Tea with the ElderlyPosted by Dharlene Fahl on Tching.com
Wednesday May 11, 2016 | 3 comments
Never before in history have we experienced five generations existing at the same time in the numbers we are currently seeing! It’s an exciting time to be alive!
But we are also going to be in serious trouble real soon.
Daily, 10,000 Baby Boomers, born 1946 through 1964, are turning 65 years of age. Currently, we have 76 million Baby Boomers in this country. In the year 2013, we had 67,347 persons over the age of 100, according to the census of that year.
Those of the Greatest Generation, born 1901 through 1926, are living to an age seldom seen before. The Silent Generation, born 1927 through 1945, are in need of senior care and senior programs at an alarming rate. Joining them now in need of senior or elder care, are the Baby Boomers.
For 3 1/2 years, I brought tea into senior communities in San Diego, Ca. These were care facilities of all levels: Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Adult Day Centers, Senior 55+ Housing, Nursing Homes, along with Geriatric Psychiatry Care.
Here’s a link to my Pinterest board to see what that looked like.
Tea with our Seniors
I hope that opened your heart.
My parents were children of the Silent Generation. In researching our generations, I have come to appreciate them in a whole new light. Born at the beginning of the Great Depression in the Canadian prairies, experiencing a dust bowl of its own, times were very hard. This generation knew fear, scarcity, and lack from birth, and it never left them. Most were conformists for the most part, but from this generation sprang the civil-rights movement and pre-feminism. As with the Greatest Generation before them, they witnessed great changes and advancements. I am much more understanding and forgiving of things in my childhood that I struggled with.
Most of the seniors I served tea to were from the Silent Generation, along with many remaining from the Greatest Generation. It was indeed my honor and privilege to “serve” them. Our seniors from the beginning of the last century served their countries in wars in foreign lands. They then came home to serve their communities, their churches, synagogues, and temples. They served their families and put them first above their own needs and desires. They were loyal to the companies they worked for. These two first generations hardly knew divorce as an option. They held steadfast to their beliefs, their religions, their principles, and their values. They stood for something much greater than themselves.
In recently reading The Feminine Mystique, I now understand how my own mother was caught between two opposing views: the modern and the traditional, as I am sure many women were.
That aside, there are millions of seniors who still need to feel valued and be validated by the younger generations. I did this with tea, and I am encouraging others to do something similar.
I was compensated for my presentations and tea tastings–minimally so, but the joy I received in serving will last me the rest of my lifetime.
Where I’m going with all of this is that perhaps YOU can do something for the seniors in your communities. If you have any senior loved ones in homes of any sort, bring tea in for them, and invite others to join you.
And for goodness sake–please be visiting them regularly. If you wish to receive compensation, contact the Activities Directors of these facilities. They have small budgets to work with and you can be paid.
The need right now is huge. I cannot quite fathom what the future will hold but it will take all of us participating in whatever manner we can to serve our seniors whom so greatly deserve our respect and service.
If you have any questions or wish further details on how you can help by bringing tea into our elders, I’d be most happy to help. I recently moved out of the San Diego area but I am currently researching all that is near in my new community — you can do the same.
I’ll say it again, if you have elderly family members in senior care facilities, please go and visit them. “The cat’s in the cradle…”