Regard for, consideration of and respect for the elderly seem to decline with every new generation; the many forms of elderly abuse are testimony to this fact. Is it possible to change a population’s attitude towards the elderly? We believe that it is! First of all, people need to be made aware of the elderly in our midst. How to go about it?
From 15 May (International Family Day) to 15 June (World Elderly Abuse Awareness Day), let’s:
- Turn our towns and cities turquoise by displaying turquoise items wherever possible.
- Wear as much turquoise coloured clothing during this period as possible
- Talk to all you meet about the elderly and their need to be treated with dignity
- Wear a turquoise ribbon to show that you care about the elderly
- Visit the elderly and make an effort to connect with them
- Listen, really listen to the elderly
Then let’s reach out and assist the elderly in our communities. Sometimes their needs are for food and shelter, sometimes for companionship and sometimes for transport. Sometimes they need someone to listen to them, to tell their story to.
What’s in it for us? The satisfaction that we’ve improved the life of a person who has little opportunity or power to change his or her life for the better. Remember, “by loving one another, we invest in each other and in ourselves. Perhaps someday, when we need someone to care for us, it may not come from the person we expect, but from the person we least expect” (Peggy Speers).