#366: Where is the Respect For the Elderly?
Friday, July 02, 2010
Earlier this year I was appointed by our county commissioners to a position on the Commission on Aging advisory board. Since then my eyes have been opened to the lack of respect shown our elderly, more so than ever before.
Despite claims that 40 is the new 30 and 50 is the new 40, the sad truth still seems to be that anyone over 30 is considered old and to be discarded without regard for their feelings or wisdom or experience.
I have learned how extensive the problem of elder abuse and neglect is. Why does it have to be like this? Why can't those who have some years behind them be treated with courtesy and dignity? Are we that much of a youth-focused world that those who fought for the privileges we all share today should be treated like yesterday's trash?
When was the last time you had a conversation with someone older, be they 40 or 50 or 80 years old? When was the last time you shared their life's memories and their frustrations and their sadness and joys? When was the last time you realized that one day, far too soon, YOU will be receiving a senior citizen discount at your local restaurant?
They are war veterans and retired factory workers, grandparents, uncles and aunts, brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers. THEY are the elderly, the aged, the people whose place will be taken by someone who now believes they will be young forever.
Won't you take a moment and explore the opportunities to help the elderly in your community? Drive them to their doctor's appointments as TEDYBEAR2838 does, or deliver Meals on Wheels for those who are shut-ins. Chances to help are plentiful if you look for them and your life will be enriched beyond measure.
Remember, before too long, if you aren't there yet, you will very quickly find yourself saying that 60 is the new 50 or that 70 is the new 60 as you cash your Social Security checks and wonder why everyone seems to have forgotten you.
Take a moment and care, and show respect.