Lessons From The Oldest Old: Crisis, Confidence, Gratefulness and Resilience
Since the start of the Coronavirus Pandemic, many of my conversations have included people inquiring about how my mother is doing through all this. We all worry about those who are most vulnerable. And yet, stories from around the world have told about the amazing recovery from the virus even of centenarians.
I have noticed, in particular, how remarkably resilient my mother has been, in spite of seeing just me or her caregivers now for nearly a year. While she is accepting of the current “shutdown” of the community where she lives, she still looks forward to when that will end, and she can safely see her family and her beau again.
She has always been respectful of others and grateful for her family and friends, and that she has been able to live a life rich in love, and gathering, and community. She tells people she was fortunate to have been in love three times!
Consistent with the article, “How the Oldest Old Can Endure Even This,” my mother finds her way through this crisis in part because she has handled so many significant challenges and loss in the past. Her resilience also comes from being grateful. I have heard her say over and over again, “thank you,” to the caregivers who help her every day. Here are two stories, one old, one new, that describe the same “crisis confidence” and gratefulness that I see in my mother, both helping her get through this pandemic.
We can learn from the oldest old, if we listen.
By Susan Ernsky, President