Blogging From A to Z: Elderly

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The other day while I was waiting for my husband at the hospital to finish his tests, I realized that the entire waiting room was filled with elderly people. One by one or two by two they came through the doors as though a bus had just dropped them off. Their spouses accompanied some while others were alone. A couple appearing to be in their late 80s with matching walkers particularly fascinated me. He even had a mini-Velcroed cooler attached under the handle grips of his! Their pristine white sneakers shuffled along in unison as they searched for companion seats. I tried to picture what they were like when they were younger. My imagination ran wild with stories of what they must have seen and heard and experienced in their lifetime. These people lived through some of the most significant historical events in the twentieth century this world has ever seen. To me, they were living history right here waiting to be called in for their endoscopies and colonoscopies.

The elderly are our living ancestors. It seems we stopped paying real attention to and honoring our elders once businesses realized they could make more money by focusing on the new generation then on the old. The elderly have become something we tolerate and have to take care of, rather than endeared and welcomed into the family fold. They may have ceased to be productive members of our working society but they have not ceased to still be members of our society. Their worth should not be determined by how much they contribute but instead, be regarded with respect and how much they have already contributed.

These are the people that helped shape our nation into what it is. They weren’t always 70, 80, 90 years old. Once they were like you and me—they were actively employed, bought first-homes, raised families, fought for our nation, and had weekend summer barbecues. They were us and one day we will be them.

The baby-boomer generation has approached the Medicare age with a better understanding of how we grow older and the need to keep our bodies and minds more active, giving the stigma surrounding aging a much needed identity crisis and revamping. The changes are coming but not for the elders we have right now sitting with their son/daughter in the doctor’s office, caught in between business meetings, answering texts and emails from their Blackberry. They are still the lost ones in our society at the mercy of the “sandwich generation”, who splits their attention and focus conferring with caregivers in between office meetings and a quick drop off of the kids at soccer practice.

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6 thoughts on “Blogging From A to Z: Elderly

  1. Renata, this is so well said. I agree with and appreciate all the sentiments and thoughts that you express here so beautifully. Yes – we are becoming them. Now we are young and vibrant, and when we are elderly, will we be valued and honored? Great writing! ❤

  2. As I approach my elderly days I think more about this topic. I watch now as my mother is dealing with various ailments, unable to walk on her own, and going in and out of the hospital and remember that time not all that long ago when she seemed young and full of vitality. It’s difficult to watch loved ones enter old age, but it’s the cycle that most of us will face if we manage to live that long. Respect them while they’re here. Their memories are the repositories of our histories.

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

    • Thank you so much for your comment and thoughts. I wonder if it’s harder watching a loved one, then when it’s time to enter it ourselves. I think the part of watching my mother that gets me is that it really does not seem so long ago that she was so full of vitality. Yes, we need to remember to respect them and remember them while they are still here with us rather than when it’s too late.I deeply appreciate your comments.

      Renata

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