Eighteen Years or More

For eighteen years or more – eighteen years, nine months, if you count prenatal care – the average parent cares for his/her child. That’s a long time of changing diapers, helping with homework, driving to practices, getting medical care and taking care of the person when s/he’s sick. Teenage years are tolerated and hopefully go well. Many times the help and care continues longer than eighteen years as children venture off to college, need help with a new house purchase, need someone to help with childcare for their children.

Then this morning I read an article about Hero Health Care which is a new business that provides home health care workers for senior citizens who need them. Many of the comments on that article were heartless. “Withhold medical care from seniors when they need a home healthcare worker”. Another one was “Old people are confused and will lie about what happened with a home healthcare worker who did nothing wrong.” There was another comment about “Old people resisting change and how much trouble this causes their families”.

Are you kidding me? The same people who had their diapers changed, their boo-boo’s kissed and a band-aid put on, their swings pushed, their asses carted around from place to place, their temper tantrums endured . . . I could go on about all the experiences of caring for a child – but these same people now think if you get old, you need to disappear. Leave anything you’ve bought and have behind for their use, of course, but if you need help in your senior years, just buy the book on Amazon (and they even named the book) that tells you how to kill yourself.

I thought it was bad when I began seeing comments from those who begrudge seniors their senior discounts. Comments about how seniors have had more years to save up to buy things. Really? How much have the people voicing these opinions saved so far themselves? How many things did parents do without so that their children could have use of the money in the family for things they wanted and needed? Just because someone has lived many years doesn’t mean they hoarded away any money they made.

“Had twice as long to save it”. Yes, and if we’d known what the attitudes of some young people were going to be, we would have saved it and let the ungrateful young people go without.

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