I know what some of you thought when you read that title: “Who said they were?” Well actually, chances are, at some point in time, you did. Or at least you thought it.
How I know this, is because for the last decade or more, you’ve been inundated with two little words from people like our Provincial and Federal Governments, that has been entranced in your brain and left there to infest even the deepest, darkest places.
Those two words are “Aging Population.”
Now, the problem I have with those words is fairly simple. They’re usually pulled out and paired in a phrase something like “the challenge that faces us is an…” or “we find ourselves dealing with an…” followed by “which is why we have to…” or “which is why we can’t…”
See, now it’s all starting to click with you, because what I’m talking about, is all something you now recognize as rhetoric that is familiar to your ear canal and registers to your brain as politico talk for “blame the old people for our problems.”
Even though you don’t realize it does.
Think about it. The problems in the health care system – the short staffing of nurses and doctors, the need for more beds, cheaper medicines, and on and on the list goes, are all usually put back to one common problem: aging population.
The decline in our province’s population over the last several years, the outmigration rate, and the shortages in the work force have been all chalked up to one common factor: aging population.
And then of course, we have the increasing of OAS qualification to age 67, and the overall underfundedness that overwhelms all levels of Government when it comes to pension plans and benefits that people have been waiting all their lives to get. All of the problems have been put back to one common and attributing factor: aging population.
It’s funny, you know, because it’s almost like we didn’t expect people to get older, isn’t it? I mean, statistics tell us, that no matter how young a person dies, they still never stop getting older. It’s one of those things that science has tried and failed to affect, but yet that doesn’t stop us from putting the blinders on and pretending that it’s not really happening.
Then when it finally does happen, we blame it for our lack of planning and control of the situation. Again – as if we didn’t see it coming.
Our seniors’ homes are filled with people who take the blame for far too much. Let’s just let it all go, and try to do the best with what we’ve got without blaming everyone else for the state we’re in.
After all – with any luck, one day, we’re all going to be old too; and then we’ll be the ones everyone complains about.
– Rudy Norman