Everyone does remember the Tylenol the murders in 1982, in Chicago, IL when seven people died of cyanide poisoning after having taken the Tylenol pain medication. These poisonings were the beginning of life getting more complicated for us Baby Boomers and making life too difficult for the older senior population. It appears that this was a bona fide hit or miss poisoning that set off a string of copycat tamperings, involving several major pain medicine manufactures. Maybe some of this will answer the question, “Why is life so Difficult?”
The 1982 Tylenol murders were the start of a lot of viciousness, in which copycat criminals chose to insert foreign objects into formerly reliable products. We live with the Tylenol legacy to this day, and senior citizens are paying the price for this foolishness. As all of you know this after visiting your pharmacy or the local supermarket, then returning home and trying to open these tamper-proof packages. We lost our innocence in 1982, and a few evil doers made life a lot harder for our older population. It changed the way we consume and purchase over-the-counter medications forever.
Change of Packaging
All kinds of packaging from milk containers to pill bottles have been affected by this. It is severe enough for someone in their 60s to get into some of these packages and from helping my 86 year old mother, it is just about impossible for her to open them. Getting a pill bottle open is a challenge all by itself. First, we have the bottle top, which one has to push down and turn at the same time. How many remember the trouble we went through when those first came out. Once you get through the top, we have a seal made of foil to cut through, and for an older person, it is sometimes difficult to cut through this. Next is the cotton which in your effort to get it out, you end up pushing it in the bottle!
A bottle of milk might have that strip of plastic around it that you have to peel off to get the lid off. Most time the pieces are hard to get a hold of, especially for someone who has some arthritis and then when you snap the cover off, some of the milk splatters in your lap. People can no longer count on just having a top to unscrew, most times there is some cardboard cover to get through, after the cap. Everyone has flipped the lid of the mustard bottle and squeezed until the bottle almost broke, only to take the top off and find a piece of foil covering it.
Extra Tools to Keep in the Kitchen
Is life getting more complicated or do we need more tools in the kitchen? The way things are now, a person needs a pair of pliers, hammer (just in case), sharp knife (large and small), scissors, needle nose pliers, and center punch. It would also be advisable to have on hand some of those rubber jar lid grippers, to ensure you can get your bottles open on time before you lose your patience!
If you would like to find some good Rubber Bottle Opener Grippers –
Everyone knows how phones work today. The smaller phones are hard to see and for a person with big hands hard to operate. What about an older person using a cell phone? We all know how they are about the reception and how sometimes even a person with good hearing has a hard time hearing from them. Once we get into our 60s, most people start having difficulty hearing, and it is about this time that ones spouse is yelling at us to get a hearing aid. These do not always work as advertised, especially when it comes to putting in the batteries and getting the volume to the comfort level.
The Old Hearing Aids
It seems like once someone gets the hearing aid appropriately adjusted, we lose reception on the cell phone. Alternatively, it could be the opposite, the phone is working great, but our hearing aid is squealing. It may be advisable for an older person to get an earpiece that is simple to operate and a large phone, which could be easier to see.
What about when a person calls to get information and is in contact with someone from a foreign nation? Talking to someone who speaks in broken English can be very frustrating and requires a significant amount of patience. Companies that have a large percentage of their customers from the senior population know the problems seniors have communicating and should hire competent English-speaking employees to speak with our seniors. In the cost-cutting atmosphere, we are in today it is more desirable to hire someone whom they do not have to pay as much.
Most all of us have had the experience of talking to the computer for five minutes. Many have called to get a prescription filled, put on hold, and then we get to talk to the computer. After telling the computer a birth date, place of birth, where you live, your mother’s maiden name, and your pets name, and a million other things, we are put on hold again. Finally, a real person answers the phone and what do they ask? By this time a very frustrated person is ready to reach through the phone and choke someone!
Remember to try to not lose patience with the person on the other end of the phone. It can be difficult at times and very frustrating, but that person is only trying to do a good job, in most cases, and is only doing what the organization they work for instructs them to do. If you would like to read more about seniors and computers read one of my earlier post Finding Out How to Run A Computer.
