The Forgotten Elderly

These women are the early baby boomers of the new industrialized world or the late borns of the feudalism system. They are not The Beatles generation. Not because they were too old when The Beatles roamed the music world but because they where denied the pleasure by the communists. In a way they are the misfits of all three systems. They have always been caught in between.

You think you have all the power in the world…Think again…You think you are immortal…Think again…You think you have it all…Think again…

But more than anything else you think you are popular…Well, think again…Soon you will find out that none of those things matter…If you are lucky enough to reach 80 for the first time in your life you are about to learn the only thing that matters is not to die alone.

Some need a place to stay. Others need running water, new glasses, a cane, the daily bread, money for prescription drugs or monthly administrative costs. They are the forgotten elderly.

While many of these needs vary from one case to another, there is something uniting them all. All of them need a little attention, some sort of human contact. They literally die to whisper their tales to anyone willing to open their door.

They have amazing stories to tell, but no one to share them with. An amazing piece of our history is fading away because we are too busy or too far away to listen. They are a burden to their families. And believe it or not, for a 60 year old ‘kid’ it’s not that easy to attend to the needs of an 80 year old parent.

Most of them buried at least one child if not all. If we can survive that, as human beings, we are far from being an endangered species.

I was touched by all these stories but there is one that moved me more than all the others. Vasilchia is 91 years old. Her husband was shot in the head during the war but he survived. They lived together through his terrible accident and misfortune.

She said to me “when he came out of the hospital, the doctor said he was never going to be himself again, so I learned to ignore his temper and violent crises”…

She looked amazing considering her challenging life and age. I told her “all man are shot in the head in a way or another”…”The secret to look as good as you do at your age, must be to ignore them”…

In a way, I believe this is the secret of women living longer than men as well.

They give us birth and and they outlive most of men. The circle is complete.

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