Consider this, the number of older people that will be alive (and maybe not so well), within the United States of America, and in other world societies will become so great, sooner that later, that systems, medical and otherwise will not be available to care for them all. What do we do as a global community to ease the burden that will be placed upon us?
Do older people have value? Can older people teach younger people skills, or subjects that will be of value to society?
Should older people be "put away" to die in rooms in nursing homes, without a chance to be productive, or to produce anything, in any way?
Of course, some old people cannot be productive because of feeble mental or physical health.
I am just thinking out loud, as a doctor of medicine, who does not have the answers.
What a pity!
Elder care, law and related industries will certainly be experiencing growth. As far as caring about baby boomers and other elderly people, of course we do. They are our families. They are going to stretch and possibly break social security. Its going to be a giant puzzle and I don't think we have started turning the pieces over yet.
Actually, even old people with feeble mental capacity are of great value, whether they're considered socially "productive" or not. The value of a human life should never be weighed upon perceived productivity.
Modern society is becoming more uncompassionate it seems. In several different areas. That shouldn't be.
the rise in the number of older people is bec of the shift in population - birth rate is decreasing over time and the improvement in the medical sciences. Most developed countries have high life expectancies but is also burdened with the problem of rising expenditures for elderly care.
Depending on the welfare system and elderly care placed in a society, they must be taken care of. An economy which is bleeding, (most economies in the West right now), must enjoin the citizenry to put some kind of programs to help them, their children and relatives of the elderly to brace for this. Prepare for the future, the value of savings and planning for your retirement must be inculcated in high school curriculum (just in passing).
The economy isn't bleeding. Its blood has been sucked away by vampires.
Very good, Pcunix. Very good, indeed. Very true. Thanks for taking the courage to say it out loud. Somebody have to say it. God bless you, my friend. Happy New Year, and take care.
All I can say is "Ouch!" I am a member of the baby boomer generation and still very much a productive member of society. My grandmother is 98 and she is also a productive member of society.
I understand the concerns of the generations of people younger than baby boomers and their seniors. How the economic impact will be dealt with remains to be seen. I am also not surprised to learn that euthansia -- or some semblance of it -- would be considered. I am upset to read such things from a medical doctor.
As for what "society" is going to "allow" us to do...we are part of that society and don't believe we need permission to live our lives.
Dear L.L. Woodard,
Thank you, for writing this hub and for saying the difficult words, like "euthanasia." For the hubbers that may not know the definition of euthanasia, I will give one of them here (not to insult anyone's intelligence, but just to be helpful), euthanasia is the act or practice of ending the life of an individual suffering from a terminal illness or an incurable condition. It is taken from the Greek, meaning "a good death."
Putting it plan and simple, euthanasia is killing people before their time. Many wonderful doctors that I have worked elbow to elbow with, believes in euthanasia, as a means of helping suffering people to die, quickly, in order to avoid extreme or prolonged, human suffering.
L.L. Woodard, this is not something that I like talking about, and would not have done it, without your encouragement. Thank you, my friend.
Regards, Dr. Haddox
If you think like a hammer, everything is a nail. If all you're seeing is feeble old people, you need to widen your circles of acquaintance.
While many Baby Boomers have the same lifestyle and aging illnesses as past generations of elderly people have, we also are, as a group of people, showing a more proactive approach. We've already changed the way many different issues used to be handled in different age groups as we've passed through those ages. We've already brought taboo issues, such as: prostate enlargement, female menopause, male menopause, breast cancer and sex as you age,out in the open where they can be discussed intelligently. We've changed how they're dealt with so that the generations who follow us will not have to fight to discuss them and will be more informed about how to deal with aging issues.
I have no doubt that, while the nation deals with Baby Boomers aging, a lot of things will be changed. We have already begun to demand a new way of dealing with issues associated with aging.
There have been extraordinary people in every generation who have made changes in how aging issues are handled. However, the Baby Boomers are the first generation where a large number of the members will insist as they age that both the perception of aging and the methods for handling aging issues change. We will decide much more about how we live as we age, and how we die than previous generations have.
Very good discourse on the issue of aging. Very well thought out. Very good thinking, actually, "right thinking." Thank you for taking the time and putting forth the effort to communicate these important points on the issue of aging. Great work, on your part.
My first thought: ‘do onto others as you would have them do onto you.’ My most primary reasoning is: no one knows everything about anything, re; theorizing our makeup as if we have nothing left to learn. Or, our description of light maybe missing other contributing elements, we have yet to detect. One last note: ‘live in the shoes of those under judgment.'
I like what you had to say in the above post, R.J. Lefebvre, and you are most correct. That timely advice, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you," as you have correctly noted, will help us to put these Life Situations, into the right prospective. It seems so simple, treating others the way we want to be treated, but it is often overlooked or ignored. You have "got it right." We would all have a better understanding if "we would try to live in the shoes of those under judgment."
After all, if we all live long enough, we will all get old, surely. Good work, my friend on HugPages.
As you go, Peace. Dr. Haddox
The care of the elderly is very often very poor, especially in homes, but sometims in hospitals too. I have witnessed shocking treatment of elderly patients in hospital, but there seems almost a reluctance for people to discuss it, as if it doesn't matter. If the young were treated in the same way, it would be considered a scandal.
