Priceless Advice from the Elderly

Posted on behalf of Jeff Pitman on September 28, 2015 in Nursing Homes and Elder Rights
Updated on February 24, 2022

elderly manOur elders have gathered a lifetime of experiences to pass on to future generations. Their advice can teach us all some very important lessons for living, as long as we are willing to listen. Dr. Karl Pillemer, a professor of gerontology and human development at Cornell University, has undertaken the priceless work of recording seniors advice for future generations.

Below is some wise advice from senior Americans, collected as part of Dr. Pillemers Legacy Project.

Choose Happiness

Americas elders collectively advise that younger generations choose happiness, rather than wait around for events to happen to bring us happiness. A Legacy Project participant named Cheryl, age 86, says, You must learn to create your own happiness; you cannot depend on others to do it for you.

Give Your Time

One piece of advice regarding parenthood was given by multiple project participants: there is no substitute for your time. Betsey Glynn, age 78, states, Its so important, while your kids are growing up, to be with them and support them.

Treat Your Body Right

Seniors are worried more about chronic disease than dying. Seniors advise that in your younger years, its important to not abuse your body; keep in good shape, take care of yourself, and go to the doctor. What you do when youre young, it will haunt you when you get old, says Charlotte, age 84.

On Choosing a Mate

One regret that was found during Legacy Project interviews concerned rushing into marriage with the wrong partner. While its easy to rush into a relationship, senior Americans advise that you be careful and avoid rushing into marriage.

Old Age Is Great

Age only is a decline if you let it be. Many seniors say age has brought them much happiness. 93-year-old Cecile says, I am much clearer now. I say that as an older person not just as an adult, but as an older person things are much clearer. I was just telling my daughter, I think Im happier now than Ive ever been in my life.

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