Older people have generally lived an interesting life, they have lived through many changes and experienced all of life’s ups and downs. Conversing with an older person, be that a relative or someone you are caring for, can open up a world of interesting facts, stories and wisdom. Spending more time with elderly relatives, finding out how they coped, what they did and what lessons they learned in their life, can teach you some valuable life skills.

Adapting to change

The changes our older generation have been through, means they had to adapt quickly. Just as we have to today, although in the past those changes at times have been monumental. Imagine going through a war, experiencing food rationing, and making do with what you have. During wars, and for a long while afterwards, people had to grow their own vegetables as there was not enough food, it was something the Government also encouraged, and one of the reasons allotments became popular.

Adapting to change is a key life skill that will help you throughout your whole life, personally and in your work. This can be an enlightening conversation to have with your older loved ones.

Frugal living

You might notice that the majority of older people are quite frugal when it comes to money, food and resources. As you can imagine, war rationing and limited resources will teach you to be much more economical than usual. We can all learn from this in today’s disposable society. Saving money and buying less things that you don’t really need can help you in the long term.

Some people have enabled themselves to retire early, pay off their mortgage sooner and more, simply by living frugally day to day. Ask your older relative for frugal living tips.

Finding things to do that doesn’t involve screens

Before smart phones, tablets, television and other devices, people found other ways of entertaining themselves, such as hobbies and crafts. These can provide multiple life skills. Crafting offers a creative outlet which can help with mental health and wellbeing. You can even gift your crafts at Christmas and birthdays – helping you to be more frugal. Having a chat with an elderly relative about what they did before there were smart phones and television can give you some ideas and perhaps something that you can do together.

Getting involved in the community

Older generations really valued community engagement, it is a thing that is sadly disappearing at an alarming rate. In smaller places like villages, a community spirit still thrives, however cities and suburbs can often be lacking in this. You can talk to older relatives about how they got together to help each other.

Perhaps this will inspire you to know your neighbours or get involved in local events. This can help you to meet new people and you can gain other skills depending on what things you get involved with.

Discovering life skills and stories from your older relatives will help them as well as you. It is good to talk and remember the old days. You will both gain value from this.