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Untapped potential

When you talk to older people about prepping they all seem to think that it is of no interest to them, they won’t be here when that happens or they would rather die. It surprises me that people think that way considering that most of them are as healthy as they were 10 to 15 years ago and most are pretty feisty. Some go dancing, walking, gardening and get out and about on shopping or holiday trips frequently. In fact it is older people that are the current economy. I think many will outlive me.

It is always worthwhile talking to these people about life. Many were children or young adults after WWII and they have some interesting stories about how they lived, the conditions, their diet and what they did to help. A far cry from what goes on today. Of course some older people’s stories are not as good so you take your chances. Good luck with that.

We should note that many of the books we hold dear in survival and prepping are old books. Books written by people that are long gone or certainly older than us.

If an event was to occur we would undoubtedly lose many older people due to their requirements for medical requirements, dietary requirements or just through illness. Those that survive though will bring to the group several lost skills and experiences that society no longer values.

  • Knowledge of living cheaply
  • Knowledge of the countryside
  • What wild foods can be consumed
  • How to feed a family of four on bread and a few carrots
  • Understanding of accepting things

They may be too frail to go out hunting, tending livestock or toiling in the fields but they can work at home in several ways; either utilising a skill they have, past or present, or they can look after things at home as well as the children. Their skills can certainly be put to use, after all it is best to utilise whatever assets you have in the most effective way. Older people are assets. Just older assets.

As well as utilising their own skills they can also teach the children core skills, skills that seem to be disappearing; Maths, English, history, respect, morals as well as common sense as well as their own specialties. Most will be unique. Many of these things we will not have the resources for and it will be to our detriment.

Old people don’t seem to have a role in modern life. It has moved on with the advent of computers and they have been left behind. We no longer respect their experiences and we treat then like second class citizens because they don’t move fast, can’t play on a gamepad, or type fast on a keyboard. They then start to see themselves as useless. It is sad.

After an event it will be back to their world then. Don’t waste their knowledge then.

10 comments to Untapped potential

  • Ellen

    Well here is a topic I am good at. Being old. Oh I haven’t hit 70 yet but won’t be long. I didn’t grow up after the War, I managed to have my formative years in the 50’s. But my parents went through the depression and WWII.
    I learned a lot from my mother (Dad knew a lot but was hardly around to tell it)without her realizing she was teaching me anything.
    My favorite story (which I have told on other blogs) is when we lived on the coast in a tiny house that the living room and kitchen were together. Off the living room was an actual pantry. Nice size but far from large. One day mom and I were standing in it and she reached up and got a can of evaporated milk. She asked me if I knew how to tell when it went bad. Well according to her if the can wasn’t bulgeing, or dinted or rusted it was probably okay. But the true test was shaking the can, if it still slarched around in the can it was A okay.
    Little tidbits can sometimes work out to be a lifesaver.
    My sister tells the story of our granny. She had to live in with us and she wasn’t allowed to do much of anything. One day they left her to watch my sister and she made fried pies for her. My sister also said she could make the best bisquits with lard. Light flaky and oh so good.
    I know my granny could peel an apple and the skin would be translucent. And she was in her 80’s then and real steady with that knife.
    Yeah, old ain’t the end, you can do a lot of things if people would just let you.
    And I think God will have you live just as long as he wants you to. No sense in wishing it on sooner no matter what the circumstances.

  • Luddite

    “When you talk to older people about prepping they all seem to think that it is of no interest to them.”

    I think “all” is a bit of a sweeping statement. I know lots of older preppers, many of them much older than me. White hair is no barrier to prepping, using a gamepad or typing fast. It’s a matter of attitude, not age.

    However, I agree with your other points. Also, because we’ve lived longer, we’ve done more, so we have both breadth and depth of experience(s).

  • Ronnie

    Agreed that a lifetime’s experience is an asset, without a doubt. I guess health would be my concern, especially conditions requiring ongoing treatment like diabetes. What about dementia? If we’ll all be working in the fields all day, how’s that going to work?

    As you’ve said in a previous post, its amazing how society accepts that its ‘fine’ to shut old people away, with a visit from family once a month. These people would become our individual responsibility, and I don’t know I’d do. The question would be: ~Have enough food for the kids come winter or take care of granny who’s incontinent, won’t stay away from the hot stove and keeps crying because she doesn’t know when (long dead) grandpa is coming home.

  • Skean Dhude

    Ellen,

    Good examples there of the ‘old wives tales’

    Luddite,

    You are right. It is only my experience trying to discuss options with older folk. Many have full pantries, don’t eat much and have plenty of spare money. The only thing they are missing is some thing to do and people to speak to.

    Ronnie,

    I think people with medical illness like diabetes will be few and far between after an event. The new lifestyle we will be forced to live will not support special diets.

    My one concern is having and elderly relative who does go senile in some way. Especially if food was desperate actions may be forced on us. I would dread that situation and hope it won’t come to pass but for many it will. They will undoubtably make the decision that suits them. There are many similar situations that people make even today. When researching the medical kit I read about a poor African woman who had to decide which one of her two children would get an injection to save their life. Two kids, one injection. What a choice. Not one I want to make.

  • Luddite

    “I think people with medical illness like diabetes will be few and far between after an event.”

    Actually, people with type 2 diabetes may well be better off, as junk food and sugar-laden foodstuffs will not be available. Most cases of type 2 are perfectly controllable by ditching a modern diet, but few make the adjustment.

    Dementia is probably less likely with a more natural diet, too.

    However, other problems are not so easily dealt with. DH has epilepsy, and I don’t think he’d last long in a SitX. I’m slowly building up stocks of his meds and I’m researching herbal drugs, but these would not be as controlled as the big pharma stuff and his life would be shortened.

    The situation I find quite frightening is all those people on various drugs such as prozac, valium, lithium et al – what will they do when supplies suddenly disappear?

  • Skean Dhude

    Luddite,

    I thought one of them needed more than a diatary change. In any event I was referring to any illnesses that required a special diet. Some of these diet require food specially made.

    I agree the dietary change will be better for people. That is part of the reason I’m trying to get as self sufficient as possible. To keep away from the modern foodstuffs.

    As far as the other go. Cold Turkey may be horrendous but it generally won’t kill you. Tie them up keep them in a room to scream and shout and they can get through it. They have to.

  • Luddite

    “Cold Turkey may be horrendous but it generally won’t kill you.”

    Take it from a medical professional that your statement is just plain wrong. The biggest cause of death from cold turkey is heart attack, closely followed by stroke. The stats from alcohol addiction show that the risk of dying from going cold turkey is 35%. Not exactly “generally won’t kill you”.

  • Skean Dhude

    Luddite,

    I think you are talking about extreme addition. I’m including the many additions we have for lesser drugs, caffeine, tobacco, sleeping pills etc.

    Thats what I meant by generally. Out of the thousands of people that have addictions those at the extreme end are unlikely to be in with us anyway. Of course there will be a few and a few of them with die with the stress but most of us will just cold turkey it out.

  • Luddite

    No, I was talking about ‘coming off’ a variety of prescription drugs. A sudden change in medication, legal or illegal can kill you.

    In any case, my fear was not for them – it was for me – a manic depressive in their manic phase can be very dangerous indeed, and withdrawal of many drugs can drive people to violence and even murder – as ‘care in the community’ has proved so many times.

  • Skean Dhude

    I was talking about prescription drugs as well. Painkillers, tranquilisers, methedone, etc. as well as illegal drugs. I accept what you are saying but I think that after an event we will be a lot more wary and I don’t see anyone that far gone being able to survive anyway.

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