"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."



('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)




Thursday, July 21, 2016

The violence of the elderly?

When I was travelling around on buses in my youth, it was expected that a younger person, and especially children, would get up and offer their seats to older or pregnant adults who were standing. I used to hate doing it, simply because it made me the centre of attention, albeit only for a moment, and I just wasn't keen on that. However, I used to comfort myself with the thought that when I was old, youngsters would do the same for me. It hasn't happened of course, as in I haven't got old yet ...
(Pause for polite agreement) and youngsters, if they even notice you at all, would trample over you in the rush to get where they're going.  Proof of this was brought home to me some time ago in Chester, when a young woman with a baby in a buggy dashed out of a shop and straight across my path, without even seeing me, whereupon, she was mildly chastised by her partner.
"Watch out, you nearly knocked that old woman over!"
They both definitely noticed me when I explained quite forcibly that I was NOT old and did he perhaps need a visit to the optician in the near future? (OK, I didn't say the bit about the optician.)
We 'baby boomers' are not favourably viewed on the whole. We're the ones who 'had it all', which is true to a certain extent. We have been lucky. We grew up in a time when attitudes were changing, jobs were plentiful and, for the first time,  young people had a disposable income and the freedom that went with it.  Now, one of the few advantages of being of a certain age is that we have reasonable pensions, which the next cohort are less likely to have, although any savings we might have will almost certainly be swallowed up  in due course in care costs. 
But when I see this about over 75s being responsible for over half of all physical assaults on NHS staff, firstly, I find it  impossible to believe (think Saturday night in any A&E in the country) and secondly, I can only feel sorry for all concerned; the often confused elderly and the overstretched staff who don't have the time they need to explain things and go at a slower pace to suit the patient. 
Barring accident or terminal illness, we'll all eventually arrive in that land of old age but of course, the politicians, who should be doing all they can to make the experience more manageable, will be cushioned by the private care which their wealth will provide.

10 comments:

  1. Thoughtful reflections on ageing in modern day Britain. And nice to see you have woken up after your long hibernation!... Actually I forgive you because I can imagine you have had a lot on your plate following your dad's passing.

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  2. Thanks, YP. Yes, looking back, I am amazed at how much there was to do and how long it took to do it! Waiting on the phone to speak to various 'bodies' (Your call is in a queue) doesn't help!

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  3. A friend and I were speaking just yesterday about the terrible postal service in this century. I have been thinking ever since how lucky we were to grow up and be present between the second war and Vietnam war. When my mother would be waiting at the back door in cold weather with a cup of hot cocoa for the mailman who walked through the back gardens on our street with his heavy bag delivering the mail. It was the best of times for a lot of us.

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  4. Ah yes, Royal Mail could be the subject of a whole new post - and has been in the past! ;)

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  5. Following Yorkie's instructions I've popped in to say "G'Day" from the land Down Under.

    Fortunately, here where I live I've not come across bad mannered younger folk. However, I imagine the thoughtlessness is prevalent in the cities and other busier areas...and more is the pity.

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    1. Nice of you to visit, Lee. You are probably right about bad manners being more prevalent in cities or towns. I just find it sad that our modern society often has little regard for older people.

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    2. Jenny I sometimes think that our modern society often has little regard for any people in that so many are concerned only with themselves.

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    3. I do agree, Graham. I'm sure people weren't always so thoughtless and selfish, but on the other hand, there are sometimes examples of spectacular kindness and generosity that renew one's faith in human nature.

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  6. Not really so different in the States.Glad to have found your blog through Yorkie Puddin'!

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    1. Thanks, Jan. Nice of you to drop by. :)

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