The seemingly unremitting COVID pandemic has taken a toll on all of us. It has been particularly hard on older adults, who may be more susceptible to serious illness. But information is emerging to suggest that emotionally and spiritually, elders are actually faring a little better than others. It appears that older adults are demonstrating resilience.
The Importance of Resilience in Aging
Older adults have an advantage when it comes to resilience. Wisdom resulting from accumulated skills, experiences, and knowledge grows and deepens with age.
Aging brings strengths that enable seniors to cope, make better decisions, and even thrive during difficult times. Life experiences gained over the years tend to protect us and provide stability in times of adversity.
Older adults have experienced shock and disappointment, failure and rejection, which has made them stronger. They have rebounded from setbacks and overcome hardships.
Examples can be found within Laureate Group’s book, Portraits of the 20th Century. Residents, families, and friends who have been part of Laureate Group over the years shared stories that became an opportunity for children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren to relive a moment in time from the past.
What Can We Learn From Older Adults?
During these difficult times, older people may provide the pathway to healing and hope. Their resilience, wisdom and more balanced perspective could be put to good use.
The coping methods and support systems that older adults have developed over their years of living could be shared between generations. Even when the pandemic subsides, older people could be called upon to help younger people who are feeling stressed.
Intergenerational bonds and mentoring programs would help to reduce the pressures of this unusual time. Connections and conversations can promote well-being.
We should learn from and be inspired by both the aging process and the elders around us. This is an opportunity to recognize age as an asset and a source of strength. Many older adults stand ready, wanting to help and waiting to be asked. A resilient resource is waiting in a time of need.