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May 2, 2020 8:03 am
Today on Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, a young person reveals how loving the old will change your life. Older and all are living our life narrative not being that stated they had and I think as a young adult were not valued in my mind how valuable they are welcome to Building Relationships. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller, the five languages today.
Love filled conversation with Isabel Tom about the value of our older family members.
Her book comes partly from her own experience of growing up. Grandparents you can find it@ 5lovelanguages.com. The title is the value of wrinkles, young prospective on how loving the only change your life.
Five love languages.com Gary this topic is getting closer and closer. My heart every day. Older age brought about you closer to my heart risk level of this topic. The topic there.
The value of wrinkles. This is a good books. What is your DNA just so part of Esther's genetic but no job. This is a topic I think that the younger people need to hear as well as those of us were older, so I'm excited about the conversation to be a lot of fun because there are some memories as we are preparing for this. The memories of my grandfather who came to live with us in visiting my grandmother. She lived alone, but her two of her sons lived with her and you know some of these things just kind of percolated.
I thought wow this is such a great topic so let me introduce you to author and speaker Isabel Tom. She is passionate about serving the older adult population between growing up in an intergenerational household and working in the field of aging. Isabel has more than 35 years experience with older adults or grandparents who lived until they were 9802 years old had a profound impact on her efficiently.
She is more than a decade of experience working with healthcare organizations. She and her husband Kevin have three children. Find out more about our featured resource of the website. Five love languages.com it's Isabel's book the value of wrinkles, young perspective on how loving the old will change your life again. Go to five love languages.com Isabel welcome to Building Relationships great. First let me just say this. I have a sense that this book is more than just a book to you. It's more like a love letter to your grandparents. Is that true. I love my grandparents and run number and now it really a love letter to all the older people out there, especially the older adult, I worked with previously in my career.
I hope that younger people to read but I want older people to see the title of the buck and just be encouraged by it because I now I little encouragement are a lot more encouragement realize how much value they surely have told us about your family in the home. You grew up what it was like I was born my parents were from China and Hong Kong and night and I and my paternal grandparents.
So I in Cheney, and they really help take care of my parents are at work.
Both work full time they walked me to school after school. They were there pretty much for everything. When I learned how to play the trumpet compare with them that they were better for everything that I thought the project and I live for such a long time.
So until I was 20 L literally when I got married, vital part of your growing up. They were there all the time that my normal a lot of people are scared about growing older of these visions of what might happen to them alone below what you say to people who have those fears, while I know that heart by I think that we have yet the older we get, the less attractive capable of the left valuable that we are and I don't think that's the truth that all I have friends are turning 30 or 40 and Erica there running away. They are kicking and screaming into the next decade. I want to encourage on my helping them to see that as you age that I just can't be able to live long age guest and there's so much growth with each day that God gives us.
Each additional day that we got.
We grow in so many ways.
The word shame comes up quite a bit in your book. Why is it that many of us have become ashamed of our age instead of acknowledging it to look at the way that we talk about old age. Now I hear people who are in their 20s and 30s and really people at all eight NHL crown and they say things like I'm getting all you care everywhere right now. I got myself some time because you know it really is ingrained in our society and we all say it, but if you think about it only think something like that.
We never mean a good thing though, if you look at how lucrative the antiaging industry is very think about how offended people are if someone describes himself as old.
Like I asked somebody how old they are or somebody think you look older age.
Oh boy, you would get in a lot of trouble.
You know I have older adults that work with senior to tell me you know you don't want to hang out with an old guy like me or when I asked him for advice. So tell me you don't want to get old and so I think we're just all ashamed because this is deeply ingrained into society and this is the way we think of old age that it occurred some of her friends are you going to tell people the truth is I said yes yes I'm glad to be alive. She had cancer seven years ago and sees a series of survivors whose glad to be alive that really should be our attitude right we been greatly blessed to be this old yeah that's counter to what many in our culture feel so what I hear you saying that is bull it's coming from both sides. The older people are a little reticent because they are older and younger people are not looking forward to getting older. So were getting this pressure from both sides right how that got to the point that no a lot of older adults.
