PERCEPTIONS FORM ATTITUDES FOR SENIORS

Oct 15th, 2012 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Senior Citizens Attitudes Vary

A couple traveled to the grocery store to stock up on food and supplies.  It was only about a five minute drive, so they took their elderly parent along with them.  The store is bright, shiny and very clean.  It offers variety in products, including natural and organic food.

As they entered, they observed that most of the patrons at that early hour in the morning were senior citizens doing their grocery shopping.  They were casually dressed.  Some were on walkers.  Others were in grocery store electric carts.  Still others (and most) were just shopping and walking around on their own steam.  They thought how great it is that these seniors were still living on their own and managing their lives for themselves.  A supportive community such as the one they live in plays a big part in providing resources so the elderly can remain independent. The town isn’t a ‘planned’ community; it just has a lot of local services that appeal to seniors.

The elderly parent was with them as they shopped that morning.  His observation about the people in the store gives an interesting comparison.  He said, “Those people are so decrepit.”  He was referring to the combination of elders who are thin and bony, somewhat unkempt white hair, bow-legged and stooped over. His frame of reference reflects his age and what was important in the lives of people who grew up in the 20s and 30s.  How you looked carried a great deal of significance, and was more important than almost anything else.

Perceptions Form Attitudes

The difference in observations shines a light on how perceptions form attitudes.  If you see a lot of negativism in the world, you will carry attitudes and behavior that reflect that negativism. That’s the ‘half-empty’ glass of water phenomena. On the other hand, if you see the world as a positive and happy place, your attitudes (and therefore your behavior) will reflect happiness. You will look for the positives in any experience, and play down the negatives.  This is the ‘half-full ‘glass of water attitude.

Perceptions and attitudes are chosen.  You are not born with them.  You choose to label what you perceive, and your attitudes about people and life are formed around your perceptions. Take a look at how you perceive the world.  How do you define your perceptions?  Are your world attitudes positive or negative?  Be sure you are living the life that you want.  The choice is yours.



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