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#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.
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  • no profile photo YW84FRIDAY
    Great blog, Lou! And such a timely reminder. I agree wholeheartedly and love to spend time with the elderly. How else am I going to learn anything worth learning??

    3894 days ago
    We were taught to respect our elders, to defer to them, and to ignore no one. Sadly, I think the current generation has not grasped that important lesson. We had many heroes in the generation that is quickly dwindling away and I am so aware of cherishing every moment, of gleaning every drop of history that I can while they are still with us. My Uncle Willy, who was a Pearl Harbor survivor and a retired NOPD officer is an excellent case in point. He died last year and there are still SO many questions I would love to ask him. Thank you for this blog.
    3895 days ago
    Thank you for sharing this Lou. It is most important to take care of those who have taken care of us. As you said someday we will be there. I just don't think there is the same respect taught to our children anymore as it was when we grew up! The whole world has gone to caring about #1, themselves. The best way to teach this to our kids is by example. If they see us, whether it be helping others, or being respectful to the elderly, they will be more apt to carry it on to the next generation.
    Have a great 4th! Good to see you wrote some more blogs!!!!! emoticon
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    3895 days ago
    emoticon Blog to bring attention to our Elders.

    When I was young I spent a lot of time with older people -visiting nursing homes and such , but now that I am older I spend more time helping the younger folks. LOL

    Have a wonderful weekend Lou! Hugs, Joy
    3895 days ago
    When I give my seat to someone older, etc., they always tell me I don't have to. To which I reply, I do, the ghosts of my grandparents are going to rise up and smack me.
    Glad to see you are still writing.
    3895 days ago
    When I give my seat to someone older, etc., they always tell me I don't have to. To which I reply, I do, the ghosts of my grandparents are going to rise up and smack me.

    3895 days ago
  • FITKAT2010
    Respect FOR the elderly starts at the elderly's respect for themselves.
    3895 days ago
  • LINDA25427
    I went and visit my mom today she is 84 she never talks about the past she lives for today she was happy that we stopped by and my granddaughter and her talked about her fish and other things I just enjoyed listening to them .
    S.S when I first applied for my disability I was to get $763 .00 a month but was denied because I have a husband to support me . in another year I will be elgible for S.S and it has been cut down to $313 .00 because I haven't worked since 2004 when I was in the car acciedent I was struck by a drunk driver it was hit and run .Never got the girl that done it . Thank God we had car insurance that covered most of my bills .
    I beleive that one should treat others the way they would like to be treated .Take Care . God bless.
    Happy 4th emoticon emoticon
    3895 days ago
    What social security checks? The way it's going we'll be on our own once we get there.
    3895 days ago
    I am saddened that there seems to be such a lack of kindness and consideration for so many people. I see it every day, and wish I knew how to "wake up" those who are so thoughtless and uncaring. Thank you for a blog that will certainly capture the attention and hearts of everyone who reads it.
    3895 days ago
    I'm no "Spring Chicken" myself, but I have a dear, dear friend in VA who is going on 93. She plays Scrabble on the internet and oftentimes beats the pants off her opponents! I visit her as often as I can from NC, and talk to her several times a week. She is a treasure! I also take weekly Communion to a 72 year old woman confined to a wheelchair. She is so well versed on things. She was a PA before people ever heard of PA's and is a self educated black woman. The stories she can tell! These ladies so enrich my life. I hope I can be half the ladies they are when I hopefully reach their ages.
    3895 days ago
    I work for a meals on wheels program so I know what you are talking about. It is incredibly sad the way our elderly are treated. I have worked in human services quite a while. When I worked for WIC and Headstart I was astounded at the sense of entitlement some of these young moms have. I had women tell me they were going to quit their jobs so they could keep their WIC. The elderly on the other hand are so much more appreciative of anything you do for them and do not expect the help. They do not like the concept of welfare unlike the next generation. It is one of the most rewarding careers.
    3895 days ago
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