With the onset of the Christmas season and amidst the busyness of our lives, we tend to forget the very people who put us here and our driving force, the little people, our children.
For some, in their quest for “more” parents are being put in nursing homes, the rationale being that breadwinners that they are, their work/corporate structure is too demanding hence the need for the elderly to have “companionship and good medical care”. Good outsourced health care would mean massive payments to nursing homes and a substantial demand for elderly care facilities in the years ahead.
Often the massive payments do not justify the expected care. Rare is it that the elderly are extremely satisfied in their new surroundings, the promised care being window dressing. Most are left in unsafe, sad and forgotten surroundings. Let’s face it, there are many treasures put out to pasture and forgotten because “there is simply no time”. As a result, the children, our children are losing a chunk of values, history and love. Unfortunately, they will continue to think this is accepted and the norm for the elderly. Needless to say, it will be a matter of “sowing what one reaps” because one day, it may be our turn to be “homed”.
With the life expectancy rate constantly increasing and little, if no income to show for it, most people outside of the nursing care system, are beset with health issues, social circumstances, abuse and neglect. Some pensioners are of the opinion that they “are better off dead”. Their fears to live in the future are many and very real. Many people over 75 live alone, following the death of their spouse or the emigration of their children. Their costs, despite being single, are high and their battle to make ends is very real. One medical mishap with escalating costs could spell disaster. For many, it’s a very fine line between poverty and comfort.
Those that are less mobile and housebound are sitting ducks for opportunists. A quick internet search revealed the enormity of the dangers faced by elderly people. It used to be so that parents lived with their children, especially their sons. It also used to be such that older, wiser adults were revered and held in high esteem. Traditional values demand respect and honour for older, wiser people. After long fruitful lives, the elderly deserve to live out the rest of their days in harmony, not fragilely living in fear for being cast out by society, maimed or murdered.
Neither should they be considered unworthy not perceived as burdens on social grants, paltry sum that it is. Their wisdom and guidance is desperately needed by the younger generation.
Neglected children on the other hand comes with baggage and scarring. It is a sad fact that children have become statistics of neglect, some doomed to death. With the availability of cheap, destructive drugs, parents have failed to provide the basics for children, let alone “adequate health care, supervision, clothing, nutrition, housing as well as physical,emotional, social, educational and safety needs”. 20 something parents are part of the vicious cycle themselves, due to “parenting problems including mental disorders, substance abuse, domestic violence, unemployment, unplanned pregnancy, and poverty. A case of babies having babies …
It is a fact that “neglected children are at risk of developing lifelong social, emotional and health problems, particularly if neglected before the age of two years.”
The 40s and 50 somethings now are shackled with additional responsibility due to the lack of resources. Mounting responsibilities weigh heavily. Those in their 50s have been retrenched, or forced to retire early. Despite their experience, knowledge and availability, securing employment is almost impossible, their age and affirmative action being against them. Their kids are almost but not quiet out of the nest and they have parents dependent on them.
Depressing much? What is needed and needed now, is a solid solution. No point in regurgitating the facts, dissecting the obvious and bemoaning fate. The solution…
The long standing taxpaying elderly that contributed to society for protecting their country, those that volunteered to serve, protect and uphold laws should continue to do so. How so? What better guardian for the neglected children than those elderly citizens? For additional healing, a few pets, dogs or cats from the pound, can be sourced for comfort and joy. The gaps so blatantly evident can be healed and even closed with the unity of the old and young. Getting down to basics, playtime, guidance, bonding and healing. Let us not forget story time, from the beststory tellers. Again, who better to inculcate knowledge, values and worth than those forgotten for the neglected. Would both not benefit from love, nurturing and a renewed sense of purpose. I think so. What say you? The forgotten children need not be forgotten by those inbetween.
Input from a 40 something…
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