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Elderly and Alone, why?

Updated on January 9, 2017
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When families forget that you are there because you need their help, not their anger.

I often find myself feeling that I am nothing but a burden for my family and that I cause them much stress. They order me about and tell what I can and can’t do all the time. They complain all the time when I call them to ask for something or ask for a little company once in a while. They gripe about having to clean up my messes and they gripe about helping me get dressed, especially when my limbs just won’t go the way they are supposed to. I wonder how many of you out there feel the same way.

I finally began to understand what was happening; at least I think I did. I was bedridden for several months. When I needed something like help to the bathroom or a drink of water, the family would have to drop what they were doing to help me. They gripped, not because I needed the help, but because they had to stop what they were doing to help me.

They are the same person, they just need TLC.
They are the same person, they just need TLC. | Source

Getting old is rough

Getting old means you can't move like you used to move. Your body won't do things like climbing or lifting; even sitting can be painful. Your insides betray you as well. You start with low or high blood pressure. Then on to your inside parts not working. Knee replacement, hip replacement, clotting issues, gall stones, diabetes, obesity, weak eyes, weak limbs, hearing problems, even loss of teeth and weakness of your bones. Then, to top it all off, you begin to rely on your family to help you because you can't do the things you used to do without thinking about it. Grrrrrrrrr!

The worst part is:

Many of the elderly can't even get out of bed without help. It is a constant struggle to remember their medicines, so they don't always take them. It is hard to hear so they must keep saying "what?" when people speak to them. Showers become something they can only do on good days. And they get angry because the check book no longer balances, they can't remember a grandchild's name, or they are a burden.

But the worst part of growing old is that many people automatically assume things. Things such as older means dumber; older means deaf; older means you can't spell or do math anymore. The list is endless. And in some cases they are true, but not in all cases. Some of the elderly are fit, strong, and have a teenager's brain (so to speak). They don't need, or in many cases want, your help. The ones who do need help don't need your harrumphs, exaggerated sighs, or disciplinary attitude because they already know that they are interrupting your routine. They already know they are a burden. And they hate that they can't do things themselves any more.

So the kitties steal the shower for their new bed.
So the kitties steal the shower for their new bed. | Source

Hope you enjoy these two little poems about getting old.

Do you have elderly family members that you are caring for?

See results

Staying with Family

I cried myself to sleep last night, a thing I often do

I felt I wasn’t worth my life, as they told me what to do

I let the tears fall on my pillow fearing that they might hear

For if they knew I cried again they would shout at me, the pair

They leave me here all alone as I wonder where life went

Unless they want or need something then it must be lent

A small silent accident would cause them much regret

Because I left them all alone without giving them a cent

Remember that the elderly have feelings. Don't hurt them more than they already hurt; inside and out.

Time tells, right?

I awake to the beautiful sun shining in my window.

I need to get up, get dressed and face my day (of woe).

I crawl and roll, slide and shove, trying to sit up.

My body only laughs at me as I knock over a cup.

Finally I am sitting up wondering when the shaking will end.

Getting up is difficult but I have things to which I must tend.

I grab the bed table to steady myself, 'till my legs stop wobbling.

I lean on the wall as I walk, on one leg I am still hobbling.

I find a chair and take a break from the efforts I have spent.

It is lousy to get old, I say; you get a back that is bent.

An arm with no strength, health issues galore, a body no longer well.

Time to turn the clock back to a me I remember well.

(Don't we all wish that?)

© 2015 Cheryl Simonds

What do you think?

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    • cherylone profile image
      Author

      Cheryl Simonds 2 years ago from Connecticut

      It is very hard to understand either side until you have been there. I am so glad I could help.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      My mother has had a number of eye surgeries in both eyes and has struggled for months with very low vision (near blindness) then had shoulder surgery. She was an active, independent, chipper lady who suddenly needed me to drive her everywhere and do for her. She constantly thanked me (unnecessary, of course). I could tell it was wearing on her self-esteem. You provide insight into what it feels like.

    • cherylone profile image
      Author

      Cheryl Simonds 2 years ago from Connecticut

      torrlynn: Thanks for your thoughts. Yes, we all might end up there some day and it's hard for both sides.

      Pefggy W: Glad you are sharing. This needs to get out there so more will know and understand.

      RTalloni: How right you are!

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 2 years ago

      This was an interesting and informative hub that brings to the surface a very compelling topic. As human beings, we will eventually begin to age and will rely on the help of others. I guess it is up to our loved ones if we are to be helped in our time of need or simply shipped off to be taken care of by strangers. Best of wishes.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      This is something that everyone should read. Everyone ages and at some point may need some extra help. Fortunate are those with loving family members (or non family members) who will care for them with love and tenderness. Sharing this!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

      As society's baby boomers age it's important to initiate and participate in discussions about what the real needs are. Even the fittest among the elderly will begin to fail at some point. Will they be "cared" for by a spoiled generation of selfish people who think only of themselves? Placed in nursing homes and left to strangers who stereotype them and care even less for their jobs?