You are so very correct, Muldania. Maybe your words will motivate all of us to try a little harder to do better. My mother's house, for example, can stand a little more dusting, a little more sweeping, a little more cleaning the bathroom. She cannot see very well so she depends on me to help her get it right, to help her maintain a health environment in her home.
Your words have reminded me that, even I, with the means, education, resources, and energy to make more time to do more for my mother, must always work harder to do more. "We must discuss it", as you say. And it does matter, as you have reminded us. You are correct, it would be "considered a scandal," a great, ugly scandal, if youth were treated this way. Good work, good writing, Muldania.
Regards, Dr. Haddox
Do senior people have worth? Once the Cherokee nation suffered what they felt was an intolerable situation. All the younger chiefs screamed for war. The old chiefs strongly advised peace. The younger chiefs won out and a bloody war commenced. The Cherokees fought bravely but in the end were utterly defeated, their homes and food gardens destroyed and burnt. They then asked their oldest and wisest chief to make peace with their foes. These are his words:' I am come, to see what can be done for my people, who are in great distress. As to what has taken place,, I believe it has been ordered by the great Master above. He is the father of the Whites and Indians: as we all live in one land, let us all live as one people.' His prayer was granted and a peace made for his people.
What a wonderful and powerful story. Thank you, Alastar Packer. It is to bad that it took a great lost of life and resources to come to the point where peace was made. Great lessons are often learned at the cost of great blood shed and suffering. "What a Pity!" Dr haddox
Dr. Haddox - I enjoyed reading this Forum. I have seen both sides where young people do not like or treat elders with respect - and then again - I have seen young people love elderly and do everything they can to help them. I have seen good Nursing Homes and Health Care Centers and bad ones as well. I hope the payment of money doesn't make the difference - it shouldn't. It mostly depends on the individual and how they face growing old. They have organizations today for older people - all kinds of activities for them to get involved with - the more the better. I think - it shows that Society and the local communities really care. Yes - I think they have a great deal to contribute. I used to visit a friend of the family in a health care center for 4 years - she was 94 - when I began to sit and talk with her. She was very educated, had great stories, a sweet laugh and she is someone I treasured. Thank you - and May 2012 be wonderful for you.
Deb, Thank you for your wonderful words. You are correct in your thinking and I appreciate you writing it down, above for all of us to read. I am sorry that it took me a few days to get back to answer you. The 94 year old lady that you mentioned above is a good example of the value of lives of older people. You are so correct in you feeling about elders. Again, thank you. Dr. Haddox
There are solutions. Considering there are still great numbers of baby boomers capable of changing their lifestyles, change it. Seriously change. Especially in the current times we live the life expectancy is rising, not falling. Therefore it is going to be in everyones interests to stop relying on the medical model to heal you of your ills. As is blatantly obvious in the US the medical system is a disgrace and is not one that can be relied on. Understanding this then it makes a lot of sense to change. Change what? Eating habits for one. Become pro lifestyle - promote exercise as fun and a way to prevent a few decades of gross decay and medical intervention for those who will be entering their 60's, 70's and beyond.
The medical profession needs to collectively get their hands out of the pockets of pharmaceutical companies and back to the "do no harm" way of thinking. As with many institutions that become unworkable, going back to basics often is the best way to go. The basics being diet and exercise and less pill popping.
The USA and many western countries are drowning in a consumerism mentality, not only of commercial "stuff" but fake food. Food that is not really food. Sodas, pizzas, aspartame ridden sweets. Now the threat of GMO grain fed cattle served as meat and GMO crops which will only add to the problems of human health.
With the exceptions of extenuating circumstances, there is no reason people can't have healthy active lives into their 90's.
There is a lot that can be done - people just have to do it.
Your comments should open the eyes of people with common sense. The food industrys primary interest is to make there food products with a taste you can't go without; until you begin to realize a good taste with little (if any) neutrition. I'm one of the neanderthals who could not recognize that physical exercise and healthy nutrition could make a big difference, until I experienced some heart problems. I feel lucky to survive my ignorance.
Well done R.J. I'm also a Baby Boomer and I suffered denial also! I'm not sure when I started addressing my health. I started putting on weight in my early 40's, although I've not been chronically ill, the heaviness leads to all sorts of issues - depression and lethargy is common. I have seen a lot of older people continually complaining about their aches and pains and their main conversations revolve around their meditations. Geez - what a terrible waste of a life.
I started turning my health regime around a few years ago, mainly as a preventative measure against being chained to the health meme, or should I say the ill-health meme.
Good health is common sense and the world seems to have lost a lot of that in favor of the lull of commercial advertising of toxic crap. Glad you survived and I bet you have a lot to say about good eating habits. Pass on the news - the more good stories the better for us all.
You are learning as you go, that is, as you go through life. We all are learning and improving our "living" habits, as we go forward with Life. You are doing well. Very good. Dr. Haddox
It is advised that all of us real and share what Jewels have said above in her post GMO foods and etc. This knowledge, of Jewels, needs to be shared.
I think in society often the young and the old get neglected to treated like they're inferior in some way. It's a growing problem, with young people being routinely demonised, and old people neglected. All people deserve fair treatment and respect.
Especially the elderly, they have earned respect, if not just for the sake of knowledge.
Very true. And the ranks of the elderly is increasing quickly, and greatly. Maybe, just the shear number of elderly people will one day create a situation where they cannot be ignored. Dr. Haddox
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