They really believe that a certain age and there's nothing you can do to contribute 90 there's nothing there's no good last now and so I really passionate about writing. Buck and I have acute urgency I three young kids there, one, three and five when I started writing and I feel like a very urgent care because people are letting our life older adult and they are just not being that each day that they had guest and I think as a young adult were not saying that we need to value them in my mind how valuable they are certainly concur with so much to be overcome older adults and that's why I think this book is a tremendous impact on those who like to read it as you talk about our society is increasingly sensitive toward racism, sexism over social injustices with the same time we seem to be okay with belittling or putting down the older generation Y why are we being selective. While I think about it, we become more aware of what we say and more towards certain group or certain situations that people are going through when someone step Or more so when someone thinks that confronts us about the negative attitudes so for example if someone says something containing towards wanting it got one and all over the world and another to be offended and people will know that what they said was not acceptable. It was offensive know it's hurtful, and the thing with older adults is that with time older adults. They grow weaker and grow more frail and don't have a voice email. I remember one time in particular I was visiting an elderly man, probably in his 90 he was known for being one of the most pleasant resident butting home to come to that, and I was there as well. So sitting at the dining room table and trying to say something. He pulled up a chair and we got closer to listen and voice with really faint, mouthing words that everything the world that came out of it now was garbled, he was trying to say something, but literally we could not understand what you're saying and you know when it comes older adult, sometimes literally they do not have a voice, especially near the end of life on but other times I really believe that as a society we don't have ears to listen. I think we are too busy to listen and so there many times we devalue older adults in our words and action.
Sometimes they speak out and we don't listen and eventually come to the point where they don't all because they know that no one is listening. Our meeting they feel that nobody cares to listen. We have gotten to this point where even older adults are ashamed of being older we could encourage goats to do with protecting thinking about their grandchildren. You mentioned that you grew up in a home where your grandparents were there were big part of your life course. Many children grew up in homes where their grandparents are not in their home and really look close to them, they might live across the country somewhere. What can we say to to grandparents, for example, who have grandchildren who did not grow up with were very close to them about the grandchildren. What can they do to to build a positive relationship and glean from their grandparents.
While that grandparent kind everything out to younger people, whether children or young middle-class high school or college age young adults whatever age. Younger people tend to be busy and so I spent a lot of older people you know grandparents. They don't want to get in the way and they sent everyone around younger baby. I would say. Remember that you can be such an encouragement to a younger person and in this world where we are just so busy all the time even if you don't get that feedback where a young adult showing appreciation continued to encourage him. Now someone else leave them out on how they're doing with pain.
I think you will get response. I think you will start to see that they appreciate your interest in where in time where we could all use more attention, more time from people, people are stuck on a phone neighbor who you know we don't see each other what is rushing in and out of our house.
The advantage of older adults that they have time. They have time for note to remember how valuable your time can be your encouragement you need to grandchildren. On the flipside, say if your grandchild when I was in my 20s realization that changed completely how I treated my grandparents. So I grew up living with my grandparents that I can't say I always appreciated and what change that way I was going to let a friend for my friend, you are moving way for grad school or their living weight because of a relationship. There a lot of moving so I realize that my grandparents they need know so I think parties we would you know all bring luck. We would celebrate the time that my friend had had spent no our church or in our community. We are given the time to share their favorite no money. We often way pray for them on and that would make them feel special help and feel confident they're going on Place whatever state era going to maybe overfeed but know our grandparents. They are in such a friend and I realized that through the way that I treat them back shows on their special help because there's a lot of fear get old are they near the end of life because somebody knows where they're going. Believe it can still be scary felt to know that it is the divine from God that we have the grandchildren to love our grandparents succumb to my mother's children still at home could teach children how to ask questions of their grandparents because your grandparents have a lot to share but but they don't necessarily to share it you but if grandchildren ask questions, they'll talk.
So I think for parents are loosely on this would really encourage them to think in terms of building that into the lives of their grandchildren asking questions of their grandparents helping our kids to care parent to help them develop a relationship with a parent grandchildren are the best that so even during the whole coronavirus outbreak.
What I've been doing my kids are young. I've been teaching them how to use the phone punching in the numbers.
