Through my training and work as a Certified Elder Mediator and volunteering with the Durham Elder Abuse Network I found some critical gaps in expectations and communication, often between generations.
The expectations of aging seemed to be more negative than they have any reason to be.
I watched adult children with good intentions basically bully a parent or ignore their wishes on the premise that “they knew what was best” or they were trying to relieve the burden on mom or dad.
I watched experienced or ‘senior’ adults as you are most commonly referred to, make excuses such as having a “senior moment” or using disclaimers like “at my age…”.
How do we help with communication between generations? Each generation is different from the ones before and each individual, regardless of age, has different perspectives, beliefs, values and communication styles.
Mediator, Coach, Speaker
How do we find common ground?
How to we challenge ageism?
I think part of the solution is Positively Platinum.
When I think of the experienced adults in my life and what I want to be in just a few short years I only think of the positive. I think about what can be accomplished when the experience overcomes our concerns about what people think.
The word Positive is characterized by the presence of qualities not the absence of them.
The word Platinum; while I could have picked something stronger, just felt right.
These 2 words have meaning both factually and personally.
My Mom, well known for her honesty and straight forward communication style. My Mother in Law, well known for her positivity and youthfulness. My Dad, well known for his platinum hair, strength and questioning nature. These are my models and my inspiration for Positively Platinum.
Facts About Platinum:
*The atomic number is 78 (probably an age you would be considered a senior by someone)
*Is a highly valued and desired metal with a wide range of uses
*Is a transition metal
*Is extremely resistant to tarnishing and corrosion BUT very soft & malleable making it easy to shape
*Researchers are continuing to find new uses and applications for it
A PLATINUM record has to have sold 1,000,000 copies…that’s pretty impressive don’t you think?
I know at any age parents want their children to get along and they value the relationship above their own best interests at times.
I know that sometimes the aging process is not positive and the sterotypes are particularly negative.
I also know that aging is highly individualized, that some things are hard to talk about and that one size or label does not fit all.
Let’s change how “seniors” are seen and heard from in society!
Through a variety of methods from coaching and mediation to speaking, I want to help people:
*Talk about aging (respectfully); and
*Talk about difficult subjects; and
*Resolve differences; and
*Focus on the value of aging.
AGING is a success to be celebrated…not everyone gets to do it!
As a mediator with specialized training in mediation with age related issues, I work with families discussing all kinds of issues.
I have found that it’s not the labels or terms used, it’s the underlying attitudes that are most often in conflict.
That it’s unmet expectations that cause hurt, anger and confusion.
That little things add up.
That stage of life and lifestyle are 2 very different things.
That regardless of age we all want independence, choice and a voice.
As 1 of 25 Family Mediation Canada Certified Elder Mediators I know that conflict coaching and mediation help a great many families.
I know that addressing the attitudes can allow people to see things from a different perspective.
That openly talking about expectations helps more of them be met.
That quality of life can only be identified by the person whose life it is.
That the best way to ensure independence, choice and voice is to proactively communicate about your needs, wants and wishes.