I am planning a setting where elves live for up to 5,000 years, and where dragons simply do not die unless something actively kills them. The intent is that they will act as sort of "elder races" who remember the first of everyone else, the various dawns of civilization, and the creators of the first early civilizations. However, when I started trying to make up some NPCs and adventures, I suddenly realized that characters of these races were just acting like super-smart humans. It didn't make sense for them to act like they'll only be alive for 50 years more, if that number could be more like 1,200... or eternity.
I tried looking up advice online, but every time I search for advice on how to roleplay anything, Google spits out pages of results on how to roleplay on the WoW forums, which is less than helpful because I have never played that game at all and, without context, their conversations are nonsense.
The oldest real creatures I can think of are, like, whales. And they just swim around and eat stuff. Not like they have much else to do. They might remember stuff like really old boat hulls sailing over head, but without a society or language, (or motivations outside of survival) it doesn't count for much.
I'm mostly concerned about helping my players with their characters if they play such an elf. It's one thing to feed them historical figures and stats, it's something else to present that information in a personal sort of way. I'm also unsure how to play such characters myself in the first place. I know they'd be different, I'm just not sure entirely how so.