It is often overlooked that the elderly have a sanctity issue in their lives. Oftentimes, we picture the elderly in our country as being either crotchety, charming, or both. Well, we also picture them as decrepit old people with no abilities. Some of this is true for only some people. Take my Nanny Wade for instance. She and those who came after her will all have bone density stuff going on. My grandma is already taking medications for this. My mom, as pretty and fit as she is, will probably develop hormone induced bone loss. My friend Amanda has some form of bone loss, the beginning stages of it, due to medications she took. Sadly, that can lead to problems later in life. I admit I hate milk, but I would like to find alternative sources of calcium.
that’s just a small portion of the stuff that plagues elderly folks today. If you look at the guardianship abuse page I posted on a previous entry, most of the victims of guardian abuse are elders and children, both vulnerable groups of people. Infants are the beginning, but if you take a developmentally disabled adult or young person and abuse them, you will likely not be criminally charged as hard as it would be if you did this to a normal infant. Elders, however, suffer the most when it comes to guardianship abuse.
I worked once at a nursing home. I was the activity assistant, so I got to do a lot with the residents, and the activities coordinator and job coach did scheduling of stuff with the elder residents in the home. They would do all sorts of activities to keep the residents happy, and I would do the most awesome stuff on piano for the residents. IF I were to become like them, or to lose the ever present memories of them, I’d have to think back at one thing: the Ice Cream Man Song. Yeah, it was really the Maple Leaf Rag, but I played it on the higher section of the keys to mimic the sound of an ice cream truck on its way. Well, the ice cream truck was the way I decided to go about letting the residents know that, once per week, their ice cream social was at hand. I enjoyed talking to some of the residents, I would say lots of things to try and ease their pain. A lot of times, the elders are abandoned at homes so that the families can “get them off their hands.” Sadly, such abandonment is not good for the family or the elders in question. Blake and I discussed what we might have to do when one of us is old or incapacitated. Blake says he wants to keep me with him, which is the right thing to do. If we have any survivors left behind, we need them to help us make decisions about our golden years. For instance, daughter or son may say, “But Mom, you are retired now, do you want to live in a retirement community?” I’d be the first to say, “Heck no.” My son or daughter may get married and have their own families, but I’d stress it to them. Mothers and fathers and elders are important. There are a lot of things we can learn from them. I learned a lot from my elderly grandparents and great grandparents before they died. I carry such messages with me in my being, and some include the ice boxes in the 1940s. Grammy, my dad’s mom, used to talk about the stuff they’d do in the ’40s. She married at a ripe young age of seventeen, which is uncommon without a divorce or break of the relationship before ten years is up. Today, if Grammy looks at it this way, the divorce rate is too high and technology has overpowered the way we live.
Elderly people can teach us about the simple life. I like the life I live. I have no TV in my apartment, and that’s the way most of your grandparents lived. Grammy probably didn’t see much of a TV until sometime later in the ’50s. Colored TV was not prominent till that time. Imagine the eldrs’ complaints about school. Did they experience bullying like we do now? Abandoning such vessels of wisdom is awfully bad. When I worked at the nursing home, I talked to and comforted many people. The memory care ward is great, but some of the people have since died, but I’m serious, those people have so much to offer. Some of my relatives are nursing home patients past. Mary Taurasi died at the home where she and her husband James Taurasi I. Both Nanna and papa Taurasi had great lives, but unlike so many elderly people, the Taurasi relatives had people visiting them. We in my family make it a point to visit constantly with our elders. So many others don’t. The thing to do is … well, visit your elders. Even my friend Elizabeth did this with her mom who had Parkinson’s Disease. Elizabeth cared for her mom, and even if her mom hated her or whatever the thing was, Elizabeth still did care about her mom. If I were an elder, I’d want my end of life issues to be handled by my living relations. Life insurance? I think it’s a rip off because there’s such a thing as a will. I plan to do a living will. If I have to do anything, I’ll confess, I’ll help my parents put together their end of life stuff. My mother and dad, as much as I hate the things they did, will get some of what they ask for from me. IF, for instance, my mom has the bone disease, I’m going to see that she gets the proper care she needs. In her home! I don’t like nursing homes, and I don’t care how expensive it is to get an in home nanny. I would get the Granny Nannies to deal with my mom or dad if need be. My parents and brothers and I would all have meetings over the phone and determine what will happen as the end of both parents’ lives draws near. As a younger person, it is hard to imagine what it will be like for me to lose my nerves, become elderly, and lose capacity to do things. Blake swears he’ll do all things for me if need be. IF he’s gone, well, let’s hope not. Since I’m significantly older than Blake, chances are I’ll be gone first. Blake will have to take care of me, and the surviving progeny will do the same. My family will never dump me in a home. Not even if there was any bad blood. Honestly, a home for elders is not a good idea, and group homes for people who don’t share common interests is not a good idea either.
I’ll say this much: elders are important. Memories are important. For the sake of prosperity, I’ll say one little memory here before I close the post. Delmar Eldridge, Blake’s dear grandfather, was the King of the smoker before he lost his abilities. He was able to light up when I was talking about stuffed peppers and mushrooms. Gosh, we all know what that does to us.
I’ll say something else, something a lot of people forget. Auschwitz survivors will tell you how hard it was, deadly in the camp. An elder Japanese American will say the same of Manzanar. The point is don’t leave your elders behind. Respect and give a place of honor to those at the end of their natural lives.