On a recent visit to a family member in a nursing home, she was telling me about her disappointment at losing her sight and not being able to drive anymore. In her words, “I have been driving since I was 15, so it’s hard to imagine not being able to do that anymore.”
I replied “I’m sure it’s hard to not be able to do a lot of things you used to do.” Soon, some of the other residents were chiming in about how hard it is to not be able to live the life you’ve always lived- missing family members, being unable to complete even the simplest of tasks for yourself.
Think about problems that the elderly face that are specific to them, such as declining health/ independence, loss of family and friends, maintaining proper medications, being victims of abuse or neglect, etc. Consider your own elderly years (though they may be far away!) How do you picture yourself as an elderly person? What do you anticipate being most difficult? What do you anticipate being most rewarding? How would you ideally like to be treated if you were suffering from Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia? What would you like your loved ones to know at that time?