Sharing stories from the past lets younger generations get a firsthand account of history. This helps them see its relevance and can inspire them to want to know more.
When young people see the good and bad moments in the past, they can compare them with their own lives and potentially find ways to use this knowledge to make their families, churches or communities better.
In turn, reliving these experiences helps seniors sharpen their memories and keep their minds active. By talking through things that they might not have thought about for years, seniors can preserve their life's stories for themselves and their families. This engagement can also boost self-confidence and happiness while lowering the risk for dementia and loneliness. Here are a few of the age groups seniors can share their wisdom and knowledge with.
Small children who interact with seniors can learn practical life skills, manners and faith from an adult they can grow to trust and respect. Older adults, in turn, get the chance to revisit the wonder of learning through the uncomplicated eyes of a child.
Older children and teens often struggle with their identity and a sense of belonging. Those who spend time with a grandparent or grandparent-figure through volunteer organizations stand to gain much through having a steady, nonthreatening authority figure. Kids often feel safer opening up and confiding their family and peer troubles and secret hopes and dreams with a grandparent.
By mentoring these young friends and watching them grow through their adversities and triumphs, these grandparents can renew their own sense of purpose.
Though government regulations for car seats may change constantly, the tried-and-true advice for raising children that seniors can provide to young parents never goes out of date. When these new moms and dads hesitate about their abilities or fret over the best way to handle situations, a loving grandparent can offer a calm head and hands-on experience.
Watching the rapid growth of little ones and their parents can boost a senior's excitement for the future and help them see their legacy being built firsthand. They can also get the chance to let go of regrets by voicing their past mistakes and encouraging young parents to learn from them.
Failing eyesight or mobility issues can make it hard for adults to continue doing things they've always taken for granted. If a senior has already gone through that experience, they can help others going through the same situation and give them tips that can make daily life easier.
By helping others like themselves, seniors can expand their social circle with new friends. If they are still struggling with adapting to physical limitations, helping another person through the same can potentially alter their perspective and bring purpose to their own struggles.