The Elderly and Retired; Thoughts from Final Notice

Use this forum to discuss the March 2018 Book of the Month, "Final Notice" by Van Fleisher.
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kfwilson6
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Re: The Elderly and Retired; Thoughts from Final Notice

Post by kfwilson6 » 28 Mar 2018, 15:40

britt13 wrote: ↑
28 Mar 2018, 15:15
DancingLady wrote: ↑
02 Mar 2018, 10:41
I think the number one reason is because society has pushed God out, therefore “honor your father and mother” has ceased to be a command. Without God as the ultimate authority, the individual becomes his own authority and that leads immediately to an extremely self centered world view where people only see others for what they can get from them. When a person is old and can not contribute the kind of things they used to, the self centered person no longer has much interest in the old. So much wisdom and insight is lost by neglecting the elderly, but when the (adult) children are focused only on themselves, wisdom is not even on the radar. I’m seeing this novel in part as a commentary on secularism and a projection of one of its impending consequences. As a Christian I see Jesus as the only solution because no matter what we do through legislation, only Jesus can change the heart of man, and without a change of heart, no meaningful change is going to happen.
This is an interesting view. I personally do not agree totally with you but I see what you are getting at. I think many people can be morally upright without being a Christian, and on the flip side, many Christians can be morally confused. I do not know that a lack of God being as prominent in our society is causing a shift in the treatment of the elderly, though I suppose it could be a contributing factor.
In addition to your thoughts here, which I think are somewhat true, the elderly are causing society to treat them a different way. Our elders don't necessarily want to admit their oncoming weaknesses and push those who can help them away. They fight against any type of assistance, especially if it makes them feel less in control and less autonomous. We often times want to take care of our elderly family members but they are still adults so if they decide they don't want help, it is hard to give it. My family was fortunate that my grandfather stopped driving of his own accord, before his driving became dangerous. However, my husband's grandparents are in their 90s, still driving, still living with just each other and their children are hesitant to say or do anything that will make them feel like they NEED help, even if it is true. We try to show respect by letting them have their way because they are still rational adults, but like any of us they don't always make the best decisions for their own well-being.

Also, with family I think we get used to them being able to take care of themselves. Our parents were able to raise us so of course they can take care of themselves. It can be hard to face the changes when we do respect them and we have always turned to them for support. The role reversal can be a challenge.

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Post by Helen_Combe » 31 Mar 2018, 03:31

I can only think that this trend of not respecting the elderly has come about through frustration with life in general and cowardice making people bully the those who can’t defend themselves. I’ve also noticed a change in patenting. When I was a child, if I was rude to someone, they would march me home to my parents and tell them what I did, my parents would then apologise and I would be banished to my room. Try that nowadays and you’ll likely be attacked by the parents, reinforcing the child’s opinion that they were in the right to behave as they did.
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Post by cristinaro » 01 Apr 2018, 00:39

We will all grow old one day. It may be a truism, but I think it is important for us to remember this from time to time. For example, I can totally understand Vince's insecurity and need to react in some way when he becomes a target for bullying. Things get only worse when it comes to women. They are even more exposed to bullying and things are indeed deplorable in many other less developed countries than America. What could be done about it? Perhaps writing about it and raising people's awareness is a first step in the right direction.
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Post by n-dai che » 01 Apr 2018, 01:43

Helen_Combe wrote: ↑
31 Mar 2018, 03:31
I can only think that this trend of not respecting the elderly has come about through frustration with life in general and cowardice making people bully the those who can’t defend themselves. I’ve also noticed a change in patenting. When I was a child, if I was rude to someone, they would march me home to my parents and tell them what I did, my parents would then apologise and I would be banished to my room. Try that nowadays and you’ll likely be attacked by the parents, reinforcing the child’s opinion that they were in the right to behave as they did.
I can relate to you. I cousins were rude to their grandparents. Early in the morning we hear them yelling to the elderly.(though not my grandma because we just cousins in my mother-side) I saw the elderly couple cried and wanted to stay in the retirement house. My cousins' parent did not do anything to halt them. :(

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Post by n-dai che » 01 Apr 2018, 01:48

cristinaro wrote: ↑
01 Apr 2018, 00:39
We will all grow old one day. It may be a truism, but I think it is important for us to remember this from time to time. For example, I can totally understand Vince's insecurity and need to react in some way when he becomes a target for bullying. Things get only worse when it comes to women. They are even more exposed to bullying and things are indeed deplorable in many other less developed countries than America. What could be done about it? Perhaps writing about it and raising people's awareness is a first step in the right direction.
This scene makes me remember of my cousin's grandparent. They are being bullied when they walk slowly and too, take a long time for taking a bath. So sad!

