The plight of the elderly in First world countries - (And the ethical implications of commoditizing elder care)

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Jarolleon

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Mar 23, 2019
“I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.”-Bilbo Baggins

More seriously I think the core problem is that we've figured out how to partially offset the effects of ageing on the limbs, eyes, &c. but we haven't worked out how to do the same for the mind. So people live longer but are mentally capable for very few of those extra years. Also someone else brought up how olds are no longer repositories of wisdom because the world changes so fast and those few timeless things can be learned from books &c. . IMO this is only half of it, the other half is that you had to have some admirable qualities or amazing luck to live to a ripe old age before modern medicine, so if you saw someone who was that old they probably did have something to teach you.
 

Slap47

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Some observations from one in his seventh decade of life...

Ya, want to see something horrible, check out any over-55 mobile home park. Place tends to be as quiet as a cemetery. All those people living in their boxes, waiting for death. Not for me.

Something sad - go to a nursing home. Once again, another warehouse for those waiting to die. Not unless I'm a fucking vegetable. Keep in mind many want to stay alive as long as possible, no matter what their condition, because as long as they are alive they keep drawing pensions/Social Security/VA disability benefits - money for their wife/family. These people keep putting their family first.

In our state (Insanity, also known as CA) they did the smart thing of paying family members to care for the elderly. FAR cheaper than any nursing home. Pay's just over $15/hour, get a little sick leave. If you join the union you can get certain benefits through them. You need not be someone's relative to care for someone under this system, either.

Have been pretty fucking lucky. Been able to beat the life-threatening and life-damaging conditions on the operating table. Have avoided becoming an invalid/vegetable/etc. so far. No idea what the future brings, though. I stay optimistic.
I would never stick my parents or grandparents in some home, and I would sooner go into the countryside and die before being interred in one. However, if your parents were the sort who actually kicked you out of the house at eighteen to fend for yourself because they bought into some "pull yourself up by your bootstraps!" meme, I can understand why you'd do the same to them at the end of their life. Furthermore, what an ignoble end. Rather than dying surrounded by family or friends, as an elder would in the past, so many of these people are subjected to a prolonged hospice drugged to the gills watching TV. Avoid such a fate, do not saddle yourself with metabolic dysregulation and feebleness from a poor diet and inactive lifestyle - cling onto vitality.
Western society does not care for it's elderly past about the age of 65. There are a few lucky ones that can maintain a close familial bond until about 75-80 when the majority of their life will become health problems. If you're American, you'll possibly have premiums or medication that isn't covered and if you're Canadian you'll face long wait times and mediocre health care.

No one enjoys anyone who constantly complains about ailments. Maybe it's a health & society issue - people live longer by way of advancements in medicine but their lifestyle choices make them still too unhealthy to actively participate after years of abusing the body. You get old, your joints get a bit sore, you stop being as active, your diet catches up and now your 75lbs overweight and diabetic or have blood pressure problems or you worked in some shit factory with pollution that causes COPD later on now you're in a scooter on oxygen.

Theres a good reason to fear getting old.

Rightwing Boomers sorta fucked themselves by making inter-generational households one of those most sinful things ever. They fucked over their own parents ala Grandpa Simpson and are now getting fucked over themselves. Now we have normalized cutting off family members and they're first in line whenever they have a problem.

Its one of the most horrible regressiosns in North-American (Canada-USA) society that we have ever seen. Grandparents and parents became burdens instead of integral members of the family. Boomers kicked their kids out at 18, refused to be baby sitters for the grandkids to go party, and then got thrown in a home. You see this story everywhere.

I think the trend is reversing, but only because immigrants have "you will care for me and I will see my grandkids" so ingrained into their cultures and because lower wages for young people is having them actually live with their parents. Of course, the white Boomer generation hates this and you see an insane amount of resentment building up. Alot of those young people are going to betray and abandon their parents anyway because of how badly they're being treated.
 

Jarolleon

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Mar 23, 2019
Rightwing Boomers sorta fucked themselves by making inter-generational households one of those most sinful things ever. They fucked over their own parents ala Grandpa Simpson and are now getting fucked over themselves. Now we have normalized cutting off family members and they're first in line whenever they have a problem.

Its one of the most horrible regressiosns in North-American (Canada-USA) society that we have ever seen. Grandparents and parents became burdens instead of integral members of the family. Boomers kicked their kids out at 18, refused to be baby sitters for the grandkids to go party, and then got thrown in a home. You see this story everywhere.

I think the trend is reversing, but only because immigrants have "you will care for me and I will see my grandkids" so ingrained into their cultures and because lower wages for young people is having them actually live with their parents. Of course, the white Boomer generation hates this and you see an insane amount of resentment building up. Alot of those young people are going to betray and abandon their parents anyway because of how badly they're being treated.
It might be a Northern European tradition. The young men used to be sent out to make something of themselves, often by joining warbands, any man who stayed home in his prime years was seen as a loser. The Norse called them "coalbiters" for example. This became less militaristic as societies became organised enough that going Viking was no longer feasible, for example the Germans have a tradition of wandering years where newly trained tradesmen, "Journeymen", would wander the country taking odd jobs and getting free lodging with their guilds. The English used to send their kids to be raised by other families around the age of 10, a custom brought to New England. There is some benefit to this, if you get too multigenerational you become a clan society like the Islamic world, where there's no incentive to invent anything ,nobody trusts anyone unless they have some kind of family tie (e.g. Arab militaries are total garbage because they're using doctrines crafted for nations with actual cohesion beyond the clan level) , and rates of cousin marriage are stupidly high. Of course nepotism exists in the West too but it's to a small enough extent that people actually get mad about it when it's discovered.

I think the RW boomers only fucked up because they expected American social cohesion to stay just as high as it was in their own youth, how could they have seen it coming that the entire culture & economy would be taken over by a clique of madmen who wanted to punish White America for existing? In their time it was reasonable to expect someone to make their own way, and that this would build character. When you could get a decent job without going through jaded HR departments that subject your words and qualifications to the same scrutiny they'd give to some desperate H1-B Pajeet lying his ass off to get the job, and that's if it wasn't tossed out by a robot for not using the exact keywords & format they were looking for.

It's a very postmodern form of revenge, rather than flat out stealing money from Whites or going reverse-Hitler, you simply change society so that their own folkways are competitively disadvantaged. You nerf their way of doing things & skillsets from S tier to C tier. So it becomes their turn to choose between total irrelevance and adopting the ways of a foreign culture who they used to look down upon.
 
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Aunt Carol

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IMO this is only half of it, the other half is that you had to have some admirable qualities or amazing luck to live to a ripe old age before modern medicine, so if you saw someone who was that old they probably did have something to teach you.
This is, in my opinion, the main issue. We now have the ability to keep everyone living past their age of independence (or moderate interdependence), but we don't have the staff to fill the resulting need for dependent care.

I think the trend is reversing, but only because immigrants have "you will care for me and I will see my grandkids" so ingrained into their cultures and because lower wages for young people is having them actually live with their parents. Of course, the white Boomer generation hates this and you see an insane amount of resentment building up. Alot of those young people are going to betray and abandon their parents anyway because of how badly they're being treated.
Living together, with grandparents who can help raise the grandkids while the parents work: objective benefit for economic reasons, let alone a healthy society. If the grandparents aren't capable, you end up with parents in the middle spending their working money for childcare and adult respite care during the day. Absolute best case scenario is the parents have a ton of kids, and the eldest daughter whom they've already parentified to care for the younger kids gets to change Grandpa's briefs as well.

(Not needing dual incomes to sustain a family is a matter beyond the scope of this specific thread.)