The world population, at leat in the West, is growing old. And it is not only an economical problem of paying rents in some future, but also a problem of attitude towards the elderly (under this term I mean people over 70, in developed countries). Since my father is 60 now I can see he is far too healthy and dynamic to call him elderly, so I think it is 70 when a person is getting weak and needs more support. The age may vary from country to country though.
Since ages the elderly had been respected and taken care of. That was one of the basic laws of live. Presently I can see a huge shift in the attitude of a younger generation.
1. Due to the new technologies which young people are so good at, there is a huge gap between those who use them and those who are not. It is like living on another planet, literally. Any knowledge/information is so easily accessible that we don’t need many years to learn things. Often a short Internet check gives loads of information and a good insight into a subject. Basically there is an illusive feeling they can’t lean anything from the elderly and there is no interest in communication on the side of younger generations. As for human relations, some aging people are indeed become wiser, and some grow into frustrated, moaning persons who are not inspiring to take after…
2. Taking care of old parents/relatives is being shifted towards some services and home for elderly. It is not any more common (at least in Europe) to nurse them at home till their last breath. For many people it seems to be a good solution to pay somebody else for taking care of their weak parents. In fact, that shocked me when I first learned about this new trend, coming from Russia to Austria 12 years back. That is how they depict it in a US source: “Few people gleefully anticipate the task of caring for an aging parent—but plenty seem to deny that it’s coming. Sooner or later, avoidance can thrust adult children into the caregiver role with a shotgun start. A parent’s slip in the bathroom or a collision caused by a mistake in the driver’s seat can precipitate a deluge of anguished decisions and rapid changes you’re not ready to handle. Suddenly, you could be scrambling to locate account numbers to pay Mom’s bills while she’s in the hospital, tangling with her insurance company to figure out why coverage for an X-ray was denied, and consulting with your brother—who lives three states away—about getting Mom into an assisted-living facility. You grapple with guilt because your mother never wanted to move out of her home, but now her condition leaves little choice. As the drama plays out, you’re also trying to stay afloat at work and look after your other dependents, the kids.”
I don’t really know any solution for this problem, especially on a global level. I feel it would be good if the elderly (whose who are not too weak to stay inside) would be more integrated into the modern life. I wonder what you think of it?
And what do you think we can do about it?
thanks, and check this post soon again for the analysis of the poll results!
P.S: some links on the topic that may be interesting: Living with the Elderly.
(image by me)