Personally one of the main traits I really dont like in someone is condescension. Having said that I see many people treat our elderly with condescension regularly, sometimes bordering on utter contempt! Remember folks we all will be old someday, and sooner then you think.
How would you like to be treated? I think that answer is obvious; we all want to be treated with respect. Wisdom is born of experience, and we should honor that in our elderly community especially in light of some of the physical challenges they are facing as they grow older. I know that when I go into some group homes, many residents are warehoused in front of the television, many of them non communicative. I still made a point to acknowledge them with respect, look into their eyes, even if they appeared vacant, and wish them a good day. Their souls are still in there, even if their bodies dont exhibit the signs of activity inside. Be respectful! They will appreciate it, and you will be doing the right thing to honor their spirits.