Striving to remove barriers that prevent us from building Vibrant, Diverse, Inclusive, Accessible Communities!

 

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Do We Simply Not Care About Old People?

By Judith Graham

As we reflect on the demographic composition of our current communities and contemplate building Diverse, Vibrant, Inclusive, Accessible Communities, it's essential to acknowledge potential limitations in the diversity of their content or the absence of diverse perspectives. Recognizing the presence of People with Disabilities and the predominant representation of older individuals within our communities, we must confront any inadequacies in the inclusivity of our initiatives. Despite our efforts to engage representatives from various communities, there might be problems in explicitly incorporating marginalized groups like BIPOC and  People and People with Disabilities, leading to gaps in equitable participation and representation. 

Addressing these problems requires proactive measures to ensure that all voices are heard and valued in our planning processes. By embracing diversity and incorporating the input from underrepresented groups, we can foster a more inclusive and dynamic community environment that reflects the richness of our collective experiences.

In her thought-provoking article, "Do We Simply Not Care About Old People?" published on February 9, 2024, Judith Graham delves into the sobering reality of how the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed deep-seated problems in America's care for vulnerable older adults. Despite predictions that the pandemic would serve as a wake-up call, decisive actions and widespread outrage have failed to materialize. Shockingly, around 900,000 older adults have died of COVID-19 to date, with many suffering from isolation, depression, untreated illness, and neglect. Yet, the response has been alarmingly muted, with most people and government officials seemingly accepting COVID-19 as part of ordinary life.

Graham presents a compelling narrative, supported by data from the CDC, highlighting the stark toll COVID-19 continues to take on older adults. Despite the magnitude of the crisis, the alarm typically associated with other disasters is notably absent. Older adults, disproportionately affected by COVID-19, find themselves facing indifference rather than urgency in addressing the problems they confront. In the midst of a new wave of infections, older adults are left vulnerable as efforts to strengthen care quality in nursing homes and assisted living centers stall.

Through insightful interviews with health care professionals, researchers, and policymakers in the aging field, Graham uncovers deep-seated ageism that pervades society's attitudes toward older adults. The pandemic exacerbated existing prejudices, reinforcing negative stereotypes and attitudes toward aging. Despite the immense contributions older adults make to families and communities, they are often marginalized and undervalued. Graham compellingly argues that integration, rather than separation, is key to overcoming stigma and recognizing the inherent value older adults bring to society.

In conclusion, Graham's article challenges readers to confront uncomfortable truths about societal attitudes toward aging and the care of older adults. As we grapple with the aftermath of the pandemic and its enduring impact on older populations, the need for meaningful change and societal transformation becomes increasingly urgent. Through insightful commentary and expert analysis, Graham invites readers to reconsider their perceptions of aging and embrace a future where the contributions of older adults are valued and celebrated.

Read Do We Simply Not Care About Old People?
 

Striving to remove barriers that prevent us from building a Diverse, Vibrant, Inclusive, Accessible Community!

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