What not to say and do to a senior

Aug 12, 2022
What not to say and do to a senior. Source: Getty

I’ve heard some funny things as a senior. At times, I have felt insulted, but for the most part, I just try to laugh about them.

There was a time when I was in my 30s and I thought people over 60 were ready for the pasture.

Not me! I plan to laugh myself into the grave. Still, some things are a bit offensive to some, but I take them in stride.


Speaking louder:

Sometimes I notice that clerks at the store speak louder to me than they do to younger customers.

I guess they assume I have a hearing loss.

That may well be, but you shouldn’t assume that a customer is partially deaf. Let them look at you with a blank stare, and then repeat what have to say to them.


Grocery help:

“Can I help you out with your groceries?”

This hasn’t happened in a while because Aldi and Walmart require you to bag your groceries.

But, it used to happen fairly regularly in Los Angeles. Maybe the clerk wanted to help me because he was hoping for a tip.


Opening the door:

I always appreciate this, but I don’t know if it’s just good manners because I’m a female or because I am older.

Still, I will take it.


Senior discount:

“Would you like the senior discount?”

Is it my greying hair or the age spots all over my hands and legs?

I like a bargain like everyone else, but sometimes it’s a bit insulting. Let me ask for it first.


Speaking slowly:

People are speaking more slowly to me as if I have some sort of learning disorder. But, I don’t mind.

A young person’s brain functions at 80 mph. Mine is cruising along at 40 mph.

So, they slow down the pace of their instructions, hoping that I will get it on the first time.

Sometimes it’s pretty annoying, it makes me feel I’m in nursery school.


Age clarification:

“Are you over 65?”

This one is the worst. I like to think that I still look like I’m in my 50s, but I think that only happens if somebody doesn’t have on their reading glasses.


Separate checks?

I always appreciate it when this happens because most of my pals want separate checks when we go out to eat.

Trying to figure out the math with one check is arduous for most of us after 50, so separate checks work best.

When I was working, I often picked up the tab because I had an expense account. Not anymore.


Those just look like freckles.

I live in Florida, and believe me, nobody down here has freckles.

They are age spots; tried and true brown spots from too much activity in the sun for too many years.

I’m flattered when they call them freckles, but let’s get real: I put on too much baby oil when I was in my teens.


Youre rockin’ that grey hair!

Thanks, but no thanks.

I wanted it to be platinum or blonde, but my hairdresser goofed.

Now I have to deal with either re-colouring my hair, or waiting until it grows out a bit.

Thanks for the compliment, but I didn’t really wanna look like I was headed for the boneyard.


How about if I drive?

I know as we get older that our ability to navigate the roads becomes somewhat impaired.

But, I can still see the signs ahead of me and decipher red green and yellow stoplights.

I’m not as wild about driving anymore, which is why I usually pick a lane and stay in it. It’s much safer for everyone.


Do You Have Your Affairs in Order?

This is always a sobering question, especially if I’m getting ready to have major surgery.

But still, I don’t need to be reminded of my expiration date.

It’s gonna come soon enough.

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