Remembering, Creating, and Maintaining Relationships Across the Generations

November—Tip of the Month

Remembrance Day is on November 11, a perfect time of year to remember not only those who have served and continue to serve in our military, but all the important people in our lives. When we think of Remembrance Day, we often think of the older soldiers who fought in WW1, WW2, and Korea, but there are thousands of men and women of all ages serving in our country’s military today. Despite Canada’s international role as peacekeepers, our soldiers are often deployed overseas into areas of armed conflict, and the long-term fallout impacts not only our soldiers when they return home to Canada, but also their immediate family, extended family, and friends. As such, November is a good time to reflect on the importance of all the relationships we have in our lives and to value those we often overlook.

The older people in our lives have a greater impact on us than we might imagine. Our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and our entire extended network of family and friends all have a profound influence on how we think, behave, react, and care for one another. Research supports that people who have well-developed relationships, particularly multi-generational ties, have lower incidences of depression and dysphoria, experience more fulfilment in life, and may even live longer. People need people. We’re rooted in the clan, the tribe, the pack. We have evolved looking out for one another and learning from each other’s mistakes.

Countless articles and books have been written on the importance of having older people in our lives. If you don’t have older aunts, uncles, or grandparents, there are still many ways to make contact with older generations in your community. Volunteering is an excellent way to start. Seniors’ centres, long-term and extended care facilities, hospitals, churches, community centres — they all need local support to help engage people of all ages.

Asking questions, sharing memories, and telling stories are some simple ways to begin learning from the older people around us. Each generation thinks they invented the wheel, but the truth is, we have so much to learn from those who have gone before us. And in the case of our soldiers of all generations, we have much to be grateful for.

So take a moment this month to remember… and to forge some connections that could change your life for the better.

Ingle’s Tip of the Month was provided by P. Lloyd, Clinical Services Director, Novus Health (part of the Ingle Group of Companies)


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