Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Dignity: Stop & Think Before You Take It From The Elderly.

Or from anyone else...

Who taught us the fallacy that just because someone walks slowly, with a stoop, with a shuffle or not at all we have to talk as if they are mentally slow too? How dare we?

The exception doesn't allow us to tar all with the same brush. Far from it. Yesterday I had occasion to be inside an old age home. A very nice one to be honest. All the staff were cheerful and very friendly.

The home is light, airy with all the mod-cons needed. Satellite TV, Radio, smoker's room, card player's den of inequity and of course a couple of coffee drinking places. Not quite a Starbucks but then again, at that age the thought of paying a few Euros for a cup of coffee would be met with derision. So the comfortable coffee nooks are just the thing.

But what had me aghast, was that once an elderly person is checked in they are almost forgotten in the questioning. Relatives get asked about what they eat for breakfast, bathing habits, financial affairs etc...while the person concerned is right there. Please, award them the dignity of sharing their likes, dislikes and abilities themselves!

Imagine how you would feel, if you had to pack up your house into a few boxes and be moved into an old age home. Even a great and luxurious one takes a lot of adjusting.

At home you could just slip into your kitchen and make a snack or a meal. No more of that. Now there are strict meal schedules. Fair enough, someone else makes it for you but what is left for you to do? Sit and wait?

Most of us look forward to being retired and doing sweet all. Some cross off each day towards it, year after year. Others save like mad, to then be able to live it up during retirement. Yet, the reality of it is that after a while you get tired of doing nothing.

Most of the retired folks in our village are doing more chores than the non retired. Chopping wood, clearing trees, planting gardens, maintaining the house and constantly being exhaustively ( for us watching ) busy.

Being younger, we often want to help do all these things to save them the hard work. But, if we do that we merely are taking away a reason to get up each day. Their purpose.

Dignity comes in many shapes and forms. Someone who has lived so much longer than us, has to be revered, honored & respected. Give an elderly person the respect they deserve and see the light shine out of their eyes again...


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