Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Old People

Turning on the television the other evening, I happened upon a programme where the first thing I heard was two young girls talking about old people. They were liking something they had seen to the 'smell of old people'. As they said it, they were turning up their noses and looking quite disgusted. I have heard so many people over the years say that old people smell. Well I have never met any who do.

Why is it the young always say old people smell awful and that residential homes smell of stale pee and so do their residents? Their words not mine. Even more frightening is the fact they call 'old' anything from 40 upwards, so in their eyes, the majority of people reading this all smell of stale urine including yours truly.

I have no idea why they should think this is the case and it is such an insulting, cruel and horrid way to think of older people. I wonder if they realise, that with God's Grace, they too may one day be old? Don't they think older people have feelings once they pass a certain age? I can't even excuse the way they think on the fact they are young, because I have never thought those things about old people ever in my life. I have never mixed with people who do either. In fact, I have always been most comfortable in older company as they have far more of interest to say and share with others.

Is is ignorance and lack of intelligence that makes them think the way they do? Is it just cold hearted people who think of nothing but themselves? Is it fear, or is it something else entirely? I have no idea. All I do know is, I think it is cruel and totally unnecessary. I am sure they are under the impression that all people, once past 40, are incontinent and just sit around all day in chairs where they have wet themselves because they are too lazy to move. Even if someone is incontinent, it doesn't mean that's what happens anyway. Why do they believe it does? Besides, it isn't only old people it happens to.

The only places that would smell in such a way, are those where maybe the people have dementia, are unable to move or need help for whatever reason and are completely neglected and uncared for by their family or staff in whatever home they are in. It does happen and it is stupid to think it doesn't. That isn't the fault of the poor souls who are neglected in that way though. They are ill and if they weren't, would be horrified at the indignity of how they were being treated and left. I am glad to say, the majority of homes are well run, clean and caring of their residents, so it is rare anyone comes across this problem thank God.

For youngsters to insinuate that all people smell offensive once past a certain age would indicate to me, that maybe they themselves are from a family who is neglecting someone they should be looking after properly. Otherwise, how else would a young person come to the conclusion they have.

It is a fact that so many people in our country today can't be bothered with their parents once they reach an age where they might need help. They either pop in once a week or month for five minutes or dump them in a home when it is often unnecessary. I have seen it happen with people I know. They have completely neglected a parent through laziness. Others have dumped them in homes in quite a nasty way saying they are too busy to look after them. It is these people I think who have to answer for the way some youngsters think of old people.

I have seen first hand two different cases I will share here. One is of a lady who had no time for anyone through her lifetime and was only bothered about herself. She is now being treated as she treated others. Her family 'dumped' her soon after her husband died and is rarely visited or bothered about. In public, pretence is made about how caring they are, but in private, it is totally different to what they try to portray. It is said you reap what you sow, in this case, that would appear to be right. It's sad to watch though.

The second one is of another lady, who once her husband had died and she got to the stage of needing to be near one of the family, moved into the annexe of her sons house. The daughter in law cooks each day and yet refused to take her mother-in-law (who has since died) a meal ever. She never did any shopping, washing, ironing or any other thing for her. Her attitude when I asked her how she could do that was, 'she's lucky we've given her somewhere to live with us, why should I do anything for her'?

These are the sorts of people I have no time for. It is their children who I believe grow into the ones who think all old people smell. In reality, the only bad smell I have ever noticed is the one that comes with people of that attitude.

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