The problems faced by old people in our society

Modern society is built by the young for the young. It is a dynamic creation that does not give much consideration to the old, sick, handicapped or incapable. They are merely tolerated as so much liability or nuisance. So these hardly wanted people face many problems in their everyday living.

The old, who were once young, helped to make the present society. Now they pay the price of their former neglect of the old. They themselves are neglected and unappreciated in turn.

An old person does not have the physical ability of a young person. Walking can be an effort. Crossing a road can be impossible without assistance. On many occasions I have come across old men and old women who just could not cross a busy road that had no pedestrian crossing. No driver stopped for them. So these old folks had to wait patiently until a kind soul happened along to lead them across. I have helped a number of them. Some of them were very grateful but some simply cursed the traffic. Whatever their attitudes, they were better off staying at home.

It is common to hear of old people being knocked down by vehicles on the roads. They just cannot handle the traffic anymore.

This busy world is certainly not kind to old folks. Crossing a road is just one problem they encounter. Getting onto a bus is another. The old person is usually the last to get on, if he manages. I have seen a bus conductor telling an old man to wait for the next bus because his bus was full. If the old man does get on, the likelihood is that he will have to stand, which does no good for his old bones. Rarely does anyone give up his seat for an old man, or old woman.

In the old days, most people did not go very far from their birth-place and thus families usually stayed together. The family unit is strong and practical. Today the family unit is breaking apart as young men and women travel widely in search of better jobs. So the chances are that the old folks will be left alone and neglected. Sometimes they are not wanted by their children at all. The luckier ones may have a child or two staying with them. The less fortunate ones may have to pine their lives away in an old-folk home or in their empty house that once was filled with the sound of children’s laughter. This neglect is a very real problem in our society and it is what the old dread the most – being unwanted and uncared for in the time of need.

There are other problems old folks face, but none can be as bad as the indifference and neglect of the young. The young have no time for the old even though the old have virtually no time left. Soon they will die and the young will take their place.

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