In the news this week was a story of a community that is accusing itself of having resorted to a controversial practise of dumping its elders in care homes, rather than having them live out their lives in their own homes. As senior citizens we are living longer, much longer, but many don't have the luxury of good health to be able to care for themselves.
Having arrived here in Spain to take up permanent residence in 1999 I immediately observed some cultural aspects that I really grew to love. Two were, (a) parents took their children everywhere they went, including to the bar, and, (b) that parents lived out their days at home with one or other of heir offspring.
That was then, but great negative changes have taken place that have placed significant pressures on the average family around the world. First, here in Spain fantastic growth was enjoyed during what we now know was the bubble period. That's when offspring worked very hard and many of their parents had to take up residence in care homes. However, the question is, once they were put there did they continue to have a close relationship with their children through regular visits, or were they simply forgotten? If that was the case they would have been dumped.
"Growing old is ugly!" So said Michael Jackson. He was absolutely correct. We go from young, vital, perhaps beautiful or handsome to the effects of age-creep. The effect gets more severe day-by-day, and generally, it's not a pretty sight.
Young people are responsible for a number of actions that are taken against older people, and apparently they do so completely forgetting that they too are headed in that same direction. One of those actions is the dumping of their parents. Meanwhile, their own young children observe the treatment accorded to their grandparents, and so of course, when the time comes they will do the same thing to their own parents. They will dump them and forget them because they got the model from their mom and dad, so it must be alright.
The irony is that mom and dad will surely moan and complain about all the sacrifices they made for their children, and now they dump us here and never come to visit.
Also, there is one other class of parent who will complain bitterly: that is those fathers who were careless where they spilled their sperm as young men. They never took responsibility, and in their old age, although they fathered the equivalent of a football team, nobody comes to visit.
I hope they complain to the wall!
Copyright (c) 2015 Eugene Carmichael