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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

It's Easy to be Ignored When You are Invisible.

I feel the need for a "soap-box"........

It seems that the government and everyone else believes that those that need help always get it.  That is an inaccurate assumption.

There are many charities for the poor.  Also for Children. (all good stuff!)  But in a state that has mostly elderly people (Florida) it's amazing that Section 8, which would be a major help to many, is closed tighter than a clams ass! (and I am told it will remain closed for a number of years yet.)

Would it surprise you that elderly woman are the ones most hurt as they age?  Would is surprise you that elderly woman who were "stay at home mothers and wives" suffer the most?  (especially if they find their self alone at an advanced age, meaning that of old enough to get social security.) But of course no one told you that would happen and in fact encouraged woman to "stay at home and be a mother and wife".

It used to be that children were the ones ignored but now, in my opinion: the elderly have become the Invisible people.

As one of those of the age that this encompasses , of course I see it.  I just never expected the elderly to be punished for trying to be there for their children and husband.  Yes, I chose to give them 100% of me rather than to pursue a career.  You see, I grew up without a father and with a mother who had to work many hard laborious hours to pay the bill and feed us.  I was one of those "latch key kids".  Yes, I grew up without drug problems or jail problems...but I so envied my girlfriends who went home to a mother who baked for them and was there if they needed their parent for whatever reason.  So I chose to be a stay at home mother and wife. 

It wound up not the right choice. 

Never did anyone teach me differently.  In fact, this was "the best thing to do. To be home for your family".  It was encouraged!

So for this I get to be punished by getting a really low Social Security.  600. a month..want to try to live on that without help?... I didn't think so.  Add to it the things that could help make life more worth while, more like you actually want to live and not crawl in a hole, give up and die... close their doors.

Yet billions of dollars go out to aid other countries...   please, do not think that I think they don't deserve our help.. that would be a very wrong assumption.  I am just trying to understand how everyone else can be helped and yet not help the very people at your own doorstep.

It is impossible for today's children to have their parents or parent come to live with them.  Both must work in order to keep a roof over their heads these days.. and having an extra person live with you makes your bills even higher. Sometimes I wonder how it was managed before but not any more.  Ah well...  But I do feel that  it's not right to take away any chance of help..especially major help for the elderly in the form of Section 8 where the rent would be very low and might actually be able then to afford other necessities.  It's not like the elderly jump up and down with glee saying: oh boy! Now I can get section 8!  ... it's not something one looks forward too...but when so many elderly need it there's no other alternatives...and now not even that alternative!  Florida needs to wake up to the needs of the elderly even if the rest of the government would like to ignore them...

It is not a good thing to be invisible.  It's awful to feel you've been tossed aside because you are old and needy.  To feel "hurry up and die and get it over with". 

This is not the only instance where the elderly are so badly mistreated but it's a big one noticed in a state made up of so many of the elderly.

Ok.. I will get off of the soap box now..doesn't do any good to talk about it anyway..but it is better then standing nude in the middle of a store screaming..heh



Blogger Donna said...

Well said.

12:17 PM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

We need more people to be on this soap box Pat. You are so right about elderly people becoming invisible in this country. While I also feel that there are many worthy causes outside our borders, we have plenty of poverty here, working poor, and people like you who chose to raise your family and now are penalized for it. Section 8 is a way to help people have a place to live so they can use what income they have to buy food and pay for medical expenses. No one aspires to live in Section 8 housing as a way to live "cheap". It is a much needed safety net for people who are working hard but just not making enough money or who find themselves at an older age struggling to make ends meet. Keep on the soap box...who knows what positive things will result!

1:32 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

thanks Donna.

Kath: the soap box doesn't really help just a way to get frustration out of my system. Although sect. 8 is state by state, it seems impossible that they would close it down for several years when the state is so filled with elderly that are from my generation when most still tried to be "house wives" and now pay the penality of a very low Soc. security.

the other dumb thing they do everywhere is they put "help" out there but you can't have a savings account.. so rather then help somone who can still help theirself from being a full blown "poor person " and depending 100% on the state and government, they won't give the help when it will help keep them from going the poverty route when it will cost them MORE! Why doesn't that make sense to me????

1:48 PM  
Blogger Nymeth said...

I agree with Kathleen; this soapbox needs more people. I've just read a book set in the Victorian age that deals with this topic (a group of women who weren't allowed to have anything but domestic existences grow increasingly poor and isolated as they age), and it saddens and angers me that in the year 2010 so much of it still applies.

2:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My grandfather lived in a Government assisted apartment in Texas. It was small but okay for one widowed elder gentleman. Unfortunately I think it is run state by state. Don't even know if they have any down your way. I know he got about $450 a month in social security in those days and didn't have much else. He would stay at Mom and Dad's a couple nights a week and at my aunt and uncle's a couple of nights and the rest of the time at the apartment. He also worked a few hours a week part time at one of the numerous hole in the wall bars in Texas until he was about 90. Know it is difficult to get in and there is a waiting list.
So you can get on your soap box anytime. Were you wanting to leave the place your in now or just looking to the future?...and by the're not that old. My opinion and I am sticking to it! Vala

4:02 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

nymeth: too many things have changed... families often lived together the elderly helping where they could but that's not the case anymore. I think it's harder here in the US with this issue because I am what they call "baby boomer" that's where many were born in a short time so there are more elderly now then at other times.

