinnan (52) a boomer who made Depends undergarments cool!
Seth Sternberg, CEO of Honor – Diversity of experiences and age make our culture richer, but it also gives us a framework for moving forward. I think society would probably make a lot more of the same mistakes over and over if we didn’t have people over 65 among us. We learn a lot from older generations and part of making progress is learning from errors that our parents made and integrating those lessons into future decisions.