I encourage them to call their grandma though my mother a lot. My mom and then I teach them how to start a conversation and I haven't done a question and I think during this time when people have been staying home a lot really great opportunity for us to prompt our children and teach our children to value their grandparents often to see that their grandparents much great story to tell about their history, though it can be a really exciting activity agree with your mission for a long time. This book is coming out very clearly is to help elderly people in our country feel valued and I were talking about some of the ways to do that now when you talk about teaching your children to call the grandparents or to call you elderly folks but to order order practical ways in our society as a whole that we can do that will communicate value to older adults earlier that it all comes down to getting them a proper sendoff. So whether you have a grandparent whether you have an older parent. Whether it's an older neighbor or somebody in your church. Elderly. We can value older people the same way that we would value somebody Rh you know, we acknowledge them.
We spent time with them.
We listen to them. We ask them questions. You know I like to say that when you ask them we you honor them and that's something that older adults the ministry of presence and ministry of listening is something they so very need specially when they don't feel like they have a voice that will just taking the time to slow down, listen to them listen to their needs and serves on yelling from the practical way offering help and I don't think it's rude to offer help and they can always no decline, just so that they know that there are people around him to support makes a huge difference and I call it, you know, building a village so light are elderly care are elderly grandparents let them know that they have a village supporting that they are not alone. I think no important risks during the middle of all, my wife started calling sooner church just saying how are you processing all of this is just giving them a chance to talk and so many of them come back and said how much that meant to to feel that somebody else other family would call them. So I think we fail to understand how powerful it is when we reach out to an older adult. Just inquire about her are they doing with with life even more. You're not related to somebody, sometimes it does mean more.
I think that older adults I paid visitors and friends. You know, and when you're not related, but you're not obligated to delay telling some ways it can mean even more throughout your book you give evidence of the love languages hugs and words and do the scope of things me ask you this, when you were growing up. The love language concept wasn't there. Probably for your parents or grandparents.
But did you feel love bye-bye the way to express love to you both your parents and grandparents because I got a loving parent and I grew up with loving grandparents and I was the youngest of the family. So I think in many ways I know got more hugs and snuggles. I guess I got a little more attention in that way I you know yes definitely I think I would say that the love they gave me came through different weight. You note in different forms.
When you have grandparents in the home and on top of parents on top of loving parents. I think that can help younger children and even now either on growing older. It can help kids to develop a greater resilience for the difficult things in life. So for me I think it gave me an extra layer of love and attention that really helped me as I had to face different hardships and when I got rejected at school. It was okay because I knew I had emailed two sets of adults who love me and I think that makes such a difference.
You called elderly resource. Tell us more about you mentioned briefly earlier but tell us more about while I've been blessed to know there many older adults and what I realized after many years of being around them and serving on and working in that field is that every older person is an expert at something, so you know. Yes, an older person may have you had any had 50 years of experience in marriage to clean from, but if you think about it somebody his ADA often have experience in many other things.
So if Mr. Smith has been is 80 and he's been reading for over 70 years. Tell me the best books out there. If you've been fixing cars for 60 years. Then he can tell me what's wrong with my car if he hears the funky sound.
You know anybody. Basically, with time comes better at something and so I think especially the believer. I really value having older believers around me.
So I got a community Bible study and it's my group encompasses all ages and Eileen and a little bit more when somebody hit 85 and my group shares because I know that you know they have a really strong grounded and they have such a testimony to tell. So I think you there's there's a lot of things we think of having older adults around us and we we say that that's valuable because they have with them but I think there's more. They are experts in many things and they just have so much experience to share with us.
This will be you've written this book and this is your life's mission to honor these older people in your life. Is that because of what you experience when you're young and and one sent you kind of didn't appreciate it at the time because I look back I see how valuable it was and what really changed me. I would say is working in a field with so many more older adults so you know a lot of people they only have interaction with their grandparents. And that's what they know about other people but I was exposed to a lot of older adults so what I say is I think our stereotype or negative stereotype of older adults develop because a lot of people are basing it off the really manage example 592 grandparents, maybe four grandparents on and hotting and worked with so many older adults you know they have blessed me in so many ways and I think that people don't understand, don't be. This gap in understanding so I've always been told that it unique for a younger person to work with older adult.
People think I'm strange and that's how I know that they don't see the value in working in and serving older adults. I took the GRE when I wanted to go to grad school I got my not driven, public health and the first time I took it. I didn't have time.
