Old peo­ple get a buzz out of vis­its

The Leader (Nelson) - - BACKYARD BANTER -

to keep them com­pany or a doc­tor’s ap­point­ment to get them out of the house.

‘‘It’s the nice things like go­ing out for cof­fee or play­ing a game of Scrab­ble with a friend that do more for them than they would for you and me.

‘‘Con­nect­ing gen­er­a­tions helps to break down so­cial stig­mas that both sides think about each other,’’ she says.

‘‘Young peo­ple might view the el­derly as be­ing past their bestby date, while older peo­ple could view chil­dren as hooli­gans. But older peo­ple have so much to of­fer. They’ve got great sto­ries to tell and have a lot to teach.’’

Con­nect­ing with strangers isn’t easy though. Work pres­sures and fam­ily com­mit­ments all con­trib­ute to house­holds keep­ing to their own.

But a sim­ple ‘‘hello’’ at the let­ter­box or of­fer­ing to mow their lawns could be all it takes to re­mind your older neigh­bour that they’re not alone.

Neigh­bourly is a great way for older peo­ple to find like­minded peo­ple and con­nect with their com­mu­ni­ties, too.

If there’s one thing that I learned when my son and I got home later that day, it’s this: De­spite the has­sle of find­ing af­ford­able flow­ers on Valen­tine’s Day, the tantrums we en­dured that morn­ing, and the stress of pre­vent­ing a small hu­man from ran­sack­ing mul­ti­ple strangers’ rooms, the smiles on the faces of the el­derly women who grate­fully re­ceived a flower were ab­so­lutely price­less.

For more in­for­ma­tion about how to be­come an Age Con­cern vis­i­tor or to ap­ply for reg­u­lar vis­i­ta­tion, visit agecon­cern.org.nz.

Old peo­ple have plenty to of­fer and amaz­ing sto­ries to tell – just take the time to get to know them.

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