In the Words of Aretha Franklin
In the May 1 Voices column by Paul Socken, he makes the point that the elderly are thought to be dispensable in this time of limited medical resources (“When Did Elderly People Like Me Become Disposable?”). That well may be, and I will also bring the discussion down to our daily realities.
The one thing that I and other elderly are avidly seeking and many times woefully missing is what Rodney Dangerfield whined about and what Aretha Franklin sang about: R-E-S-P-E-C-T. There are those of us mostly intact in body and mind who go about our lives not
outwardly presenting as being in pain or needy, yet inwardly we operate from a basis of great anxiety.
Will the resources we’ve worked and saved for be enough to last till the end of our days?
Will changes in health insurance policies go counter to our best interests?
Will doctors give us the care and attention we crave even if not seriously ill?
Will lawyers listen to our full story before jumping to conclusions?
As a basically well-functioning senior, I have experienced each of these situations during the past couple weeks. If any of these professionals in their respective fields had taken time to really listen and hear my full story, my anxiety may have been ameliorated, and I would have come away feeling like I had been treated with that most intangible, yearned for, and intrinsic to well-being quality: RESPECT.
~Joyce Wolpert, Baltimore