I took it at the time I was working in the fitness center at a senior retirement community. I took instead of just being in our office when I had time I would be a good idea go out and talk conversation with some of the resident and different words that I was studying so vocab and the writing portion was actually harder for me and so I would ask them what does this word mean and maybe walking on the treadmill at the same time they give me a definition that actually know made more sense to me with something I can remember much easier than the definition in the box that often sneak out of that and so I actually as I was studying for my GRE and so that's one small example of how I feel like I have benefited from the experience of older adults and also their love towards younger people. I think they actually are very willing to help out. Younger people, and mentor encouraged him until I want younger people to see that there is not only an untapped resource that we have cheerleaders there.
We are now were able to slow down reach out to develop a relationship with an older person.
This is Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller "The 5 Love Languages" were talking with Isabel Tom today, author of the value of wrinkles, a young perspective on how loving the old will change your life can find out more at 5lovelanguages.com go to that site. Today you will see information about a date night at home. So before we get back to the conversation with Isabel Gary in the last few weeks you had to cancel a lot of events so this is a way to connect with couples. Tell me more about the date night at home coming up May 7 oh I'm excited about it.
Chris, because as you say yes of the chance.
Hello, a lot of things in the list of too much of this is an opportunity for people to attend an event that's going to be extremely practical and helpful want to go to address basically is the true essentials to long-term healthy marriages. If you get these two things right.
Chances are you're on the road to a long-term healthy marriage be a lot of fun.
Am looking forward to it are doing this to live audiences many times very excited about doing this will this illness is live to assist her daughter. My presence are good so you will go to five love languages.com you can register there. It's a very small price hopefully will have a huge dividends in your marriage and it will be at 8 o'clock local time, so wherever you are in the country at 8 o'clock you will attend this again go to five love languages.com it's an experience designed to strengthen and deepen your relationship without leaving home. Boy Gary there a lot of people who have been cut or cooped up together for the last few weeks. This might be a real breath of fresh air. I think I think so. I'm looking forward to it. Think those are joyless will have the telephone but I think the learned some things practical things that will enrich their marriage go to five love languages.com. Find out more about the date night at home coming up May 7.
You can register right there.
Five love languages.com you say that to who we are today.
Whatever our age were not older, whoever we are today will determine the person going to be we get older. So how can those of the revolution today who are younger may be in their 30s or 40s.
How can they prepare now to become the person they want to be when they get older. While I care that I'll just tell you that I'm driving down the highway and I live in the DC area and cut me off and honking seriously.
I don't usually react and be back and I let them go and I actually feel fine for them because I can I, guess what kind of person there to be when they're older.
That sounds horrible. How can I count well if you talk to older people get the chance to learn about the past and you'll notice that they weren't all that different back then when they were younger than they are now so I think you know we really need to cultivate our character. We need to develop good habits now we need to practice who we want to be later on when you're younger you can couch and ignore things and for a short period of time. If I can affect you by truly come back to you later on and so I think it's important in our younger years.
If you're struggling with something or maybe unable to forgive someone it's for our own good to take it seriously in working in a senior Field. I feel like I got a long-term perspective.
Like I get to see what happens when you don't forget when you don't take care of certain problems that you have are tried and then the resulting relationship in my young age. I reminder to me that you know we can praying God to help us with those areas to take it seriously and counsel and work through some of the struggle that we have now because it will help us to be the person that we want to be in old age is about younger goats who are listening to really hear what you decided, because if we don't deal with those issues loose fractured relationships or the rejection. We will fill some others we don't deal with that in those early years.
It's going to follow us enter our old age man that was so powerful know what all. Type and not every person is a grumpy old man but if you truly are serious about not wanting to be a grumpy old person, and you have to work it out now because you can't change behavior in a day can expect that you will turn 85 and all the sudden the cherry and brighten grateful for your life and that is also now it also relates to your lifestyle and if you are taking your health. If you don't take it seriously.
Now, what makes you think that when you turn 85 that you are going to take a walk every day and do the things that are healthy for you to slip.
Let's say let's look at it from the young adults perspective so your grandfather was not a very loving person or your grandmother was not a very loving person and now you're thrown into maybe taking care of work that leads to your interface with you really don't even enjoy being with them because they are so negative. What might that young adult, do to to have a better relationship with looks like a grumpy old grandfather or grandmother for that matter. While I think of yourself as so before you approach someone is difficult.
