As these, are the skills, we would find useful, as we become, elderly people, and with the society, aging fast right now, we need to, make sure, that we train, the next generations to be, inquisitive, because they will help them in their, elderly years of life, off of the Front Page Sections, translated…
There’s, that proverb of how “Looking at Children, You Can Guess How They’ll Turn Out as Adults, by Age Three, You Can Correctly Guess How the Individual Will be in Old Age”, from the start, I’d thought, this was, referring to the education of young children; it’d, touched me especially, because I have many children, and I got to, observe them in the different stages of their developments, and I’d, felt that how the children were raised, will be a good prediction of how they’ll turn out as, adults, especially the habits children may have at a young age, what’s interesting is, after over a dozen of years, the habits are still, intact.
My job revolves around giving social and emotional support to those who are troubled by taking care of those who are, demented; being diagnosed with dementia, it’d, made them deteriorate in cognition, not only would they have shortened memory spans, they may also, slowly, forget about their own age, and the conditions they’re, currently, experiencing, and, with the progressions of the illness, they’d, sometimes, start knowing themselves, as their, younger selves, many would start to, carry those habits they’d had when they were in their, younger years.
As the patients’ regressed, their behaviors changed accordingly; most of the times, their young would find, that the patients started, having habits they don’t even know that they had, it’s because, the behaviors may be from before the offspring were born. For instance, the patients may change their, bathing habits, not knowing how to use the shower, or that as the teeth deteriorated away, to the point that the individual can’t even, chew the peanuts, but insisted the families buy the foods for them, only because, it was, their favorites when they were, younger. This change actually presents an opportunity, for the caretakers, to find ways, to relieve the hardships of taking care of our demented elderly.
Recently, there was a case, that day Lee rushed into the clinic, wanted me to write out a diagnosis for his father. I’d asked him what happened.
“Dr. Chen, my father had deteriorated to the point that he can’t speak anymore, can only, smile at someone nonstop.” “But, a few days ago, when I took him out, there was someone who’d, left the keys in the ignition of a scooter, then, my father, he’d, hopped on it, then, run the scooter up to 120 kilometers per hour!”
I was thrilled, I’d asked him what happened afterwards?
He’d described what the police told him, “the officers chased my father to the intersections, and so, my father knew, to stop when the lights are red, as the officer knocked on the car window, he saw my father smiling at him, but, in a few short seconds, the lights turned green, then, in a whiff, my father, drove onward fast again.
The officer kept chasing him, until my father, stopped at another, red light; the office went up to the car and knocked on the window, showing the cuffs, and the gun too, thinking, this ought to, making stop. But the elderly man still, smiled, and, as the light turned green, he’d, driven off. And that was when it’d, dawned on the officer, that something must be going on with my father, that the next time he’d stopped at a red light, he should, arrest him.
As my father was to the substation, he couldn’t tell the police who he was, through the facial recognition programs, they’d, notified Lee, to come and pick up his father.
Gladly, this, didn’t become disastrous, and, I’d, realized, how deeply rooted, some of the habits are. The parents teaching their young the way to behave, to help the children set up their own schedules, it could, last a very, very long time in the mind. For instance, for Lee senior, he’d, forgotten, his own name, but still remembered, that he needed to stop when the lights are, red, that he can only start driving as the lights turned, green; so it’s, quite important, to teach children what to and what not to do when they were young; that way, if one becomes demented in the elderly years, at least, the individual still has a set of rules to abide by.
Another case, the families with demented elderly feared that the patients would, “wander off and get lost”. Because the patient normally, just, keeps on going, not stopping to ask directions from others around. For normal people, we can’t understand why they just, don’t stop and ask for directions. But it’s not that hard to understand from my perspective, the traditional society often teaches children, that “they should listen more, talk less.” In the younger years, this may be valid, but, I’d, wondered, if this, prevented us, from asking for help, from total strangers? When a person is elderly, and demented, as the cognition deteriorated away, it would be, even more difficult, to ask for help.
As parents, teach your children the rules of living that they’re, to abide by; teach them today, it can, well be helpful to them in their, elderly years, to allow them to have the basic skills of living needed, when they become elderly and demented. These skills include, asking questions actively, to give children the courage to discuss their troubles with others, I’m certain, that as our society, marched into the super elderly era, these acquired skillsets, will, greatly ease the hardships that the caretakers have.
And so, the old habits, they, NEVER die, and, things we’d, picked up as young children, they will, stay with us, for life, this is why, there should be, an even greater emphasis on early childhood education, because what we learned during those earliest years of our lives, stay with us, the longest!