Seniors: Intimidations We Don’t Need

May 5th, 2011 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

By now, seniors who have retired have learned a great number of lessons.  We have been through a plethora of insulting experiences so that we are likely prepared for whatever comes next.  Some have seen the passing of their children, long before our own death would have assured that we would pre-decease them.  Some have gone through severe radiation and chemo treatments, leaving the body assulated with all kinds of injury and discomfort.  Some live, day to day, missing that loving spouse with whom so many years were spent.  Some are disabled because of a horrific accident or intrusion on one’s ability to be independent.

And there are also some intimidations that are being directed toward seniors, those past their 70′s and into their 80′s and 90′s, that are certainly undeserved. Politicians are willfully attempting to reshape our lives and our worlds by suggesting we no longer need Social Security and reducing our healthcare coverage.  We seniors need healthcare more now than ever before, and for many of us, Social Security is the only income we have; it keeps us from a life of poverty. They forget that we have neither the time nor, in many cases, the strength to fight back. They just want to pull the rug out from under us and leave us lying there, exclaiming “help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”

We aren’t feeling sorry for ourselves. We just don’t understand this redefintion of aging and retirement and the loss of guarantees of some kind of solace as we grow older and less proficient. What we thought would be our state of being is becoming more and more a less and less desirable condition.

Visit a nursing home and you will see how many are hanging on for dear life. They may not even know where they are or what is happening around them. Do they deserve kindness and care, or should they be left to try to figure out how they will survive and how they will get medical care?
 
It is clear many have undergone such terrible affliction that even entertaining the idea of more is beyond desire and need.  We don’t need to be intimidated by what may happen to us.  Most have had quite enough.  While we know we can’t be assured that nothing more will invade our lives, we can also know that our strength, however compromised it may be, will be challenged to try to head off what may come.

Sensitivity, genuine regard for older persons, respect for their contributions to keep our world productive are not old fashioned values. They need permanence and presence in order for there to be a world worth inheriting. Someday, those in their 40′s and 50′s and 60′s will have arrived where their forebearers are now. When they do, what will be the ethic that motivates the care and keeping of those old people, who, like the rest of us, just don’t need intimidation of any kind?



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