Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Couple Trouble? Day 4 - Help for Seniors!! Gen Xers, Millennials, and iGeners, take note!

As I have gotten older, I have noticed "Seniors Behaving Badly"!! They can also experience Couple Trouble!! Gen Xers, Millennials, and iGeners , take note!

A few summers ago, I spent several months in the Palm  Springs area of Southern California. Although I had worked in the desert for many years, I had not lived there for a very long time. Because it is largely a retirement community, there is a substantial senior population, even during the summer months. As the weeks passed, I was often taken back by the disrespectful and often mean behavior between senior partners.  Whether it was in a grocery store, or in line at a movie theater, or at a restaurant, I was frequently shocked and saddened at the level of arguing between them or of one partner barking at the other over nothing, and at the complete lack of patience, respect, or kindness exhibited from one spouse towards the other. It is not that I was naive to this sort of behavior; however, it seemed to jump out at me wherever I went! And, I guess because my husband and I are entering into our senior years, I was alarmed at its prevalence.  

One evening while in line at the movie theater, I observed up close an elderly woman yelling at her husband as he was attempting to buy their tickets.  The gentleman could not hear the ticket seller through the glass window, and thus, was having trouble deciphering the cost. As she continued to berate him, I stepped forward to help. The elderly man was so appreciative, and yet, I could sense his embarrassment. Determined never to fall into this bad behavior, the next day I wrote up my list of Retirement Rules and presented them to my husband.

Retirement Rules for Seniors and their Partners !

1.  Talk to each other kindly and treat each other respectfully at all times! Too often, we see and hear seniors criticizing one another, barking or snapping at each other, or complaining about the most ridiculous aspects of one another! Remember, no one is perfect!

    Your sweetheart needs your patience and understanding!

2.  Do not argue over minutia - ever!! How many times have you heard elderly couples argue and bicker over one little error in the telling of a story or event?  How often have you listened to senior couples constantly correct one another over the most insignificant things? Remember, in the big scheme of life, it does not matter!

Your best friend has earned your compassion and calmness!

3.  Continue to make personal hygiene a priority! Have you ever noticed how seniors sometimes have an unpleasant body odor? Have you ever noticed how their wardrobe shrinks to a few soiled outfits? Remember, sponge baths don't count, and neither do lazy excuses (i.e. "I haven't done anything today"). Even though it may take a bit more time and/or a little more effort, it is important to shower or bathe daily! And, whatever the size of your wardrobe, be sure to keep your clothes fresh and clean.  

The love of your life deserves your very best - from your first kiss to your last goodnight!

4.  Take excellent care of your physical, emotional, and psychological well-being so you can take really good care of your partner. How often have you witnessed a senior take on an attitude of entitlement while the partner struggles to take on the role of caretaker? And although, there are circumstances where one partner is called upon to take the lead or carry more responsibility, remember, you got in the boat together - you both need to keep rowing!

Show your lifelong mate that you still mean "in sickness and in health".
By taking care of yourself, you are taking care of both of you. 

As we get older, we must continue to treat our life partners with the dignity and respect that they

deserve ... and that we deserve in return. 

Cherish each moment and each day, but most importantly, cherish each other.  

By the way, my husband loves the rules!!
 I can no longer correct him!!

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