How to Embrace Elders During Special Times: Joy in Aging Series Video

Sharon of KRON Channel 4 speaks with AgeSong co-founder and psychotherapist, Dr Nader Shabahangi about embracing all age groups including elders during special times in our lives.

Embracing elders during special times does not always seem easy to do when you have so many generations getting together, each in their own stage of development.

Sharon asks Nader, “how do you embrace the challenges, or richness of the elderly as they come into your home for special times?” Nader admits there is no easy answer as it is a lifetime process of learning to be more accepting. One thing you can do is be able to “be with difference.” People are all different and elders are different from you and I, the youngers. We move at a fast pace in our lives, elders move at a slower pace. Can we be work to become ok with that?

The key is acceptance of how to be with “what is” rather than with “what isn’t.” Sharon asks, “so, being in the moment?” Nader agrees that being in the moment and accepting of what is there right now. It is important to practice working with “who you are” rather than to impose my ideas of “who you should be” onto the other.
Sharon asks, what other suggestions would you say that we all can make in this effort to be accepting and inclusive? Nader suggests for all people who are with or work with elders that they learn to be curious about the “other.” Can you have an attitude of curiosity for what is happening with the other person, who the other person is. That would be a very big shift, moving towards want to find out “who is this person?” It is more of a “discovery” approach rather than a “challenging” approach.

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