The elderly plays a very important role in our family and ultimately our society. The elderly has been around longer than us and has a wealth of experience and wisdom. However, some of us just toss the elderly aside as if they are unimportant. Do not forget the elderly as one day, you and I will become old too. Remember the Golden Rule which is to “Do unto others as you would have them to do unto you.”
There are some elderly people in society that have been neglected and crying out for help but who is listening. There are some children who are not doing their part in helping the elderly. There are some elderly who do not have any children and are at a disadvantage because they have no one to help them.
Let us also remember the elderly during this COVID 19 pandemic. There are some elderly who are living with family members and some of these family members have been tested positive but due to the fact that the elderly may not have anywhere else to go, they risk contracting COVID 19 and unfortunately may end up dying.
Do not forget your elderly parents
Children, do not forget your elderly parents. I know it can be a challenge taking care of an elderly individual especially if that individual requires a lot of your time and patience. However, those same individuals had patience with us. They made many sacrifices to ensure that we had a better life than them. I know that some of you may not have had a good relationship with your parents and you felt that some of them abused you verbally and physically. Of course, I do not know what you went through but I still believe it is our responsibility to help our elderly parents especially if we are in a position to do so. Always do the right thing for your elderly parents so when you become old, your children will do the same thing to you.
If you are the only child, it may feel like a burden taking care of your parents. No matter how you feel, never think of it as burden, just be grateful that you can help your parents. Now if you have siblings, then you should rotate the time you take to take care of your parents. I can relate to this as my mother had two strokes and so my siblings and I rotated our time in having her live with us. It was not easy but I know if had to do it over again, I would still opt to have my mom stayed with me.
I know there are some are parents who do not want to leave their home especially if they are not in the same area as you. In this case, you may have to recruit a helper to be with your parents or put them in a home but don’t forget them. Visit them and call them as much as you can because you do not want to live with any regrets on not taking of the elderly parents. I imagine it can be very lonely for the elderly when there is no one around to be with them.
Government and Private Sector, do not forget the elderly either
I know generally it may not be the responsibility of the Government to take care of the elderly but there are some situations that require the intervention of the Government. In the Turks and Caicos Islands, there is a geriatric center on the island of Grand Turk and a Wellness Center on the island of South Caicos. I know that these centers are not set up to take care of the elderly but rather there are specific requirements in order to be eligible to be admitted to the centers. I do believe though that similar centers should be set up in the other islands. Alternatively, there can be a joint effort between the Public and Private Sector to construct facilities to house the elderly because there are some elderly who do not have anyone to take care of them.
I also believe that given the increase of the COVID 19 cases and the fact that some elderly are living in the same home where positive COVID 19 individuals are isolated, it is critical that we protect the elderly. We need to secure our elderly in a separate place even if only on a temporary basis when individuals in the home are COVID 19 positive.
Sometimes families remain intact because of the elderly and unfortunately when the elderly dies, some families are torn apart mainly fighting over the distribution of the estate. Don’t forget the elderly and live with your siblings and cousins as if the elderly is still around.
I will end with the same Golden Rule stated in the aforementioned. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”