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Aging Officers: A Dilemma Worth Considering

Imagine that you have come home to discover a burglar in your home. Quickly leaving your residence, you call the police with your cell phone. Several minutes later an elderly police officer arrives, gets out of his car and slowly approaches you using a cane to help him walk. As he gets closer you notice he is wearing hearing aids. Not exactly a confidence-builder, but this aging officer asks you if anyone else is in the house or if there are any weapons in the house and where they are located. These questions seem reasonable.

A few moments later, two younger officers arrive and charge towards the house with their guns drawn. The elder officer stops them and tells them to go to the rear entrance of the house. As other officers arrive, the elder officer assigns them to take up positions around the house and near windows. He then gets on his bullhorn and advises the burglar the house is surrounded by police and if the burglar comes out with no weapons and hands in the air, he will not get hurt. The burglar complies. No one is injured and no property is stolen.

When the burglar is taken into custody, a sawed-off shotgun is found inside the house. It belongs to the burglar. Now, this aging officer looks brilliant.

The Problem with Aging

Gross motor skills peak at age 30. It’s all downhill after that; or at least that is what we have been led to believe.

The 5 senses do decline with age. These changes can have a great impact not only on job performance but on satisfaction in the quality of life. Our senses tell us a lot about the world. They pick up information that is changed into nerve signals and carried to the brain where that information becomes a message we can understand. The starting point for the senses is stimulation, and the older a person gets, the more stimulation required for a clear message.

 

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