You really need to try and understand why their difficult and with older adults to really dig deeper so I think people all of us that humans are complicated enough, right but something that I've learned from working in the senior care field is that someone, even if there is a lot there a lot of things going on physically inside that also emotionally that factual older adult, and so I think we need to remember that no you know because I grew up in multigenerational household and I wrote this book and I developed a greater initiation for older adults get people down even friend you and that everyone in our family, particularly grandparents were all just such pleasant people and we all just get along and I was still not the case. You know, I youngest my family and as a child.
I'll say that I was oblivious to a lot of the family dynamics particularly between my parents and my grandparents that by the time I reached middle and high school. I caught on pretty quickly and I realize that even though my grandpa, he had a sweet spot for me. He was actually really hard to get along with so just an example of his strong personality at 97.
He had a stroke and I was on my honeymoon at the time when I found out about this.
He refused to go to the hospital. Once he got to the hospital. He refused to go to rehab and demanded that he is going to go home and when we finally got him to rehab. We got called from the nurses asking us to tell him to listen. Though they would go to the bathroom is itself dangerous and they would ask us to tell him that you know he was a fighter so exhausting for our family to care for him because he was so demanding and strong-willed, and during that time.
What really helped me something that convicted me and I was driving in the car and I heard the song I believe that it was sung by Laura story mighty to save and it you just listen to the first line and I always remember hearing that and she sings everyone needs compassion, love that's never failing and it reminded me that I have compassion on my grandfather. Yes, it was hard when when you're in the thick of it.
It is difficult and a lot of time.
You have to step back that you think of the very basic thing as an sleep deprivation and sleep deprivation occurs in about 50% of older adults in your mom of three young kids eat at night I didn't sleep so well, so I cannot woke up grumpy and you know the things that are going on inside older adult it can lead to negative behavior. A lot of times so everything from law to physical changes that's going on inside them having to ask for help feeling alone. There's just so much going on inside. And it's actually very interesting and as an investigator grandchild adult child when you take the time to step back. It helps you have more compassion for what they're going through. I would say in terms of trying to repair truck to relate to an older adult who may have a negative framework for life is maybe to play the role of a counselor and that is ask questions and dismiss the cultures job process questions as questions that many times even overbuilt with a negative orientation to life. If you start additional questions about their past and about their job about their parents about their childhood, you will discover some things that perhaps influence them to be who they are and the very fact that you are showing interest in video by asking those questions is building a relationship with Leo because you're not just talking surface talk. You're not just talking sports or or even church. But you're talking about their life and showing interest in them.
So that's a tremendous approach to trying to have a better relationship with older adults with my associate have a negative orientation of life caregiver. I think the right approach is always about the relationship.
Sometimes we get so busy doing the logistics making sure we get the paperwork and driving them to the doctors appointment and everything like that that the older person can still feel very alone and unloved because they haven't felt, heard that nobody is listening to them or asking them questions so I think whether you have someone who difficult or not difficult. One of the best ways we can serve the elderly is to listen to them and we loved him in that way, and it also makes it easier for us to serve them because they're more likely to communicate with us and tell us their needs as will a lot of our listeners are what we typically call the sandwich generation. That is, young children home and yet they have responsibility to be looking out for elderly parents, so they are pulled in two directions really want to be good parents to their children and yet they feel responsible, somewhat to deal with the elderly. What you say to those who are who are in but the situation while a number one remember that just like raising your kids is meaningful work, loving and caring for aging parents is meaningful and noble work to do so in the end, you are not going to regret it.
I TK Pastor Ted and I have worked with senior then work in end-of-life care and so I have gone to a lot of funerals in general and even while I was writing this book to seniors that I interviewed for the book pass and going to so many funerals. Mrs. Lacey, I feel a lot of pain and guilt from adult children the most pain. And honestly, the loudest wail are from the one who they regret not having spent time with their parents not showing their parents that they love them and not caring for them not investing time and effort into doing this and so it's really hard when you have to care for the needs of young children and teenagers and the elderly that hard but it is noble work.
