Everyone knows, our Senior population is growing. In 1985 older Americans accounted for 11% of the population. By 2010, 13% of our population was above the age of 65. In 2030 most of the Baby Boomers will be 65 As you can see the older population will continue to grow. There has also been a tremendous slow down of the reproduction rates in modern societies over the past few years. It is a fact that in Japan, adult diapers outsell baby diapers now. It will also introduce more complications for our Society. There used to be a joke, it’s probably still around, that all vehicles made to ship to Florida had bifocals built into the windshields.
When the United States was founded the life expectancy was 35 years. The average life expectancy now is at 78. Women are expected to live to 79 and men to 72. Is that because men work in more demanding jobs, outdoors, around more chemicals, or doing more physically demanding work? Or, men don’t get their check-ups at their doctor’s as they should, or a lot of men don’t even visit a doctor until they have a major problem! It is estimated that 37 percent of the Senior woman, in the US, live alone, and 19 percent of men live alone. According to Andrew Steptoe, at the University College London “Both social isolation and loneliness appeared initially to be associated with a greater risk of dying, but it was the isolation which was more important.” There are a lot of other problems with living alone:
- Medication management
- Poor nutrition
- Unable to pay bills
- Trouble getting around
- Getting to doctor appointment or shopping
But social isolation is probably the most troublesome. Human beings were designed to be social creatures and not communicating with another person, leads to a greater feeling of loneliness!
Elderly Caring for Elderly
My wife and I, both in our middle 60’s watch over our Senior parents. Her Dad is a hard-headed ole man 92 years old. He has had a couple of strokes, broken hip and several other health issues. My Mother is 86 years old and she has been very lucky. Her problems are things related to getting old, poor eyesight, deteriorating bones, and severe arthritis. We take care of them out of love. We remind ourselves how when we were young they changed our diapers, bathed us, feed us picked up after us, took us to the Doctors, gave us our medicine, and all the other things parents do for their little ones. My wife still works full time and I had to take early retirement because of medical problems.
We get frustrated, angry at them, angry at each other, but we have to remind ourselves of the situation they would be in if it were not for us. Remind yourself, they need your help not getting around, taking their medicine, eating the proper food and yes changing their diapers. I have to think of the care Seniors are getting in other countries in the world. Long-term care facilities are not as good overseas as they are here. In a lot of countries, it is expected that the younger population take care of the old. Social care systems overall are lacking the quality of care here in the United States.
Just imagine one of the young ones that you couldn’t discipline. My wife and I laugh at things like hiding the keys to my father in laws pickup. The local DPS office won’t renew his license because he knocks over too many mailboxes and his mirrors have been knocked off from trying to get into the garage. We hid the keys to his riding lawnmower, he kept falling off, breaking belts and running over things he couldn’t see, so I’d be out there replacing the mower blades every week. He argues with me that Doctors don’t know what they are doing today, they never talk to you, just sit there typing on their computers. If they were any kind of Doctor they could make some good false teeth or make a hearing aid that would last forever.
I have to constantly watch my mother as she would have every magazine in the world filling up our mailbox. If, I give her the credit card she will have every $19.99 item advertised on TV coming to her door. And we can only think of all the creams, hair colors, and dresses she might order. Yes, none of the Doctors today know what they are doing, if they did, they could fix her false teeth, her eyes and get rid of her arthritis. Mother can’t drive because of her back and eyesight, but they send her a new Driver License every few years. I had to take the keys from her or she would be motoring down to the local Sonic for her favorite hamburger.
My wife and I recently had lunch at a local sandwich restaurant, the type where you place your orders, go sit down and wait for the waitress to bring your food out. We went to our table and I noticed, sitting next to us, an elderly Lady, maybe in her late 60s, sitting alone waiting patiently for her food. They brought her food and shortly afterward brought ours. We both ate our lunches. She finished before us, and as she got up I asked how she was doing today. She just smiled, said fine and left. I wondered to myself if she was going home to an empty house to spend the rest of the day alone, or maybe her spouse was not able to accompany her.
There are 224 million smartphones in the United States today. Everyone is always on Facebook, Twitter or all the other Social Sites communicating, about who knows what. Just about everyone is able to go online anytime they want. Think about the older people you know, maybe reach out and call just to say hello. During Holidays or if you know someone’s Birthday, it doesn’t take, just a few minutes to go online and order someone A BOX OF CANDY, a warm blanket, or some FLOWERS oror something they can snack on. Order it and get it sent directly to their home, you would be amazed at how that would enliven their lives and make their days ahead a lot brighter!! Your Comments Below are Welcome!! THX