Elderly People

I'm in a bit of a mood with Blogs today. The Teasing Blog should come after this one. I'm also not sure which category to put this one in, either Life or Serious Subjects.

Elderly people have a real injustice about them. It's like their regressing back to a child as they grow older: they have to wear diapers, their mind processes things slower, their coordination suffers, and they require more attention. Yes, taking care of elders can be very trying with patience, I should know firsthand. But I've learned loads about respecting my elders, and I want to give some advice for all you people who, like me, have come very close to ripping their hair out due to elderly people.

I've lived with my grandparents my entire life, along with my parents. No one in the family will bother helping them. My family has taken care of my grandpa up to his dying days, and we will do the same for my grandma. Although it was a lot of hard work to take care of my grandpa, especially in his dying days, he was always such a source of happiness and laughter for my family. Hard work, yes, but it was such a pleasure to help him out. I used to look up to my grandma, in my younger years, until I realized she was a selfish, self-pitying fake. You guys complain about internet fakes? Try living with one every day of your life, lying about her accomplishments to her friends and relatives, then making everyone around the house appear to be completely disrespectful lazy-asses. And you can't retaliate, point out she's wrong, as my mom would say, because she's ELDERLY. That would, and still does, infuriate me. She felt like she was the world's victim because grandpa used to be a drunk and she has diabetes. Oh, poor you.

My Great Uncle Blackie came to stay with us for a week. A good portion of my family lacks compassion, as a fair warning. He's old, he lost his wife of how-many years, he has to wear diapers, the usual description of someone who's elderly. I feel bad for him, because he's a lot like my grandpa: proud, loving, and independent. No one really cares about him. His daughter doesn't talk to him, visit him, wouldn't even call him on Father's Day. He's not even raised by his daughter. And, even at home, he has no indepedence. He's treated like a little child who is constantly bugging his mother: he no longer handles his own money and people treat him rudely. It almost made me cry when I saw him leave, because I know he has pretty much gave up on life and it would be my last time really seeing him. And the same exact thing happened to my Uncle Louis, when he got really old. He lived with his daughter and granddaughters, but they pretty much had him locked up in his room. His own granddaughters told him to "fuck off" because he wouldn't give them money, and his own daughter let it slide. They hated him, and he eventually gave up and died, probably, a miserable man.

And this taught me a great lesson about my grandma. Yes, she has many, many, many many MANY faults, but she's nearing the end of her rope, too. I could never imagine treating my own KIN like some of my cousins, aunts, and uncles have treated my great relatives have! It's cruelty! It's bad enough they have lost their dignity in having to wear diapers and needing help to even navigate around the house - how much more humiliating and cruel is it to be treating them like the shit beneath their shoes? Pardon my French, this being in a Blog and all, but how else can you phrase it? It's not right to treat people like that. Elderly people are human! It sounds funny, but by the way many are treated, you would think that many people might have missed that lesson.

I'll leave you with this last thought: The next time you get incredibly frustrated with an old person, just think for a minute. Eventually, YOU will be in your seventies, eighties, and wearing a diaper and walking around with a cane, needing people to tend to your every need and you can't have a say in it. How degrading would that feel? Now imagine if your own FAMILY, your own sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters, couldn't pay you the time of day? They just take all the money you receive, stripping you of your last bit of independence and self-dignity, and lock you up in your room without a second thought? I think back to my Uncle Louis and Uncle Blackie when I get frustrated with my grandma. Just remember the golden rule: breathe deeply, and count to ten.
Posted on June 18th, 2007 at 09:35pm

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