“Let older women romanticize their lives and have fun!”
Although one may argue that “age is just a number,” it can mean a lot more when dealing with how people relate to one another. It’s no secret that there’s often a disconnect between people from different generations, particularly those furthest apart.
“Old people can’t even sit in a cafe or go on a walk without people patronizing them with some sort of, ‘Aww, they’re so cute! I love old people!’ comment. Why have we normalized treating old people like babies? They’re grown, multifaceted human beings in the later stages of life, not toys for you to ogle at.”
“My grandma is 99, and up until a few years ago, when she was still driving herself, she would wear studs in her ears. Here’s the thing — she has two in her right lobe and three in her left — pretty much unheard of for a woman her age. She got them when she was really young, in the late 30s, even MORE unheard of. She would wear bright colors and lipstick and not give a damn about what anyone thought of her, though plenty of people would give her looks like she was odd. That’s why she would tell me that age is only important if you’re a piece of cheese or wine!”
“Coming out as LGBTQ+. People always say they’re being unfair to their loved ones, or bring up that they’ve ‘hid’ it for this long, etc.”
“Using cash! I mean, it’s real money. Using it at stores means the store doesn’t have to pay the service charge from a card, and most of the time it’s quicker than using a card! Cash is cool!”
“Older women wearing bold makeup choices like blue eyeliner and fuchsia lipstick. Let them romanticize their lives and have fun! When younger people do it, it’s an artistic choice. When older people do it, it’s ‘How do they think that looks good?'”
“Please stop making fun of us for using our index finger to text! Why are you so pressed about it?! I make so many more mistakes when I use my thumbs, and my fingernails are long, so using my thumbs doesn’t work well anyway. It bugs me when teens giggle at me poking around at my phone with my forefinger.”
“Hi, I work with seniors! Young people, even not-so-young people, do not have the patience for regular, ol’ memory loss. Stop trying to finish their sentences like they’re taking up your precious time. Also, listen to older adults. They’ve had a lifetime of experience, and we need to listen more.”
“Playing video games! Maybe they are still learning, and kids need to quit being mean to elderly gamers.”
“Needing mobility aides and moving slower. Really, no one of any age should be made to feel lesser or ashamed of needing a cane, wheelchair, crutches, or any sort of support in general. Mobility aides can give you independence when your body is struggling and they should be empowering, not embarrassing.”
“I work for a company that, in turn, works for AARP. The biggest thing I’ve noticed is that older people get made fun of for not keeping up with the world. Of course, some REFUSE to do so, but a lot of the elderly are very isolated and often sheltered. They can barely afford food, let alone the newest iPhone.”
“Dining early at the ‘blue hair’ dinner hour. It leaves plenty of time for digestion before bed, and if you save a little money, that’s a bonus. No different than making happy hour your dinner, really.”
“Saying ‘What?’ repeatedly. They literally cannot hear you, which is frustrating. Asking what you said again and again until they understand is because they WANT to understand. They want to hear what you said. Be patient. Slow down. Be kind.”
“Older people get made fun of for not understanding newer social concepts immediately. People need to keep in mind that old people were raised in a completely different way than kids now. While that doesn’t excuse bigotry, it does explain their prudishness and confusion regarding certain topics. It doesn’t mean that they all aren’t willing to learn, though.”
“Asking for help understanding the latest technology! Older generations didn’t grow up with computers, touch-screen phones, cloud technology, etc. Younger generations went from boxy computers and landlines to carrying around mini, touch-screen computers in our pockets, so we naturally developed our knowledge of technology. My parents are in their late 60s and always feel guilty asking for help with their new devices, but I love that they’re trying to learn. Plus, it gives me a chance to bond with them while helping them learn a new device or skill. It also helps build their confidence and helps them feel more in touch with how the world is developing. So, next time someone older asks for help with some ‘common’ device issue, don’t shame them or roll your eyes, just help them. You’ll get to show off your knowledge while also helping the other person feel more independent and connected.”
“Anything they’re enjoying that doesn’t hurt someone else. Whether it’s participating in TikTok trends or still using Facebook (though it’s considered outdated), let people live and have fun how they want without negative commentary.”
“There’s a difference between the Boomer Generation and Generation X, and X’ers HATE getting called a Boomer.”
Finally: “Giving advice for situations they’ve been in before. I, myself, try to pretend like they must have no idea what they are talking about because it’s 2022, not 1982, but almost every time, they end up being right. God, I wish I would just listen sometimes.”
If you can think of any other reasons older folks are wrongly made fun of, share them in the comments below.
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.