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Honoring Our Elders, Caring For Children

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Elders play a critically important role in most traditional communities. They are wise ones, the mediators of conflict, the healers, the teachers, the spiritual leaders. Yet now, in the 21st century, they are relegated to the sidelines, discredited "senior citizens," a term which devalues the idea of an elder. The facilities and programs created for them focus on keeping them entertained rather than keeping them engaged. Modern society has created leisure time for elders, with social security, pensions and retirement programs which give them the potential to make enormous contributions to our communities. Unfortunately, deteriorating health, isolation and the culture of youth, with its inherent disparagement of older people, robs society of the values that elders offer.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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