Ageism in Society Hurts

My complaint is that our society is ageist and doesn't respect or appreciate the elderly.

Whenever someone hears that I am time challenged because I'm caring for my elderly parent plus working full time, they usually start blaming the parent rather than my job when it's just the opposite--the job is overly demanding whereas my parent is not and cannot help it if they are old and sick.

I resent this ageist attitude. I have a coworker whose sibling recently passed away from cancer and OMG, you should have seen the outpouring of sympathy that she received. Yet no one at my job is sympathetic about my elderly parent's health issues and rarely show any interest in my concerns.

The attitude is "well, what do you expect for someone who is 85 years old? They lived a good life, didn't they?" Or "isn't it time for a nursing home?" And they still ask me if I did anything fun over the weekend, like, DUH, do you have any clue what care giving is all about? I have come to realize that the attitude out there is ageist. Does anyone else have any comments on the ageist attitude?

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No Angel
by: Anonymous

I've had experience of both: my Father In Law was a wonderful, caring man; my Mother In Law is a self-centered drama addict who uses her health as a means of extorting compliance with her demands for attention.

After years of it, I finally put my foot down. She helped: she pulled one of her attention-getting routines and ruined our first time away in years (which would have been all of a whole three days)and my husband was so fed up he took her to the ER. She was kept overnight for observation, all sorts of tests run, and the doctor told my husband there wasn't a thing wrong with her that eating properly, getting some exercise, and a swift kick in the behind wouldn't cure.

Her GP says the same: she's emotionally and physically lazy, and if we don't maintain clear boundaries, she'll swallow us whole.

Before you condemn in general, you might want to consider what people are dealing with in specific. I suspect a week with my Mother In Law would be enough to create considerable sympathy in you for what the rest of us are coping with.

A different perspective...
by: Anonymous

Most people's experience of elder care is : The old person is mostly selfish, demanding, manipulative, stingy, complaining and ungrateful. Yours may be an angel, but that would be the exception!

Have you ever noticed - No one complains about caring for children? We pay for their support, we clean their bottoms and wipe their noses, we bathe and feed them, without any resentment.

Because kids bring us pleasure with their innocence, trusting attitude, love and affection and gratitude,. So do pets.
Whereas old people are another matter ...They mostly make you disgusted and frustrated.
Its not ageism, its just facts - They HAVE lived a good long life and should allow others to do so too.

If you are a happy caregiver out of choice, you should not expect sympathy from others. Its not their problem, they have problems of their own.

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