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Managing the Personal Details for Exceptional Care
The Greatest Generation
There are differing opinions of the exact years The Greatest Generation was born. You will find that 1901 is typically the year this generation started while the end of this generation’s births differs but only by a few years. For the purpose of this blog we will say the Greatest Generation refers to those born between 1901 and 1928. Thus, anyone who is of The Greatest Generation that is still living is at a minimum 90 years of age.
Men and women who are considered members of The Greatest Generation lived through both The Great Depression and World War II. The events they experienced and observed, at home or abroad, are almost unimaginable to the rest of us. Yet, those still living provide us with an amazing example of what it means to have strength, perseverance, and to truly live an honorable life.
These admirable qualities are the same ones that require us, the caregivers, to pay close attention and work a little harder to provide them with the quality care they deserve. Most likely when you ask someone of The Greatest Generation how they are, they will answer, “good” or “okay” in some sort of fashion. They aren’t going to complain about anything that is not literally killing them. They have always “pulled themselves up by their bootstraps,” so why change that now that they are in their 90’s? We, as caregivers, must look past their direct answers, stoic gestures, and avoidance of complaining, in order to truly know how they are doing.
There are a few simple details you should pay attention to and consider when caring for someone of this generation. First, keep tabs on their appetite. A continuous decrease in appetite may be a sign that something isn’t quite right in their body. Loss of interest in things that they have always loved may provide a cue to both a physical and mental decline. An increase in the amount of sleep they require at night or how often they fall asleep during the day may also point to something different happening within.
All of these things can be simple, yet profound, signs of something major going on in their bodies or it could simply be outward signs of the body’s normal aging process. Either way, it is our responsibility as caregivers to present our findings to their physician and let them determine the cause, ensuring they receive the best care possible. It is also our responsibility to understand there are different types of care and not all of them are life sustaining, but they are all life honoring. We must be diligent in providing The Greatest Generation with compassionate and quality care while honoring their will to remain strong, stoic, and polite until the end.