Time passes so quickly and before we know it we will be our parents age. I remember a time, as I am sure you can too, when getting to a certain age was so far off and I had so much time before I got there, and now I am past that time and wonder how did the time pass by so quickly? We see a lot of elderly patients in our office and it is always so nice to be able to take a couple of extra minutes to chat with them and hear their stories. I remember several years ago one gentleman stood at our front counter talking to our receptionist for several minutes, he was just talking about life in general and then he told her “Thank you, for letting me take a few minutes of your time to talk to you, I do not get to talk to people too often, in fact, you are probably the last person that I will get to talk today and maybe for a few days as I live alone and my family is not around so the only time I get to talk to people is when I go to appointments like this.” When he left we really realized that probably many people are like this and are very lonely. We need to remember that there are times when we are the only contact some patients are going to get that day and taking that extra minute means so much to them. When I take elderly patients in the treatment room, I always tell myself “if this were your mother/father how would you want them treated and talked to?” When communicating with the elderly about treatments, insurance issues or office policies remember to take the extra time to explain details to make sure they understand, as these types of issues can be confusing and cause them to become anxious or upset. Aging is a process that each of us will do differently and we need to be patient with our seniors and give them the respect and care that they deserve.
Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what happened. ~Jennifer Yane