This is partially reprinted from my Caring.com blog. Click to the whole post at the end.
There is a Taco Bell Super Bowl commercial
in which a bunch of elderly folks get rowdy while the song "We Are
Young" by a band called Fun plays in Spanish. It's irreverent, but it is
fun! The English lyrics read:
Tonight / We are young / So let's set the world on fire / We can burn brighter / Than the sun. On most days you probably don't feel like you can set the world on
fire. But caregiving doesn't have to be a bad experience. Caregiving is
an opportunity to give back and have a closer personal relationship with
the person to whom you provide care.
Over 20 years of performing for elders in nursing homes and assisted
living communities, I've learned a number of life lessons. One woman who
was blind and in a wheelchair had a better quality of life -- in a
place we associate with death -- than many I know on the "outside."
I have observed eight traits of elders living a quality life that can
teach us all something. In fact, I turned these lessons into a keynote
presentation called "The Meaning of Life," which I give for caregiving
groups and long-term care professionals.