As we walk life’s path it’s not uncommon for our life goals to change as we grow in experience and change in perspective. It’s only natural after all. Our needs at 40 are likely to be different to our needs at 20 and our lives will be enriched by experiences in these intervening decades which change our beliefs and worldview in pretty fundamental ways.
Most of us are, in our younger years, monetarily obsessed. We view the function of work as a way to facilitate the cool things we want to acquire like expensive clothes, a flashy car and a regular table at a fancy restaurant. As we get older and wiser, however, the superficial charm of these trappings of wealth starts to wear thin for us.
We stop wanting to chase money and instead yearn for something that does a little more than pay the bills and allow us the odd luxury. We want a career that’s enriching to the soul as well as the bank account. We want to give something back. If this resonates with you, a career in working with seniors may just be what you’ve been searching for.
Here are some of the most wonderful things about working with the elderly…
You hear stories that fundamentally change your worldview
They say that those who don’t learn from the past are condemned to repeat it. The trouble is that for most of us, there’s not all that much past to learn from. When you’re working with seniors in a care home or skilled nursing facility, however, you hear a lot of stories. Not only are they fascinating and edifying in their own light they can shed valuable insight into the lessons to be learned from past generations.
None of us benefits from living in an echo chamber and listening to the tales of people from a different generation can be extremely educational and edifying and change our world view for the better.
You gain a whole wealth of transferable skills
Lots of people who dedicate themselves to helping others tend not to look back, but even if you do, you’d leave the profession with highly desirable and transferable skills. Your interpersonal, time management, organizational and conflict resolution skills will be valuable both within the industry and beyond. Plus, you’ll have a whole host of stories to tell people about all the fascinating characters you’ve encountered.
You smile. A lot. Every day!
Smile and the world smiles with you. In fact, there’s evidence to suggest that the act of smiling really benefits our physical and mental health by lowering our blood pressure, relieving stress, improving how we relate to others and even giving our immune function a boost. Plus, not only will you be smiling a lot every day, you’ll be seeing those smiles reciprocated over and over again by people who understand and appreciate the difference you make to their lives.
You’ll build relationships you will remember for the rest of your life
Who wants to spend their days agonizing over data and poring over spreadsheets when you can spend them making a difference in people’s lives and forging positive relationships? And the relationships you make with the men and women in your charge will stay with you and bring you comfort and joy for the rest of your life.