Sher: I'd like to be on the list to wait so that it would have what money I have last longer.. as it is and at the rate I need to use the savings it will be gone in 5 yrs and if I"m not dead by then I will be expected to survive on the 697 a month SS (minus the 97 which medicare takes) I have a lady friend here who made it on to Sect 8 before they closed down and she pays only 105 rent for the same apartment I have a one bedroom.. this developement allows a few section 8's and a few low income.

4:09 PM  
Blogger Cath said...

It seems crazy to me that a country as rich as the US should treat its elderly people as badly as this. Things aren't wonderful here but they're better than that. It seems indescribably mean to close down section 8 when so many are in desperate need right now. You stay on the soap-box, Pat. Someone needs to speak out.

6:10 PM  
Blogger Book pusher said...

This issue needs people like you on the soap box. Where I live the aging of the population is a big issue and the government has attempted to alert us the fact that we will be looking at increases in taxes etc to provide for our older citizens, which is only just. I especially feel strongly about the fact that women who sacrificed careers for family are disadvantaged, that is tragic and grossly unfair.

6:53 PM  
Blogger Carl V. said...

While I wholeheartedly disagree with the statement that it "doesn't do any good to talk about it anyway", I certainty agree with the rest of what you are saying. We deal with that all the time with the elderly and with the mentally ill here in Missouri. Housing assistance programs are supposed to be in place to help those while they wait for Section 8 approval which takes so long to get that the housing assistance money gets all used up and it is impossible to find people help. It is ridiculous.

It isn't good to feel, or be, invisible at all. I think you and everyone in your situation and all of us who care about this situation should choose to be seen AND heard rather than be quiet. We need to live on those soapboxes sometimes!

11:43 PM  
Blogger cj said...

Well, you know, standing naked in the middle of a store would get you noticed... just not in the right way.

Here's an idea - instead of calling it a soap box, why don't you see about becoming involved with those groups trying to make a change? There must be senior citizen type advocacy groups down there. Contact one and see what you can do. You have a flair for writing; they could probably put you to work!

And I agree - it's a disgrace and I don't see it getting any better under Washington the way it is now.


12:36 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Oh Pat :( We've talked about this before. It really is so unjust. Horrible really. That the government can continue to sit back and watch the elderly barely scrape by (and some not even do that) is just sickening. And we're supposed to be an "advanced" culture. Psssht...whatever that means, huh?

1:46 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Cath: well like I said, it's never as easy as we think it should be but I get angry sometimes and wonder if it were the governments relatives needing sect. 8 would it be closed?..

book pusher: I never even hear the elderly ever mentioned except to tell us that social security would not have a cost of living increase this year.. and it didn't.

Carl: well unless you die young evryone gets old and the majority are not wealthy. Instead of the government "subsidising" the sect. 8 rent, they should make it so all rental places must take a certain amount of section 8 elderly and just plain lower the rent drastically for those few in each developement. I could be wrong (saying that sarcastically) but I doubt the owners of the developements would go broke by each on having 1/2 dozen apts that they keep for section 8 people and yes.. loose money on them. They would not loose so much that they won't get rich!

cj: I've never been much of a "joiner" of anything..even when I believed in them. I have volunteered now and then but the older I get the more I am not in the physical condition to be able to actively help.. I truly don't blame "this government"..because it's been this way forever and NONE of them have done anything to secure help for the elderly. I really believe they believe that if you are not up to working until you die that you should just die and not be a problem to them or anyone.

chris: I won't tell you how often I wish I could be Lilith and go to sleep and wake up somewhere where others cared. stupid i know.

5:56 AM  
Blogger madcobug said...

Pat I agree with you 100%. Getting older is certainly not any fun much less the aches and pain that go with all that trying to make money go further. Then no raise for us but the deductible on doctors and hospitals went up. Plus groceries and the cost of living although the government claimed it didn't. We know better.

I loved the first picture of that big bird in your next entry. Snow white except for the green around the eyes and toward the bill. Beautiful.

8:02 PM  
OpenID josbookshelf said...

Although I live in another country, I truly empathize with the elderly's situation in your state. Our culture has an ingrained respect for the elderly so that families are often extended, with let's say, an elderly widowed parent living with his/her child. That is why Homes for the Aged are not very prevalent here; although a few are up already.

As you have described family extension to be a very uneconomical option there,I agree that your government should look toward their elderly's plight. The U.S. is massively rich (despite its economic slide) so that it should be able to take care of its senior citizens.

I do not like the notion that society simply discards its seniors just because they cannot be in the workforce. For the service that they have done, big or small, they should all be respected and looked up to for their experiences.

I worry when it will be my turn, 30 years from now. I wouldn't like society to disregard me.

A big strong group should champion your cause. I hope this problem will find a favorable solution soon.

12:10 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

Pat, you give us a view into your life and what it's like, the good and the bad, the joys and the sorrows. I love your blog for this. so if you want to talk about how unfair it is to be elderly, please do. You aren't the only one to be in your position, and even up here in Canada, the elderly, unless they have big savings, suffer terribly in poverty sometimes. I won't say what sometimes the government has said when the elderly have complained, it still makes me so mad. If a state of a civilization is shown by how the elderly, the weak, the sick,the young, are treated, then I think your country and mine have a long way to go before they can be considered enlightened.

My mother is in the same position you are, she stayed at home for most of her working life, and now finds she only qualifies for the Canadian pension, which is not as much as it used to be. I worry too, for her, and what eventually we can do.

12:12 AM  

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