18 Things the Older Generation Does Better Than Young People

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By Darryl Henderson

There are many differences between older and younger generations; while younger people may be more tech-savvy, we should remember that older people also have many qualities that are often overlooked. Here are 18 things that the older generation does better than young people.

Practical Life Skills

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Older people are usually proficient in cooking, sewing, and other domestic skills. They can easily complete basic home repairs and maintenance and are more familiar with manual and DIY methods for solving everyday problems. Meanwhile, millennials and Gen Z wouldn’t know where to start!

Communication Skills

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According to Forbes, the younger generation has weak communication skills. The older generation is typically more adept at face-to-face conversations and interpersonal communication, has stronger listening, writing, and speaking abilities, and excels at interpreting nonverbal cues. We’d have to agree with that!

Handwriting and Penmanship

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The younger generation is more used to instant messaging and doesn’t really need to write letters and personal notes anymore. Meanwhile, older people have great handwriting due to being taught it in school and having to write in the years before technological advancements. To be fair, it’s a lot less necessary these days!

Financial Management

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Older people often have a better grasp of budgeting and saving for the future. They have far more experience managing credit, avoiding debt, and dealing with poverty. They tend to prioritize long-term financial stability over instant gratification from large purchases, unlike the younger generation, who don’t realize how good they have it!

Navigational Skills

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The Guardian states that the majority of adults nowadays can’t read a map–or at least, millennials! Reading maps and using non-digital navigation methods was essential for older people, who still have a good sense of direction and spatial awareness to this day. 

Cooking from Scratch

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With the availability of 24-hour supermarkets and take-outs, many younger people have lost the ability to cook from scratch. Older people generally have a range of traditional recipes and cooking techniques memorized, so they can cook up a healthy and satisfying meal whenever the need arises.

Home Maintenance

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Routine household tasks like plumbing and electrical work were the norm in the past, which is why older generations can use tools and materials for various repair projects and preventative maintenance to avoid costly household issues. Younger people could never; they’d far sooner spend big on hiring a professional!

Respect and Etiquette

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The world was once much more social and polite, which means most older people have a strong understanding of social norms and polite behavior. They typically practice courteous actions such as holding doors, giving up seats, and understanding formalities in different social settings, manners that young people often forget.

Reading Books

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Older generations tend to read more physical books, while younger generations opt for digital content. The Telegraph reports that reading is in decline across all classes, which is terrible! Reading is incredibly healthy for the mind, so the youth are really missing out!


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Unlike young people, older people are experienced in living independently without relying on modern conveniences. We elders have basic survival skills such as fire-making and foraging and are much more knowledgeable about natural remedies and traditional health practices. We’d certainly be leading in the event of trouble!

Craftsmanship and Manual Skills

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Older generations commonly possessed woodworking, knitting, and other handicrafts so they could create and repair items by hand and complete detailed and precise manual activities. Young people still love handicrafts, but the kits they purchase are often designed for accessibility and ease of use.

Gardening and Farming

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Many older people are extremely knowledgeable about gardening and have a comprehensive understanding of growing their own food and being self-sufficient. The National Institutes of Health claims that gardening also provides many positive aging benefits for older people, so it’s about time that millennials got on board!

Cooking Traditional Recipes

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Older people often have family recipes on hand that have been passed down through generations. Many of the techniques they use are no longer common, and they also have knowledge about the cultural and historical contexts of dishes, making them extra tasty. Sadly, young people just rely on standard recipes they find online.

Attention to Detail

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Compared to younger people who are used to a more instantaneous way of life, older people are more meticulous and thorough in various tasks and responsibilities. They can notice and correct small errors and are generally better at maintaining consistency and quality over time. It’s a seriously admirable quality!

Physical Letter Writing

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Older people are well-versed in writing and sending handwritten letters, understand formal and informal letter-writing etiquette, and are proficient at conveying emotions and thoughts through handwritten words. Sadly, this art is lost on today’s youth, who only type messages to each other using informal slang and outrageous brevity. 

Patience and Perseverance

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The NHS points out that patience, experience, and calmness are invaluable qualities of older people. Their experience in dealing with long-term projects and delayed gratification means that they are able to maintain focus without stimulation and handle setbacks with resilience, something that younger people struggle with. They’ll get there eventually, though.

Long-Term Planning

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Society expected us to set and achieve long-term goals many years ago, which is why many older people are experienced in planning for retirement and future security. They can balance their immediate needs with future aspirations and often find themselves doing the same to help younger generations who are hopeless at this!

Mindfulness and Reflection

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Lastly, older generations are used to taking time for introspection and meditation. They can appreciate the present moment and simple pleasures and have extensive experience cultivating a balanced and thoughtful approach to life and those around them. Sadly, this doesn’t come naturally to younger people, although they’re trying, usually through meditation and journaling.

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