Finally a mainstream publication recognizes that many in the aging population don’t have “the family” to care for them. It’s worth reading here.
It’s positioned in an upbeat way, suggesting that you can take control of your life in these circumstances.
Like most journalists, the author chooses the condescending term “elder orphans,” implying that those aging alone are helpless victims. The terms also invokes a touch of insulting humor, with the contrast of “elder” and “orphan.” An orphan is someone who has lost both parents.
Applied to any adult, the term seems irrelevant. It’s the absence of children and spouses that leaves the aging person with no source of help, yet exposed to considerable abuse, including abuse from mainstream medical professionals.
Additionally, the story ignores reality. It very difficult to find a proxy who’s willing to step up and who’s reliable, especially if you’re a “pull the plug” kind of person.
And it’s not that easy to stay connected. Age discrimination is social as well as economic. The elderly are considered irrelevant in our society.
But at least we are acknowledging that there IS a problem. That’s a good first step. Now we need to hear from more people who fear this situation.