Art Friday: the older woman

Art Friday: The older woman

Once-upon-a-time we looked to our older wiser women for advice and for guidance, now we simply scoff them.  The bible teaches younger women to listen to the words of the older woman as she does have something worth saying. 

The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;  That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,  To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their husbands, that the word of God be no blasphemed.

Titus 2:3-5

Today's art is to honour all the older women in our lives who have taught us so much.

When women get older they often become invisible (fading into the background).  When a young woman is in a store waiting to be served and she is standing next to an older more mature woman, in many instances the younger woman will get served first. I have had it happen to me.  Our society hankers after youth and beautiful and believes that an older woman can not be beautiful if she has greying hair and wrinkles. This is why so many older women reach for the hair colour, the botox, the face-lifts and spend many $$$ trying desperately to remain young.

Our society is obsessed with youth.
Wrinkled hands tell a story of a lifetime - we don't need to hide the wrinkles with botox.
An elderly woman reading her bible by Albert Anker.

Society often thinks that older women have nothing more to offer . . . but they do.   They have raised a family, many have gone through tough times, struggle with finances, had to make do with very little, battled illnesses and death.  They have lived a full life and we can learn a lot from them.  Sadly many older women find themselves in very poor situations - widowed  (as they are outliving their husbands) with very little finances, poor health and struggling to care for themselves. If in a nursing home, many are neglected by their families and endure mistreatment.  

People often don't have time to help an elderly person who is struggling to cope. 

In Britain, a fifth of older people are now living in poverty, with 11% in severe poverty. (source)
Many older people are living in isolation and loneliness at home and rarely go out during the week. We need to reach out to the elderly in these situations so they are not alone. Maybe they need help with transportation, going to appointments, buying their weekly groceries or even a trip to the library. These are things we can help with.
Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity. Honour widows that are widows indeed.

1 Timothy 5:1-4
Nowhere in the bible does it say we should ignore or mistreat our elders.

In 2011 (USA), 35% of elderly men and 38% of elderly women had some form of disability and required assistances to meet their needs.   5 million Americans over the age of 65 are living with dementia and 15.4 million families provide care to those with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. 

In Australia we have 321,000 living with dementia. One in 4 people are over the age of 85, most of these are in some form of nursing home.

Just because they have lost their memories doesn't mean we should forget them.

In 2011, of those aged 65 years and over in the USA, there were 131 women to every 100 men.  So many more elderly women need extra care. 

But the most important thing to remember when growing older - don't forget to laugh, be a little naughty and have fun. Old age doesn't mean the end of living. Here are two gorgeous and funny illustrations of elderly women having fun.

I want to do this when I am elderly!! Who wants to join me under the table?



  1. I really hope to be the one having tea under the table if blessed enough to grow old. I have always held a deep respect and love for the elderly. I have always found them fascinating, actually. I was the one in the kitchen with Grandma learning her Mother's recipes. My Great Grandmother taught me embroidery. And when I was done with that, instead of rolling down the hill with my cousins, I would go sit on my Grandfather's lap and ask him to tell me stories from the past. How he built the house, where the horses used to be. How my playhouse used to house a few chickens. I never tired of those stories. And now that they are gone, my sisters look to me for those stories. Granted, they are closer with our cousins now, but I wouldn't trade what I had with my grandparents for anything.

    1. Both my grandmothers died long before I was born and I was always sad I never had a grandmother (to spoil me) like all my friends had. And sadly both my grandfathers died when I was young so I didn't have the opportunity to get to know they well or hear their stories. Fortunately I had a spinster Aunt who took the place of a grandmother which was lovely, sadly I didn't listen well enough to all the things she said and now it is too late as she past away some time ago.

      I am so glad you were able to enjoy the company of your grandparents and great grandmothers.

  2. Replies
    1. My only concern is getting back up on my legs after being under the table, but I suppose it really doesn't matter!!!

  3. Such a beautiful post and so so important xxx

  4. I love this post, Jo. I hate the way society casts the elderly aside. I love the painting above of the old woman reading her Bible, by Albert Anker. It's particularly beautiful. I think old age is especially a lovely time for enjoying grandchildren - and a lot of people enjoy their grandchildren more than they did their children, perhaps because they have more time and more experience on their side because they're not working so hard to provide for a family anymore.
    I hope I can be a fun and wise old woman; looking young isn't something I care much about - I already have grey hairs, so I don't have a lot of hope of having young hair forever and I don't care for hair dye - it's only vanity.

    1. Grandparents are so important in the lives of their grandchildren, its their job to spoilt them and have lots of fun!! Like many Asian countries, we should start to respect our elders and look up to them for wisdom and knowledge. I love ringing my elderly father as he has so much to say.

      I think it is very sad when the elderly forget to laugh and find joy in the world - it makes for a very sad and lonely end of life.

  5. Dear Joluise, I am so glad I went back and read these older post I missed! This was so good... I will get under the table with you :)
    I am growing old and I am becoming more like Him!
    The Word say's beauty is fleeting!
    Wonderful Pictures!
    Blessings, Roxy


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