There are classes for the mothers of babies but there’s no helping with your mum and dad growing old.
It seems to me as if the plight of old people – while not as horrific as the plight of refugees – shares some of the horror. Just as we live in a society that hasn’t caught up with technology the kind of moral choices it gives people we also live in a world that hasn’t kept up with its ageing population. We have the advances in medical science and technology that have kept people alive longer but not the advances in how to treat our ageing population. Society is lagging behind the old – floundering and failing and falling.
There are certain small but piercing similarities between the treatment of the old and the treatment of refugees. The old are often displaced from their homes – moved out against their will – decisions are often made for them that they have no say over. Often they are treated as imbeciles or halfwits – lumped together in one place – given clothes that don’t belong to them – treated as a fallen tribe or a beleaguered clan – incapable of any individuality.