Getting To and A Visit With A Doctor
Remember when we had the home visiting doctor? We try to tell our children about that, and they look at us like we lost our minds. Yes, that was a few days ago. Now we have to depend on someone to take us if we can not drive or drive ourselves which is a feat in itself these days. Several thousand more vehicles on the roads today and many more crazy drivers.
It is true, we have many seniors living alone, and the only way they can get to the doctor is by way of public transportation. A senior out by themselves or on public transportation sometimes can create problems all by themselves. As talked about earlier, seniors that have trouble hearing, seeing, and some require walkers to get around, are more susceptible to criminal activity.
Seniors Must Make these Doctor Visits
Either way if a senior is not in a home, they must visit the doctor at least every six months. The government has stepped in and made it so a person can not get their prescriptions refilled without a doctor visit. Having to see a doctor for prescription refills has all came about because of the opioid abuse that has become so prevalent today.
Once we finally make it to the doctor’s office, what do people do? Typically, four or five forms are to be filled out, even though that was accomplished on the last visit. Whatever happened to computers reducing the amount of paperwork that was required? We finished filling out the paperwork, and we wait.
Most times, if someone has a 2:30 appointment, they generally see the doctor at least 45 minutes later, sometimes longer. Generally, the computer calls all patients the day before, even though we have a hard time understanding a computer, to ensure that everyone arrives at his or her appointment time. Don’t be late!
Sooner of Later We See the Doctor
Eventually, the patient gets in to see the doctor. The doctor goes through all his questions about how we are doing, eating, weight, exercise, blood pressure and if we are having any problems. Sometimes the patient may be having problems with breathing or hearing. Well, that is not his specialty, so he will recommend an ear, nose and throat specialist so we can do this all over again.
Going out and getting anywhere can be a problem for a senior as this happens as we age. There has been much progress lately to make life more comfortable, but if a senior is going to stay out of a nursing home, these are things they will face every day. There are many places all over the world where a person can video conference with their doctor. Computers and having video conferences may not be too much of a problem for baby boomers, but the older senior population will have trouble with this, and this is something that is way in the future for many places in our nation. We have come a long way from the home visiting doctors of the past.
Most everyone has been grocery shopping lately and have seen the way grocery stores are doing things these days. People have to do all the work now that used to be done by store employees. Seniors are not lazy and would instead do things on their own, but if someone has had a knee replacement or have severe arthritis, it is hard to do all this on one’s own.
In their quest to save money, the large grocery chains have eliminated most of the conveniences we have taken for granted all our lives. Not only does a person have to shop and find everything on their own, but it is getting to the point where we check ourselves out, bag our groceries and carry them out on our own. A person that is in the fast food industry or the grocery business should be very concerned about their jobs.
Once a senior makes his or her way to the grocery store and does all this, it has taken a full day. Unless a senior learns how to run a computer to do online shopping, they are going to have a tough time surviving in this new world. One would think it could be profitable and compassionate for a grocery store to designate one day a week for senior shopping. It is possible that seniors would pay extra for checkers, employees to help them find their products, and the old style carry out person to help them with their groceries.
Some kind, personal thoughts here. Baby Boomers, for the most part, are in better health than our older seniors, so they have time to adjust to this advanced new world. It is the older seniors that we are most concerned about. Most of them are, for the most part, confined to their homes or nursing homes. We have had many advances in public transportation and activities in nursing homes, but there is room for improvement.
There are many books on the market to study, that will show us how to run computers, and online shopping is improving more each day. Seniors still need help with ordering medicine, shopping, getting to and from the doctors, and even communicating on the phone.
We all know at least one senior confined to a nursing home, or has trouble getting around in their house. Do not hesitate to stop by, help them with ordering something online, help in the garden, or take a short drive. Maybe someone can only stop once a week, but seniors will appreciate our help more than we realize.
Thank you for reading my article Your Comments Are Always Welcome!