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I May be Old But I Still Deserve Respect

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A lady called me the other day from my health insurance company.  One of many from that company.  She wanted to discuss my health. Specifically, did I understand the possible side effects from the drug I take for my rheumatoid arthritis.  She asked if I had any questions for her.

First of all, I dislike these calls from my insurance company, and they happen often.  This one caught me at a bad time. I asked her if she knew how long I’ve had RA.  She replied she did not.  I asked her what she knows about the drug I take for it, and she admitted she wasn’t an expert on that particular medication but she could answer my questions.  She also did not know how long I’ve taken Enbrel.

Irritated, I suggested she shouldn’t be the person calling and asking a patient about a disease in which she is not an expert.  She said she had a job to do and wanted to help me.  Well guess what!  If I know more about my disease than she does, why would I need or welcome her “help!”

Her next comment fried what was left of my Southern manners!  This gal had the nerve to say that it is common for seniors my age to need professional help in deciphering medication instructions and to answer questions about my issues.

Ok, I admit it!  I crossed a line.  I told that bee-otch that I may be old, but I’m not dead yet.  The call ended with my suggestion that she find someone at her job who can teach her some manners and not to ever call me again.

Assumptions Can Get You in Trouble with Seniors

It’s mind-boggling how many younger people assume that seniors have decreased cognition.  They seem to think we are all crotchety, miserable and dumb.  We certainly are no longer perceived as valuable members of society.

Treating an older person as weak is insulting! 

Granted, there are exceptions to every rule, but many seniors today stay physically and mentally active and viable in our communities.  There is no need to treat us as less than able unless we ask for help.

Seniors Work & Give Back

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Many seniors stay physically active playing golf or other sports.  Where I live, a regular contingent of seniors fill the lanes of our large swimming pools each morning as they swim laps.  The golf courses are busy, and the pickle-ball courts stay active.

Friends play cards regularly or get together with others to quilt or crochet.  My passion is writing, and I spend many hours at my craft.  I’m not too old to take classes and learn new skills and regularly do so. 

Some seniors continue to work, either parttime or fulltime.  Others fill their days with volunteer work – at church or various civic opportunities where volunteers are treasured.

In short, many older people lead busy, fulfilling lives, and many of us stay more active than we did at 45.  Perhaps that’s because we now have time to indulge in what we want to do instead of what we have to do to make a living.

Treat us with Respect

Please do not assume that we older folk automatically became mentally deficient when we turned 65, as did the so-called “nurse” from the insurance company who assumed I would need help to understand the side effects of a disease I’ve lived with and owned for 45 years or the medication I’ve taken for 23 years to control it.

We grew up in an era where mamas taught their children to respect older people and to exercise good manners.  Perhaps many of today’s younger adults missed those lessons.  They need to understand that we have little patience to put up with rudeness and lack of respect.

We may be old, but that doesn’t give anyone the right to treat us as “less than.”

2 thoughts on “I May be Old But I Still Deserve Respect”

  1. I agree with every word on your blog about aging seniors. This falls in line with numerous calls scam calls from Medicare including the insurance companies!

  2. I agree with this post. I moved into an apartment five months ago. One week after moving in, I started a widow/widowers club. We go to movies, play miniature golf, play cards, attend concerts and in general, have a great time. Recently, I threw a Halloween Party for the members of my apartment complex. It was such a hit, no one wanted to leave. Just attended a birthday party, a Friends-giving get-together and am planning a murder mystery theater party. I am a young 75 and have many friends of all ages. Walking my pup, I travel half a mile around my building on most walks. And in between, I make meals for folks and deliver them just because I appreciate them. Now, I want to know what the youngsters are doing these days?

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