Do seniors excel in any areas?

Accumulating wealth. It looks like 90% of them are old guys that are eligible for senior discounts. :slight_smile:

I would think that seniors would be good historians. Also, a lot of coaches are seniors.

The over 55 crowd isn’t doing to shabby when it comes to winning Nobel prizes. Granted that a lot of them are winning for work they did in their youth, but still it takes time and effort to prove some things out win people over with your arguments.

Knowing their limitations.

Their ability to spot bullshit, despite the stories of little old ladies being scammed.

I’ll take a 65 year-old cook (not trained chef) over a 30 year-old cook any day. I was okay at 30, but really had no clue as to what I was doing.

Older home woodworkers are generally far better at what they do than much younger hobbyists. Practice, practice, practice.

It partly depends on exactly what job functions you’re talking about, but I tend to disagree for most cases. Some counterexamples: if by “teaching” you mean graduate-level teaching and research, I know folks well into their 70’s who are still doing a great job of it and know as much about current research in their field as anyone. And specifically with regard to medicine, I was very very sad to see my family doctor retire some years ago. He was not only a great primary care physician, he had been the head of the department of family practice at a major hospital, and was the sort of doctor who could sometimes quite literally put a finger on you and tell you exactly what was wrong, and based on his track record I always believed him, and rightfully so, as it turned out.

The general syndrome is that as you get older your cognitive skills decrease, but in most cases (certainly not all cases) this is more than compensated for by the vast amount of experience the person has to draw upon. Sometimes it’s hard to know where the tradeoffs are. My new doctor is young and bright and a go-getter with every imaginable technology and, no doubt, up-to-date knowledge, but somehow I really prefer the old guy.

The other interesting phenomenon, on the other side of the argument, is that there are a few accomplished academics who seem to have become crackpots in their advancing years. One example is Freeman Dyson, currently 90 years young, who for some reason has become a climate change denialist and makes proclamations that are so factually incorrect that they are downright embarrassing. I have sometimes joked that this is obvious senility but I’m not so sure that it’s really just a joke.

My doctor was well into his 80’s when he retired. I always felt his strongest asset was his ability to pinpoint disorders caused by emotional problems in my life. It might be shoulder, stomach, lower g.i. he seemed to know exactly what type of emotion might be causing something and where I might be encountering that particular emotion.

This is my opinion too. Old people, unless they are senile or have some medical handicaps, are just people. There’s a very disturbing anti-senior trend in some industries (computers and technology mostly), but that doesn’t mean old people can’t program computers, it just means young Silicon Valley hiring managers are ignorant.

Age comes with some benefits, such as the aforementioned experience and accumulation of wealth. There’s also an old-people “culture” that places more value on things like family and voting than on drinking and racing or whatever the youngsters are into these days.

But other than cultural differences, accumulation (of things like experience and money), and a higher probability of health problems, old folks are just people, with the same skills and abilities as anyone else.

As always, your mileage may vary.

When I was made redundant in my 50s, I found it almost impossible to find another management job.

After a while I went back to an earlier trade and took up truck driving again. That is certainly a job where age and experience is an asset. Employers and insurance companies both favour the older driver, so long as they continue to pass the medicals.

Politics is one of the only things I can think of. That and parenting. I’ve seen grandparents be far more attentive, patient, kind and empathetic with grandkids than with their own kids a couple decades ago.

Now are older people better at politics or is it just that those people are picked more for it due to reasons unrelated to talent? Politics tends to be a second career for a lot of people (after a career in law, business, academia, medicine, military, etc). Unless you come from a connected family or get lucky and run in a race where you are a shoe in, most people seem to get involved after they give up their first career. Plus getting anywhere in national politics usually requires you to work your way up through local, then state, then federal before you get anywhere. So you factor in that a person might not even start in politics until their 40s or 50s, then factor in they have to work their way up and you get a lot of national politicians in their 70s. But that doesn’t mean they are better at it.

I continue to improve at keeping kids off my lawn :smiley:

I’m gonna go with equal parts, talking straight and being direct, and knowing when to hold your tongue and save your breath!

Yes, the excel as hanging out at boards such as this, seeking truth and wisdom. Well, er, some do.

Young pilots many times live because of reaction time.

Many old pilots live because they never get in a position to need reaction time.

I’m told that there are old pilots and bold pilots, but there are no old, bold pilots.

“Beware of young doctors and old barbers.” Benjamin Franklin (?)


Music appreciation. :wink:

That is true.
I lost ‘bold’ just in time. he he he

Experience and patience e.g. knowing when to hold em and knowing when to fold em.