I thought this may be a way to list some things that are both right and wrong in working with our elders. I prefer the term elders, and maybe that is because of my cultural background.
I worked in a nursing home when I was a young adult and was very surprised by how the elderly were treated there. I thought working in St. Louis Park, there would be much better care and more family involvement. Not true, although there are always a few in every place like that.
When my mother needed a rehabilitation program, she was being referred to a nursing home. My cousin and I looked for a place. We found a place in the middle of south Minneapolis. It was the best.
The best because, residents were smiling and friendly, while staff were as well. That sold us. My mother ended up dying while she lived there. She went to the hospital, but it was too late. It wasn’t the rehab, it was her time.
No regrets for her stay as she was happy and content there and when she died. She had a much easier transition than I did with her death.
Do most elders look like the elders crossing photo above? NO!
I guess it does get the point across to slow down, no?
How about, “Mom, a monkey could do it!” No.
Not this elder! I don’t like being compared to a monkey. Hell no!
My response was, “A monkey should do it! Go ahead, then?” No.
An elder wouldn’t say that, but maybe, “I prefer to not be compared to a monkey when you know my hubby is the only monkey here!” No.
Not nice! Do I have to be nice all of the time? No.
What about crabby elders? They are just mean people. No!
Come to terms with aging. Withdraw from society. No!
Old is 60. Old is 50. Old is 70. No!
Never, will I just step away. I will work part-time as long as I want. No.
Well, as long as I can safely do the job! As long as I have my mind. Yes!
Will I be listened to when speaking publicly? Yes.
A grey panther lady said, “At my age what can they do to me?” Yes.
When talking about speaking out about injustice, speaking for elders! Yes.
Humor is important. It’s okay to use humor. Humor works. Yes.
Show people how you want to be treated. Yes.
Report elder abuse. Don’t allow people to mistreat you or yours. Yes.
Walk over to me at clinic when I am pulling my things together. Yes.
At the art gallery make sure there are chairs/benches for elders. Yes.
If you live a long time, you have probably done some things right. Yes.
Crabby elders are usually people in pain. Living with chronic pain. Yes.
Society deems elders as 65. Now it is going up with social security. Hell No!
Native American elders are elders at age 55. Yes.
Most American people show respect to elders. No.
Most Native American people show respect to elders. Yes.
When they aren’t elders, they are just old people. No.
It is a joke for some and not truth for some not raised in the culture. Yes.
It is okay to ignore what someone older than you is saying. No!
Elders are first in line at a feast, brought a plate. Yes.
It is ignored if you just interrupt an elder in the middle of a story. No
Elders are listened to when praying, telling stories, speaking. Yes.
Gramps, “You are so slow, you remind me of a turtle. Catch up.” Hell No!
Step up and offer help. Hold the door for an elder. Yes.
Elder gets the backseat and the kid who called shotgun in front. Hell No!
Elders are usually on a fixed income. That can mean problems living. Yes.
Visit, and eat and use their supplies, take whatever you want. No.
Offer an occasional gift for their sharing a meal with you or a teaching. Yes.
Fight over an elder's belongings before they have even died. Hell No!
Visit an elder you know at home, in nursing care, or in the hospital. Yes.
Six of my family members each took two months out of the year and sent a care package, once a month, to my mother, who was living on social security only. It was usually by the third week of the month, to help get her through the month. It helped.
I think her social security was around $500. a month. Granted her house was paid for and she was eligible for either food stamps or commodities. She took commodities as she said they lasted longer.
I tried to give her more assistance than that, but she felt that she had to come and help me back if I did that and it was a hardship for her to visit me four hours away. That was in her mind to take care of herself and support her children in the best way possible.
My mother died at age 75, in 2009. Speaking of aging. She was too young to die. I miss her.
First published by Badform on medium.com
About the Creator
I am married with 7 children, 26 grands, and 11 great-grandchildren. I am a culture consultant part-time. I started writing A Poem a Day in February 7 years ago. I wrote 4 - 50,000 word stories in NaNoWriMo. Writing on Vocal/Medium now.
Very well written. Keep up the good work!
Heartfelt and relatable
The story invoked strong personal emotions