Why does the US neglect to treat its aging population with respect and dignity?

The older adults in the US have known for years, in particular women, that slowly as one ages they become less relevant – invisible. Many nations abroad revere and respect older adults, look to them as mentors, seek their wisdom and advice, honor them and take care of them.

In America, any political candidate 70 plus is too old, has nothing to offer, is outdated, and not with the times. Of course, Biden won the Presidential election in 2020, and he is in his late 70s suffering from cognitive delays most likely due to dementia. We all know the only reason Biden won was due to the hate against former President Trump that has been ongoing for years to date. Right or wrong we are now stuck with a man who does not know his front end from his back end. It is harder on us that did not vote for Biden. It is going to be a long wait to see him out.

Putting politics and Biden’s age aside, the point is listening to Candace Owens and many other younger people who assert that anyone older than 70 must go is sobering. It is as if the US is looking for some sort of under 40 but not over 50 utopia. This republic was meant to function for all ages, nationalities, and races. Supposedly we all have a voice, but those over 70 must be ignored and be quiet? An attitude prevails that if you are not somebody then you are nobody especially if you are over 70.

Why are Americans such cold people? They send their aged to nursing homes and assisted living facilities. People no longer want their parents in their home and make fun of them for being older, worse treating them as if they are little children. What kind of people has this nation produced? What sort of society diminishes any human being let alone a person over 70?

Your experience may be different from mine. I am not over 70 though we are all growing nearer each day that passes that we are blessed to still be alive. I see things when going to the store and other places that are disturbing. The condescending manner employees treat older people. I also see older people working still at an advanced age and being dissed because they are a little slower than that 25-year-old. I get it to a certain degree, everything now is so fast-paced, but do they believe they will be working at that older age and if they do, would they want to be treated that way, would you?

Our society is sick. It exalts every sin under the sun and then some. The youth and a sexual revolution that began in the 1960s have morphed America into a “Sodom and Gomorrah.” One day America will burn, and why not, it is already a byword and stench around the world. Imagine how God looks at America. Why does America treat older people as if they are nothing with no respect? Why have people not learned from generations past that had some morality in their cultures and families? Why does the US not look to Europe as a guide to how we should be treating our aged?

Do you open the door for someone older than you and let them go in first? When standing in line at a fast-food restaurant or grocery store – any store – and you see an older person struggling, do you let them go ahead of you despite the whines of disgusting self-centered people? Do you help an older person that is visibly needing help?

It begins with each one of us – how we treat our family, friends, acquaintances, neighbors, and yes, strangers. Jesus said, “whatever you do unto the least of these you have done it unto me (paraphrased).”

How do you want to be treated when you are older? How do you treat our older generation? Why do most people not treat others as they expect themselves to be treated? One word …

ENTITLEMENT.

20 thoughts on “Why does the US neglect to treat its aging population with respect and dignity?

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  1. It isn’t just America that in part treats oldies poorly. Australia has a record of poor treatment in aged care homes and treatment of oldies. It’s a modern condition as way back when oldies were treated better and families cared about them. I was doing construction work in an old folks home in the early 80’s and it was shocking the way they treated the oldies even back then but no-one talked about it.

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  2. Looking back to the ’80s… well, that’s around 40 years; almost half a century. It’s a long time, and times do change. But to see where the change actually took place, we should probably go back another 40 years — to 1940, the start of World War II — after which nothing was the same, anymore. During the war, women worked outside the home out of necessity, and our government encouraged this. The men were off fighting, someone had to build airplanes and ships. After the war, women worked outside the home because they wanted to. Let’s face it, there is nothing more reinforcing than paid work. Oh, we might moan about it, but we get up every morning anxious to get to the job.

    Well, taking care of infirm parents isn’t an easy job and if the two adults in a household are both working, there’s no one to care for aged parents at home. In order to take care of infirm parents, one of the two would have to stay home — loss of income isn’t attractive to anyone. Neither is changing a diaper on an 85-year-old. So, times change. It’s just the way things are.

    My (unmarried) good friend just checked himself into an elder care facility and he already hates it. Sure, he has the medical care … someday when he needs it, but for now, he’s just another oldster stacked on the 5th floor waiting for his turn to die. And, with so many older people to care for, there isn’t any time for focused attention by nurses and attendants. He’s just a room number, now. As you say … sad. Times change.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, WWII was the turning point… with women in the workforce and a devastated Europe, America became the “factory” of the world. Americans of both sexes became full-time consumers, and our leisure time (after coming home from a hard days factory work) “programmed” factory fashion by a new “culture industry”… ABC/NBC/CBS. The message we received… relax, enjoy your free time… you MUST enjoy yourselves. You must have a fear of missing out of all the ENJOYMENT that the ads ALL tell you that you MUST have… and if you aren’t enjoying yourself, there’s something WRONG with you.

      And so old people became a “burden”. They prevent younger people from enjoying themselves, and are made to feel guilty if they ask for family help… so they must themselves prepare to “consume” a retirement from care-givers from outside their family…

      Sound about right?

