What do you think of when we talk about seniors? Do you think of someone who is rich with life experience, perhaps a grandparent, working hard in the community to share his or her expertise and wisdom with younger generations? Do you think of a poor, helpless old man or woman, isolated and unable to leave their house?
And how do you view the seniors in your own life? For those with relatives who have dementia, they may or may not recognize you. Do you still spend time with them? Or do you withdraw from them and convince yourself that they wouldn’t appreciate your visit?
The way we view seniors – the degree to which we admire their contributions and value their insight – may well inform the way we treat them. It affects how much we turn to them, how much time we spend with them, or whether we avoid doing so.