Passing It On

What do seniors want?

By Linda Buroker ( | Feb 17, 2014
Linda Buroker

Seniors are good people who want to be in control of their own lives. The first thought that comes to mind when someone asks, what do you want, is that you just want to be left alone.

Realistically you know that this isn’t going to happen. Seniors have too many people in their lives wanting to take care of them, and they all think that they can do a better job than you can. They either don’t take you seriously or they don’t believe that you are capable of running your own show.

It is good to remind them (and yourself as well) that you are the same person you have always been. If you have always been a reasonable adult, there is no reason for anyone to think differently, but if you have always been “difficult” they will be itching to take you in hand.

Being older does not mean that you automatically become cranky, stubborn or set in your ways, although it often seems that way. Being difficult is not going to win you the respect that you have spent so many years trying to build.

When you make your senior “want list,” it is good to keep a few home truths in mind. The main one is that gray hair, wrinkled skin and mandatory retirement do not make you a lesser person. Nearly all older people are capable of making decisions and orchestrating their own care needs.

Look around you. There are some really “old” people doing remarkable things these days. You see them on the tennis courts, in schools, running for public office, writing books and creating beautiful things.

That should tell you that being cranky, unreasonable and set in your ways is not the norm. Believe it or not, there are more people aging successfully than those who are not aging successfully.

It is important not to let visions of declining health, nursing home occupancy, or social isolation mold the way you live.

Establish in your own mind that you are still a person of considerable worth, and think about what you really want.  A basic list might include:

• Seniors want to be able to take care of themselves as long as possible.

• Seniors want to be free of chronic diseases or learn how to manage the ones that that they happen to have.

• Seniors want to have friends who will be there for them.

• Seniors want to be able to make choices about everything that will affect how they age (diet, exercise, smoking etc.).

• Seniors want to be able to cope with any and all challenges.

• Seniors want to feel satisfied with their lives, at least most of the time.

How does my list compare with yours? Please contact me and share what works for you: (

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