“What we Learn from Elders” AgeSong 2015 Intern Training Video

This video starts the discussion about how at AgeSong we view Elders as our Teachers. We would like to help you have a shift an attitude in how you view elders. We want to re-vision how we view the residents, because our views will be picked up by them. We want to encourage ourselves to look at them in a new way, with new eyes. Re-frame our thoughts so we are honored to be in their presence irrespective of what their condition is. It is a privilege to be with them in all of these different situations. If they can feel that you have that kind of vision, they also feel valued and they also have a purpose. The elders feel they can be teachers and can help us become deeper, more grounded, more centered, more caring and more compassionate people.

Engaging with Elders Inside AgeSong Communities and Joining with them out in the Local Community

Interns at AgeSong have the ability to engage with residents in a myriad of ways that can be effective therapeutically. If you feel the resident can use some quiet time just let the Care Partners know. You are in charge in that way, you have permission to make that happen.

In America we do not see elders out on the street very often. So having the ability to bring elders out into the local communities is really positive. Give people the thought when was the last time that they were with an elder. We strive to have the kind of Communities that are desirable to people of all types, that are integrative and encourage age groups of all kinds to interact and engage.

Elders give to us.

They give to you. Let go of the worry that you have to give to the elders in the community. Be of the mindset that when you are around elders you dont have to give them anything other than who you are in terms of being present. You might not feel that until you have had some time to be immersed in this environment. Your experiences of being immersed here will stay with you.

Learning how to say I don’t know.

Sitting with an elder and you don’t have to feel that you have to “do something.” You will arrive. Everything slows down. Let go of the anxiety of having to say or do something. The client knows what is up, where to go. Follow the clients process. “Elders are our teachers,” is one the taglines of AgeSong. When was the Give them the gift of your presence. Have them be your teachers. One of the things we like to do at AgeSong is learn to say “I don’t know.” A foundational precept is that you do not have to do anything other than follow the clients process. To follow their presence all you have to do is be present. What is a foundational technique to being present? Slow down and be aware of where you are and how do we impact others. Be here.

Center Before you Enter

Come here and take a deep breath. Forget about the rest and be “here.” Now you enter. Saying hi to people and acknowledging them helps us to get into being here.

What we Learn from Elders? To summarize:

In learning from elders we realize that we do not have to give of anything but ourselves, our Elders give to you. The pressure is off for the rest of the year.

You have nothing to do, you don’t know. That is a big thing. You learn to say I don’t know, you learn to feel I don’t know. Only when you learn to know that you do not know can you be open to the other bringing you something in. This is because if you know something already the other cannot get in. Be open to the mystery.

We are doing an immersion here during the Intern and we are learning by doing. We are re-framing or re-visioning how we look at things. Finding other ways of seeing things.

At AgeSong we practice a non-pathologizing attitude. We do not look at something as disease. For example the term “assisted living.” Assisted Living gives the meaning of that which needs assistance. This is defining people by their needs instead of as individuals. At AgeSong we call ourselves an Elder Care Community or Elder Community. This allows us to view the community members as individuals and allow them to teach us. Elders help us to be here, to be in the moment. Be deeper and more grounded.

Find out More!

Read more stories about Elders as Teachers.

Explore more videos in the AgeSong Video Library

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