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Community Voices

What’s in an age?

I’ll be 60 this year!😀 #Ageism runs rampant in our society. Other than life insurance ads, prescription & otc med ads, etc etc—oh! let’s not forget cell phone plans for seniors (I guess we’re ALL struggling financially with no one to talk to), we seniors are praised or condemned if we “look” or “act” “young”. I’m trying to reconcile me being me while society sees me differently. Ha! One of the positives of living with chronic mental illness is learning hard earned lessons in taking care of myself, emotionally, spiritually, physically; knowing the value in keeping my head & heart open to teachable moments; savoring the priceless gift of wisdom gained. There’s no time limit on any of this! Dark days still feel horrendous but I know I must hang onto knowing light will reappear! I am THRILLED to still fight the good fight, everyday! #Bipolar1 #GAD #Depression #ADD #ADHD #emotionalspousalabuse #psychologicalspousalabuse #physicakabuse #PTSD #Loneliness #Ageism #Racism

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Community Voices

Looking for work.

January 11, I took a phone call about a job that I applied for. I was excited because this was a job that I could do well. The job was listing items for sale online. I had been listing items for sale online since 2008. Despite my being a perfect match for the job, my disability became a silent problem but this time it was not alone.

I spoke to great lengths of my work experience selling items online, both personally and professionally. I have sold cargo trailers, a truck, comic books, clothing, pet supplies and more online. I have been successful in raising money to pay medical bills this way. I have had no training, I just did it because I had no choice.

I have used social media websites and apps as well as buy and sell websites and apps. I have sold using the websites and apps that I was asked about and ones that they had not heard of. My technical skills were a perfect match for what they were looking for.

The interview then shifted to my cover letter, specifically my ability to lift 50 pounds. I said that I could move this much weight but a spinal cord injury limited my ability . Later, I expressed my ability to work with different people. I said that I have worked with many different generations of age. I am 49 but I have worked with other people who are younger and older than I am.

After a week. I got in touch to see what was happening in regards to the job. I was told that they are "going in a different direction." The sense of defeat has been incredible. It again feels like the fight is as futile as controlling the pain and depression.

#Ableism #Ageism #Job

Jeff Dubin

How Our Response to COVID Demonstrates America's Pervasive Ageism

Watching the horrific number of nursing home deaths at the beginning of the pandemic and the selfish, toddler-esque tantrums of the anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers, one gets the feeling that this country doesn’t care about its elderly.  And they would be right.  This shameful neglect pre-dates COVID and extends far beyond our borders, although Asian cultures’ deference to the elderly keeps ageism somewhat in check in places like Japan and Taiwan. Why is our society ageist? My religion, Judaism, commands that we stand when an older person enters the room as a show of respect. I suspect many other religions preach the same thing. Also, most of us have loved and treasured someone advanced in years that may or may not still be with us. And, finally, all of us who have the luck combined with good genes and healthy habits will enter our golden years. So, unlike sexism and racism, we’re actually prejudiced against a group of people that we will someday join. And displays of ageism are rarely denounced in our society.  Making fun of our President’s cognitive abilities because of his age isn’t just limited to Republicans (remember Trump’s nickname for Biden, Sleepy Joe?).  Those of us who voted for him also make wisecracks about our 78-year-old leader and often face zero negative consequences. Canceled on social media? Not a chance.  In fact, one could be considered a paragon of wokeness by some while still being a raving ageist. Yes, it is not a surprise that the overwhelming portion of those who have died from COVID have been over 50 given the weakening of our immune systems as we age.  But did it have to get this bad?  We didn’t have to neglect our nursing homes and assisted care facilities for so long in terms of infrequent inspections and lax regulation, that they were a sitting target for COVID’s ravages.  And we didn’t have to take our sweet time making sure eldercare facilities were properly equipped with personal protective equipment. And what about those over 65 who live independently? Many Americans have demonstrated and continue to demonstrate a blatant disregard for the value of seniors’ lives.  The almost 70 (at the time) lieutenant governor of Texas, Dan Patrick, gave voice to this shameful current in our society when he proclaimed, “No one reached out to me and said, ‘As a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that America loves for its children and grandchildren?’ And if that is the exchange, I’m all in.” Is this type of society we want to live in, one in which we see one segment of it as disposable?  I wonder what Lt. Governor Patrick would say about those people who are not senior citizens but who are immunocompromised or disabled in some other way. Are they disposable too?  As a Jew, I abhor the cheap comparisons being made between having to comply with masking and vaccine requirements and Jews being required to wear yellow stars during the Holocaust.  However, if we’re going to play the Holocaust card, I have to say ageism and ableism during a pandemic strike me as a step down a very dangerous slippery slope. Sorry Lt. Governor Patrick, that is not the America I love.

Community Voices

Just a bit of #Ageism

Me: *fills out all the paperwork, the figure is almost fully shaded*
Resident: *looks at paperwork* "What's your pain right now?"
Me: "Since I just woke up, a 6. It gets worse throughout the day."
Resident: "Gotcha. Well, since you're only 22 your pain is not as bad as someone older so we won't recommend any meds at this time, just diet and exercise."
Me: *blinks*
Resident: "Oh! And make sure you stay positive! Half the battle of pain is your mindset." #wtf #EhlersDanlosSyndrome #HypermobilitySyndrome #hypermobilityspectrumdisorders #ChronicPain #ChronicIllness #CheckInWithMe #PatientAndDoctorExperiences

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Community Voices

Does anyone really believe that someone in late middle age with (truly) no money or prospects can be happy? #Ageism

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