Ageing can be a confronting experience. For some older people, diminishing capacity and increased levels of pain, may result in the concealing of the extent of their suffering. But why?

Each generation has unique experiences that contribute to the shaping of their perceptions and expressions of self. During our formative years, through our socialisation and the specific years of our lived experience, we belong to a uniquely challenged generational group.

These generational groups, include Traditionals, GI Generation, Baby Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y (Millennials) and the latest, still undecided are referred to Gen Z or Founders. Some perhaps unfairly, called this new generation, ‘entitled’. They are the first generation to be fully global, connected through disruptive digital devices and engaged as influencers, through social media. This is a far cry from those aged 70 and over.

Each generation is impacted by the world in which they live, the landscape of global and local political influence, economic stability or recession, social reforms or constrictions, environmental changes, and through the beauty of human self-expression record their unique experience through all mediums of art.

Individuals born before 1936 are known as the ‘GI Generation’ and those born between 1937 – 1945, have been labelled the Silent Generation. Why is it that those in these generations, are more¬†inclined to remain quiet about increasing levels of pain?

According to HelloCare, while older people in general may be less sensitive to low levels of stimuli – thus, have a higher pain threshold, they tend to be more sensitive to higher levels of stimuli.

Some older people may not express their high levels of pain. This may be a refection of the stoicism that the older generation display. Pain may been perceived as ‘weakness’ and any sign of diminishing capability, to be hidden.

There are a number of reasons why pain is not communicated, including impaired verbal communication, language barriers, a different vocabulary for pain, fear of disease progression and the fear of side effects or addiction to strong medications.

There are a number of strategies that can be used to keep pain manageable. Pain is not a normal part of ageing. More information can be found here:

It is wise when we engage with the aged that we are cognisant of the influence of generational differences.