Secondly, I would say involve your kids and there is a really important reason why we should do that. Not something I'm working on as a mom of young kids is when we involve our kids and taking care of their grandparents and when I say taking care of them. I mean, blasting and teaching them to honor their grandparents what they do is a senior grandparents age and they start to gain compassion and awareness for people who are not like them.
So a lot of people on worry about their kids. A lot of parents worry about their kids being entitled while we can't take them to Third World country to show them how much they have that if they are around learned all may see that there are people healthwise are unfortunate as they are and on. This is character building.
But I called character building.
The second reason why you want one. Involve your kids is they can help me care getting easier for you as the adult child being in the family generation and I am so passionate about that because I think this is why my grandparents had such a good quality of life for so many years my parents they taught us how to take part in caregiving and grandchildren. I would say have a superpower you just look at all the grandparents you are just gushing over there grandchildren. Another googly eyed they're trying to show you 500 pictures on Facebook. Other grandchildren and grandchildren have a soft spot in their grandparents lives as they get older they can take in helping your grandparents.
So I was the one who drove my grandparents to the store they actually felt more comfortable asking me because they didn't want burden. My parents, when it came down to let you know my grandpa in my book I talked about how he was fairly difficult and demanding.
While he was 97 and he refused to sign the power of attorney form, because I think he was just felt like trustee was very scared and fearful at that time. While it came down to the time when I grant my dad was like he needs to find that she had a stroke and we needed him to sign up for my was a line to approached him and he ended signing power of attorney form because I took part in approaching him and he was as much softer and much more willing to listen and so I say grandchildren you that superpower like I want to resolution among grandchildren, especially as they become all in college in your 20 oh capable we are creative energy and so now just like we think about going overseas to keep Corp. in all these different know why not part and blessing our grandparents that such noble work. So I really want to encourage parents to prompt their children get them involved yesterday might not be genuine in beginning. But when you prompt them and teach them and guide them to just notice the grandparents to find small ways to help you know they can start helping to pick up pieces on meeting I'll people working to the primary caregiver. They can help and they can make caregiving a lot easier and a lot more pleasant sound that something to remember involving your children's your ministry to your parents or sometimes even to the grandparents but a lot depends on course older children or what they're capable of doing and whether geographically the children around you know when my mom got old mama lived to be 99.
But as she got older, my children didn't even live in the same state with me or my mother but I made sure that my two grown children, knew what I was doing for my mother because of their later years ahead of suitors with around-the-clock because I did live in the town where she did either and that I would go down every week. I would drive down as long as she was able take her out to lunch and spend the whole afternoon with her and I made sure my grown children knew what I was doing because I thought someday I might be a mobile situation, only to have a model of apple so even if you are parent difficult served on love them because your children are watching and when it comes time for you know as you get older and need help, they will help you first for me.
You know my dad died a few years earlier than his mother, who lived 202 and my sisters and I one of the reasons why we are so involved in caring for my grandma because we did it out of love for my dad. We wanted to make sure that my grandma was well taken care of because we knew that my dad loved her and that's also why we are so passionate about caring for hand and being available and willing to help him in whatever ways he cuts out. You are deftly setting an example for your children for the younger generation. When you serve your older adults and you take it as you know, I would say a divine assignment, Elizabeth is almost gone, but will do this give us some restatement of what this book is all about what you're really trying to communicate to people so I would say to remember that having an older adult in your life is such a guest so let's give our older family members or friends. Let's give him a proper sendoff. Let's use our youth and use could mean 2030 5060 use are used in our energy and our muscle to bless you folks to have such a story to tell who have so much to bless us back with no only did I think we will be so glad we will be blessed in return was built like you for spending time with us today for taking the time and effort to write this because I believe it's going to help a lot of people come to old age, with far fewer regrets. If we book some sages in the early middle years of our life. So thanks for being with us today. Thank you so much Dr. Chapman. What a great perspective that such an important time in our country the church. If you've enjoyed the conversation with Isabel. Tom can read more in the book value of wrinkles, younger perspective on how loving the old change your life.
Five love languages.com to find out more. While you're there, check out the date night at home with Dr. Gary Chapman coming up May 7. It local five love languages.com to register right there next week for your core needs will tell us what those needs are and what to do. One week from today. A big thank you to our team. Janice Todd building relationship with Dr. Gary Chapman production radio in Chicago in association with Moody public ministry of five. Thanks for the