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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Re: The Elderly and Retired; Thoughts from Final Notice

Post by kfwilson6 » 06 Mar 2018, 09:08

P0tt3ry wrote:
04 Mar 2018, 10:20
I was just reading about this legal form of elder abuse also, maybe it was the same article in the Smithsonian. The book does portray our society's attitude toward the elderly pretty accurately. Our seniors are, for the most part, treated has having exceeded their usefulness. Being marginalized and treated as a burden, is it any wonder Vince became frustrated and angry enough to snap?
Such a true point about "exceeded their usefulness". How much of human interaction is what someone can do for you? And it really makes you wonder if these people have any compassion for even their own grandparents. If someone really wants to look at it in terms of usefulness, consider what they have contributed to society in their lifetime and what a 30 year old has contributed in his. I bet there is a very wide margin there, but there is no appreciation for what has already happened. It's one thing to be critical of the unemployed, single, childless person who is primarily supported by the government because he doesn't bother to change his situation. It's quite another thing to be critical of someone whose physical condition does not allow them to do something.

Hopefully at least those who read this book will be more cognizant of their behavior and attitude towards those who are doing everything they can for themselves and don't see it as "not enough".

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Post by sepicatt » 06 Mar 2018, 22:24

P0tt3ry wrote:
04 Mar 2018, 10:20
I was just reading about this legal form of elder abuse also, maybe it was the same article in the Smithsonian. The book does portray our society's attitude toward the elderly pretty accurately. Our seniors are, for the most part, treated has having exceeded their usefulness. Being marginalized and treated as a burden, is it any wonder Vince became frustrated and angry enough to snap?
One thing I have noticed, too, is that with the existence of home aides and senior living centers, families are placing their elderly parents in these types of facilities/caregivers. And some of the aides are more family then the actual family who write their elderly parents off bc they are too busy. So it's not just society but stems from immediate family as well. If your own child doesn't bother to visit you but pays how much money to have an aide living with you, and you find out they are taking vacations, etc. wouldn't you feel frustrated and angry?

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Post by sepicatt » 07 Mar 2018, 09:00

Haute_Coffee wrote:
05 Mar 2018, 09:00
The idea of the senior citizens being targeted by the NRA is the point of the book that had me thinking the most. The NRA is in the business of selling guns and they specifically manipulated a group in society that is made to feel powerless. They are made to feel redundant, they are being pushed around (literally, as Vince talks about early in the novel). The NRA targets the feeling that they have lost control and offers them gun ownership as a way of getting their power back. They give seniors who might feel confused or intimidated in public a way of feeling strong and protecting themselves.

I think right now, especially there is such a huge gap between senior citizens and young people due to technology. It is easy for an older person to feel the world doesn't belong to them anymore.
I have to agree with you on the way the book points out how the NRA targets senior citizens. I'm sure the media doesn't help either. I mean, look at the knock-out game that occurred a couple of years ago. Kids walking around and blatantly punching people in the head to knock them out. Granted, it wasn't just seniors but mothers and young kids. But still, there is a feeling of loss of control and it is dangerous when the NRA uses this to market to people. But there has to be a discussion on why crimes aren't being punished the way they should. It's a two-fold problem but neither side should be using it to sell weapons. The discussion should be on how to stop the violence occurring, not add to it.

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Post by VictoriaMcMillen » 07 Mar 2018, 22:03

I believe that the elderly in America have seen and lived through a great deal. So much had changed in 70 years and they have lived through it all while fearing the worst and hoping for the best. They helped build this country to what it is today and now they are watching it fall apart. I believe they feel a great deal of stress and fear. I believe that capitalism has been on the rise and snubbing out cultural and religious norms that once kept our communities full of respectful values and morals. Not to say it has ever been completely pleasant, but I believe it had to produce more good people than turds. I believe that developers of products and media sacrifice these morals and values to gain profits. Like they say, selling their souls to the devil... one dollar at a time. The longer no one takes responsibility for their actions, their part in what has to come and do better, things will continue on. I am glad I was raised to respect, care, and provide for my elders.
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"You can, you should, and if you are brave enough to start, you will." Stephen King

