Old Moon

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rodney Dangerfield's Complaint

Reading my favorite blogs keeps me in a state of continual embarrassment because I can't seem to keep up with their frequency. One hampering factor is that when a thought strikes me hard enough, I always feel it must be evaluated in the light of its potential interest to someone other than the writer before deciding to out it here.

I have just seen a discussion of problems for elders with young people in the various medical fields that cries out for comment and support. I haven't asked, but I hope that some of the idiotic behaviour that's really insulting in a doctor's office is the result of someone's notion of what will put a patient at ease. I keep trying to think of a way to tell a 20-something CNA, or whatever, that I really would rather be called Mrs. So and So (or Miss, or even Ms.) without hurting her feelings or making her defensive.

After my husband's death, I resisted writing to the hospital while I waited for their usual survey after a stay there. It never came. Seems they have a policy of not bothering the families of those who have passed away in their care. What stupidity! When better can they get really useful information about how to serve patients better?

Native American and most Asian cultures revere age for its own sake. While unfortunately, too many of us know older folks with very little of their lifelong intelligence and perception left, it would be better to assume a person carrying a lot of years is still sharp mentally, and then adjust later if it turns out to be necessary. Nowadays, though, it seems as if the assumption is the reverse.

There are enough difficulties with being merely old, without adding unnecessary indignities too!


Glenda said...

Thanks, Joan, for adding your commentary on this issue. I read an article about the issue of "elder speak" last year and it made me realize that I'm not the only one who gets her dander up at this kind of behaviour.
Barry, my husband, always took the initiative and called his doctors by their first names. I was a little embarrassed by that, but he made his doctors think of him as an equal, not someone they could patronize.
He would not stand for a condescending attitude until he was so sick he could not speak up for himself. And then I did my best for him.

Pat Workman said...

Joan, Condescension is irksome under any circumstance. I generally mark the culprit off as ignorant or burnt-out. I will suffer the medical profession when needs must; however, I refuse to let their negativity enter my realm if at all possible. Being a great believer in 'Avoidance' seems to keep me healthier and happier.