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Respect Your Elders

I know I’ve been brought up well. There are some rules that should stick with you if you’ve been brought up properly. One of which “Respect your elders”. For my generation this is important not just because of politeness but because our elders (grandparents) contributed to if not fought in the Wars. They are the reason we are not all speaking German, and that Judaism was not wiped out in the West in the 40’s. Don’t get me wrong, I believe to get respect you have to give respect (and some elderly people can be downright rude) but it doesn’t hurt to be impossibly polite back and give them a reason to respect the younger generations. 

So this blog is concerning my anger about the way that elderly people are being portrayed on the television. An episode of Emmerdale left me so cross today that I had to write to Ofcom to complain. And I threw in an email to number 10 for good measure, although I do not believe it will achieve anything.

Why is there still such a stigma surrounding elderly people? Especially those with memory issues? It’s because people still aren’t talking about it (like many mental illnesses – getting brushed under the carpet, or having depression blamed on phases, they’ll grow out of it etc). Or when people are talking about it, it’s in a derogatory manner. For example tonight’s episode of Emmerdale “sitting like cabbages with soup dribbling down their chins”. This sort of attitude is the reason that many elderly people do not wish to go into care homes & it hacks me off that people are so blase in the way they talk about elderly people. Respect your elders?! Also the incident I mentioned in a previous blog where a character in Eastenders referred to another character who was struggling with memory issues as having “lost her marbles”. 

I hope you agree this is unacceptable & something can be done by government to promote awareness of dementia and the affects on the families and sufferers. But for now, let’s just get more people talking about it. I’m amazed that this blog has reached readers in America and Canada and Czech Republic! So let’s spread the word further and ensure that this taboo subject gets tackled!

4 thoughts on “Respect Your Elders

  1. Kirsty,
    You are an admirable young woman to live with and take care of your nan! The love and respect you have for your nan comes through in your writing. I can relate to so many of your concerns and frustrations as my Dad has Parkinson’s related dementia. I treasure his good days!

  2. Hi Kristy, I am visiting your blog and am thrilled to find it (although you actually found me!). I could not agree more with your observations of how the elderly are treated on TV (or pop culture in general)…just the other day I was watching the US version of “The Office” and had to fast-forward through one of the story lines–it was so demeaning to elderly people. Greeting cards that make fun of losing your memory, hearing, etc are another area that I find upsetting. I admire you for tackling this topic.

    As I mentioned in my earlier comment when you visited A Swift Current, I am hesitant to delving into your posts right now as I am trying to think clearly about my Mom’s journey. I don’t want to inadvertantly appropriate anyone’s observations, themes etc. That said, after I feel I have explored our issues, I hope to use my blog as a forum for related ideas. I hope you think that is fair. I also will share your link on my Facebook page…I know it is frustrating to figure out how to get the word out. Thanks so much for following “A Swift Current.” With best regards, Hallie

    • Thankyou for taking the time to read and comment. Elderly people and the infirm still seem to be seen as easy targets and fodder for cheap jokes. I suppose because many do not have the voice to stand up for themselves, or in my nan’s case, won’t stand up for herself as she thinks it may be impolite.
      Delve in whenever you like, it is important to keep a clear head 🙂 and I support your idea to keep a blog as a forum. Its nice to see so many people supporting each other.
      Good luck

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