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Post by NeonKay » 08 Mar 2018, 04:50

I may not be living in the US and I don't have much of the US perspective, however, I believe that the story tries to highlight the social perspective of the disposition on how the elders are being handled. As far as I know, the US law sets out some regulation by which an individual is being taken care in a retiring home. But for me, the very feeling of being isolated is kinda heart provoking. You'll know that the time isn't for you anymore and now you are seen as someone who cannot dance in the same music which is filled by the young people and the middle-aged. I'm still young and full of vigor, but when I got sick and cannot take care of myself, the support and total acceptance of my family towards my condition give me the strength to carry on. And it is true that when you don't feel good, your behavior isn't that much likable but seeing your family didn't give up on you makes you feel your worth as a person. That's why in the part of the elder people, I can hardly think how they can survive such loneliness and isolation from the things they're used to have and do.
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Post by ericahs » 08 Mar 2018, 10:50

I think sidelining the senior citizen population happens frequently in dystopian fiction. I wonder if that's due to disrespect or some implicit understanding of their ability to give the younger population insight into the society they're creating.
The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.- Douglas Adams

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Post by lavellan » 09 Mar 2018, 14:54

I think that in the U.S. we treat becoming old as the worst thing that can happen to you. Commercials and general media all emphasize the desirability of youth. This adds to the depression and sadness of the elderly, leading them to feel marginalized.

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Post by ostercl » 09 Mar 2018, 15:59

I think our culture in general embraces convenience and speed, so we as a society have let our patience levels slip. Because of this, we have less respect for the experience older individuals have and focus solely on what they aren't doing quick enough, or well enough. It's depressing, but seems to be all too relevant.

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Post by jenjayfromSA » 12 Mar 2018, 12:04

Technology is definitely a problem for us older lot. Our minds are wired differently. Youngsters can pick up a smartphone and have it doing tricks in no time. I can get there, but much, much, more slowly. I simply don't see the connections. It doesn't make sense, nor do I see the point of it. I'd much rather talk to someone than send a message. If I was offered a gun? No, I'm not that angry. Yet.

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Post by ButterscotchCherrie » 13 Mar 2018, 02:51

Spoiler below:
It was a bit disturbing that Vince needed to have a gun in his hand to intimidate the two men at the end. There was a general theme throughout about the elderly needing some artificial means to protect themselves ... otherwise no one would protect them.

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Post by Shelle » 16 Mar 2018, 10:35

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.
So, so true! Without a change of heart, no meaningful change is going to happen - those may be the wisest words I'll read on here all day. I too am a Christian and echo your sentiments.
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Post by GabbiV » 16 Mar 2018, 10:46

This was a wakeup call for me, since I come from a background that highly cherishes the elderly, so reading about the disrespect the elderly have to go through was shocking. Going through the book, I was constantly wondering why anything negative would happen to them.

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Post by ValentineT » 18 Mar 2018, 23:40

It's very sad that whatever the author said is ver true. It's however more sad to know that all of us regardless of many differences, will all get to that age or stage in life. I don't like the way people portray the elderly as a burden yet they are just normal people . They just happen to have more experience with life and that should be enough to give them the respect they deserve.

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Post by Aphroditelaughs » 19 Mar 2018, 00:00

azerikaj wrote:
03 Mar 2018, 13:13
I find it kind of a bleak portrait, but kind of accurate.
Also wondering if technology moving so fast these days plays a role.
In some ways, yes. We as a culture fetishize youth, and therefore reject aging. We also have an obsession with upgrading, even things that are perfectly functional. It is a status symbol to have the new thing, so the old is discarded. Obviously it is not as simple as that, but it seems to have a connection.

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Post by Lincolnshirelass » 19 Mar 2018, 04:53

I live in the UK, and find it disturbing the way that the EU referendum has led to bad feeling between the old and young. BTW I'm somewhere in the middle! I voted Remain and think Leaving will be a total disaster, but still don't like some of the nastiness towards old people some younger remain voters express. But there is blame the other way, too.
An Eye for an Eye only ends up making the whole world blind.

Mahatma Gandhi

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