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Mustang, I believe this trend has gone to far and for the worse. Furthermore not all elderly need diapers changed and some live well past 100. There was one woman of 108 years old that walked around like a 60 year old. Not all end up in homes of any kind. Some stay in their residence or because they are self-sufficient stay with family. I am talking about people like your friend who does not belong is such places. That was his choice because of having no real family and probably fear of being alone. However, there are many like him that are sent and they do not belong there. Your friend might consider leaving and cutting his losses and getting an apartment. He would be alone. But happy in his own autonomy unless of course he has serious health concerns and that would be a different story. Waiting to die? Hmmm … how about living for everyday God blesses us to be here? Why waste that gift?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What you say is true, of course. My friend is quite ambulatory and energetic. I have no clue why he would sell his home, opting for the “facility.” He didn’t mix with his neighbors when he had his home, and so far he doesn’t associate much with his neighbors in the ten-story elder-care complex. I hated his decision to move there. I don’t understand it, quite frankly. But it was his decision and good or bad, he made it. I can’t comment on the religious aspects of this. That topic is so private (and protected), that my friend and I never address it. We all must find our own way to the throne of God. What works for you won’t work (or maybe even, can’t work) for someone else. Life is complicated.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Well I understand where you are coming from. But religious beliefs should not be so personal and private that they cannot be touched upon. Something is very wrong with that. There is only one answer. The Bible that is for all whom choose to believe. As a Christian it is our responsibility to present the Bible, not to make one believe the Bible. This is all our responsibilities as Christians. Perhaps it is time to have a talk with your friend. God may have you in his life for a time such as this.

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  3. Layla, you’ve nailed it once again! Not only do several of our representatives and senators from both sides of the aisle need to retire and go be with their families, we need to insure that when you hit retirement age (I think it’s 67 now officially), that you must go, even if your term isn’t up. I always served my churches, and on boards in my adult life, but I never EVER wanted to do more than one term. The reason was simple. I had ideas to make the organization better, but I always felt I should be able to get those ideas done in a term (however long that was). If I couldn’t do it in that time span, they must not have been very good ideas in the first place. I violated that tenet once, and regretted doing it very soon after!

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    1. What you speak applies to any age no matter the age. I do not believe in a “Mandatory Retirement.” For people to thrive they must be able to make their own decisions. Some may want to retire at 67 others may want to continue working because they can help, be productive. There is nothing worse than being made to feel you do not have a choice. That is demoralizing no matter the age of a person.

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      1. That’s true, and while I would agree with you in most cases (I can think of dozens where an older person has made a terrific difference), when it comes to serving in a public capacity like government, it’d be nice to let someone else have a shot. But then again, I’m all in favor of what the Founding Fathers envisioned… where you’d leave the farm, come serve a term or two in Congress, and then go back to the farm, not make it a profession!

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        1. Politicians are loathe to ever give up the “celebrity” and “perks” that come with the job. It would be like asking a secular Saint to give up Saint-hood and assume a status of nobody listening to you and ignoring you whilst you “cry into the (social) wilderness”.

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        2. I think you’re onto something FJ! So, what we need to do is make it a federal law that once you’ve served in Congress or the White House, you can no longer be a part of government or a “contributor” on the news channels, or work in any administration. That would solve that problem. The only problem is getting it through Congress!

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  4. We cannot escape who we are. Few of us (and I mean very few) ever change because of outside influences. The time for that expires around our 2nd birthday. By then, our personalities have gelled, which then becomes one of the more difficult things to change. These “collective personalities” combine to create a culture and social norms.

    Let’s review.

    When mankind still hunted mammoths as a food source, anyone in the tribe who was incapable of contributing to the tribe’s survival was killed — including deformed infants. Such things also happened at various times and places throughout history during drought or famine. As we proceed through time, we find that the Bible (https://www.openbible.info/topics/caring_for_elderly_parents) is very clear on this issue so the behavior of those whose culture involved the ancient scriptures behaved toward their aged parents in the manner prescribed by God’s word. Lately, though, our track record isn’t something to brag about. I will hazard a guess and say that most elderly people do NOT want to relinquish their independence to their children under any circumstances.

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    1. It’s a different world. Our founding fathers all built businesses based upon their parents livelihood. Ben Franklin’s parents made soap. His elder brother “apprenticed” as a printer, and Ben was “apprenticed” to him. Ben emancipated himself before completing his apprenticeship contract with his brother, moved to Philadelphia, and opened a printers business. He then sold his parent’s soap out of the print shop. Ben helped a number of his own apprentices open print shops in other cities, and they sold Ben’s books and his parent’s soap in their shops. At some point, a parent turned over their “business” to their kids.

      No one does that today. We have no “business” relationships with our family members. We no longer “pool” finances. We’re all expected to go it alone.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I had a neighbor around ten years ago whose wife was suffering from dementia; they had money, but it was mostly because of her business ventures when younger and her federal and social security retirement benefits. So, the husband has her sign a power of attorney, notarized by a friend, and then had her committed to an elder-care facility. Two months later, he sold the house, and her car, bought a new house and set up housekeeping with his new girlfriend and they lived happily ever after on his wife’s substantial income. Note, there was nothing “of sound mind” about this woman when she signed the power of attorney … and there was nothing decent about this fellow’s behavior … but it was mostly all legal. This story offers a whole new meaning to “ … until death do us part.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Heh! What a lousy human being. Obviously, he did not tell the notary that she was not of a sound mind, and obviously, he told her a lie. Had he gone to an attorney with that request, he would have been booted to the curb. Lastly, it is sad this woman did not make arrangements while still younger so that her wishes would be known and held in trust with an attorney. That poor lady.

      I hate hearing things like this. Thank God my father was so honorable that before he left the hospital to be transferred to Kindred Care in Chicago (they are nationwide) for hospice, he had my sister bring my mother in and had his cardiologists bring in a team that specializes in Alzheimer’s and Dementia – senility, etc. to access my mother properly. It was determined she needed to be in an assisted living facility as it would be dangerous for her to be at home by herself because her nurses came in shifts and none stayed overnight (The China Virus made the situation more complicated).

      Sadly he died two weeks later but he made a great choice for my mom. That was the last time they saw each other. Where are all the honorable men these days, and women too? So rare and few in between.

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