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Post by Sahani Nimandra » 05 Apr 2018, 22:01

There is two sides to every story. One could be due to the lack of morality within the younger generation the other is because of the limitations the elders are subjected to which to make them frustrated. No one likes to be side lined. We are all humans, we all ask for our rights despite our ability.
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Post by KFree_Reads » 08 Apr 2018, 13:58

Wow I must say I am very appreciative of this book. The elderly are without a doubt discriminated against.In our youth, sometimes we very rarely think of the elderly or our own impending years of senescence. The truth is we usually equate our aging years with an imminent date with death. I really appreciate that the book makes us stop and think about our daily interaction with the elderly and see things from their side.

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Post by zilizopita1998 » 10 Apr 2018, 03:14

This book reflects the prevailing situation in our society today where the aging segment of society is not very much flexible to the emerging trends.

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Post by ValBookReviews » 13 Apr 2018, 22:07

As I read on, I certainly believe that the elderly like Vince are threatened and feel threatened, because it's as you stated, they are perceived as the weaker vessels, which indicate that they are vulnerable in the eyes of the perpetrators. Not to mention, "the devil simply prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour".
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Post by Elle Howard » 17 Apr 2018, 18:28

I thought the book did a good job in portraying how we treat the elderly in this country. Everything is fast past and tempers flare when someone slows the pace down. I have seen professionally dressed people reduced to ignorance in a grocery store because an elderly person is having problems scanning their debit card.
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Post by Amystl26 » 19 Apr 2018, 12:52

kfwilson6 wrote: ↑
02 Mar 2018, 10:31
I absolutely believe that Fleisher depicted society's views on senior citizens quite accurately. Kindhearted people with good morals and values will not push a 70 year old man aside in the store but even the most patient of us find ourselves thinking "why are you walking so slow", "can't you drive any faster", "this isn't that difficult, why don't you understand". If I break my leg and walk around the grocery store on crutches, people will probably have pity and make accommodations. They will not be walking behind me thinking "gosh I wish this lady would hobble a little faster" (typically, and this is just my assumption). It is truly sad that people become so frustrated and outdone with elderly people who cannot help the physical changes they must endure.

On the other side of that coin, frustration, like what Stan's father experienced, can simply come from those physical changes and not from societal views. If you used to run 5 miles every morning and now can't even walk up a flight of stairs, you would likely find yourself frustrated by your own limitations. Not everyone can take this in stride.

Very thought provoking topic that Fleisher presents and you chose to discuss. Hopefully this book will help to make readers more sensitive to the burdens that elderly people are challenged with.

Also-yes I would say that elderly people are viewed as "weaker". They are probably the main target of internet scams. Although this is a reference to mental rather than physical weakness, it is still a concern and puts them on a similar level with children in terms of their naiveté.

I agree, the elderly are viewed as weaker. I use to work as a nurse and watching some of the CPAs with the elderly was horrifying and heartbreaking. I feel for elderly people today-- they are not shown the respect they deserve. And sadly, the younger generation (some, not all!) Are showing less and less patience.

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Post by jvez » 20 Apr 2018, 01:30

I think it still depends on a particular culture. In my place, elders are considered powerful. Their opinions are never to be sidelined. They are also allowed to do what they want. If they wish to work it's good; if they wish to stay at home, it's fine. Yes, they are considered weak physically. This is why younger relatives are expected to aid their elders all the time. Some of the younger ones tend to get annoyed with this culture, but I think majority follow this practice.

But then again, a few miles away from our place, elders are being abandoned in home care institutions. There are even some abandoned on the streets. I think this is similar to the situation portrayed in the book, but I don't think this is the case everywhere in the world.

This ultimately depends on how and where children are raised. If respecting elders is a value already instilled in them early on, and this value is also evident in the community, then I think the child will grow up knowing how to care for his elders.

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Post by cianarae » 23 Apr 2018, 14:05

I think one reason that elderly people are sidelined in US culture is because they have very little representation in the media. Most TV shows, movies, and books are about people who are middle-aged. I think that can send the message that elderly people should not be in the public eye or should disappear. When they are depicted, they often aren't depicted as full human beings. For example, they are rarely depicted as having a sexuality.

I believe that if we could do a better job of representing older people in the media in the US, a lot of perceptions of them as being "useless" would change.

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Post by CaitlynLynch » 04 May 2018, 01:01

Ageism is often not recognised as the awful discrimination it really is, being overlooked by the 'bigger' issues of racism, homophobia, misogyny etc. Along with ableism (discrimination towards those with disabilities) it's something I wish people were more aware of when they consider their thoughts and actions towards others.

Sadly, some people are always going to be assholes to those they perceive as lesser and weaker. Compassion is the best thing we can teach our children to make the world a better place.

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Post by kalebi » 03 Jun 2018, 07:04

As a sixty six year old lady I found the book intriguing but can see right away that respect for the elderly is very low in America. However, unlike in Kenya the elderly can stay in homes and this brings about depression because young people cannot easily interact with immediate members of the family.

On the other hand the book is very easy to read, the plot insightful, and grammar and punctuation well attended. I can relate to the circumstances but killing and committing suicide not my cup of tea. A very good read.

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