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Respect Your Elders

I love my grandparents. All of my grandparents are still living and I have many beautiful memories with them. It blesses me to be around older persons because they possess so much wisdom. I used to work at a nursing home and I learned so much from the residents that lived there.

When I was younger, my maternal grandfather used to tell me and my cousins stories about how things used to be back in the day. He taught us about life using colorful imagery and parables. For example, he often talked about “throwing some ‘tatoes (potatoes) up the road” to teach us about the importance of saving money.

Lately, my grandfather has had some health challenges. He started to show signs of distress when some of my family members were visiting him at the nursing home in which he lives. They immediately called for nursing staff to come to his aid. When one of the nurses came in the room, she made the comment, “He’s going to die anyway. He’s lived his life.” This was said right in front of my grandfather! My aunt immediately handled the situation by putting the unprofessional nurse in her place and notifying management.

When I was told what happened, I was in a state of disbelief. How dare she make a comment like that?!? Even better, how dare she make a comment like that in front of my grandfather?!? She lacked tact in a sensitive situation. I strongly recommend that she take an ethics class because obviously, she didn’t learn much the first time around. I used to work in a nursing home and I know that this kind of behavior is unacceptable.

What disturbs me most is the attitude that we shouldn’t feel sad about my grandfather’s decline in health because he’s lived to an old age. When I was a child, I used to think that it would be easier to deal with the death of a parent when you get older. However, the older I get, the more I realize that it doesn’t matter how old I am, or how old my parents are. Losing a parent is devastating at any age.

Dying persons deserve quality care. Just because someone’s days may be assumed to be numbered, it doesn’t give medical staff the right to give substandard care. Every patient should be treated with compassion and dignity.

The elderly still have worth and are valuable to our society. Treat them like you would want to be treated. Remember, good Lord willing, you are going to get old one day too.

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Krystal March 30, 2009, 8:46 AM

    Excellent post! It’s bad enough that she thought that, but then she said it out loud!


    Ever heard of etiquette, lady?


    PS – I found you through Martha’s blog.

  • Min. Yancey Brown March 23, 2009, 3:27 PM

    I am sorry to hear abou that. I agree with you. The elderly in our society need to be treated with more respect than ever.

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