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If We Do Not Help Ourselves…
Barbara Morris - Pharmacist - Writer - Aging Issues Barbara Morris - Pharmacist - Writer - Aging Issues
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Surprise, AZ
Sunday, April 28, 2024

Zenobia Silas-Carson

I recently joined a Facebook group, “Seniors Who Need Help with Anything.”  I tried to find rules or limitations thrown in by the administrators, but I joined anyway to see what it was all about.

As soon as I joined, I could see there was little organization, no rules of compliance, and little thought had been given to the many differences in states and cities. Still, I introduced myself and just observed. Chaos among the elders broke out almost immediately. One woman said we needed to be more explicit about our reasons for being here and perhaps break into states where each one from that state could try to help others find resources for their individual needs and even find a friend or two along the way. Since there was no clear agenda, some people thought this was a dating site; one person expressed interest in finding housing and was answered with malicious phrases like, “Where is your family?” “Don’t you have any children?” “Try public housing,” and so on.

All this brings me back to a current project I am working on with a dear friend of mine. We have even taken it nationally. We want to know why society is so biased against seniors, especially widows and widowers, who still crave love and companionship. Though we got quite a few bites, no one has committed to publishing or even taking seriously what we have submitted. It’s the old bug-a-boo concept of “You’re too old to think such thoughts,” I am enraged each time I hear this archaic phrase. See, I have spent many years advocating whichever peer place I was in.

I was the Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney or Spanky/Alfalfa team who always thought, “To raise the money, why don’t we put on a show?” kind of girl. To raise money for candy (outside of our allowance money), I convinced my 4th-grade peers to each bring a sandwich ingredient from home every day, and we quickly constructed sandwiches with honey ham slices, tomatoes, lettuce, and Miracle Whip and got a few kids who did not like lunch room cuisine to buy our sandwiches instead of the bland food at the lunch counter. By today’s standards, our unsanitary and unwashed hands would have wreaked havoc, but soon, we had enough for at least a dollar a piece to buy extra candy to squirrel away in our rooms and sneak out at night for an unofficial midnight snack.

So, how is it that those born from the Depression era through the era of Vietnam are now skittish about everything while, at the same time, longing for change? Change in attitudes about our aging bodies and minds, our need for love and romance, how we are treated in public places, and so on. We cannot expect a change that we do not advocate for ourselves. If we do not help ourselves, we will fade, each senior in each era, into an invisibility that will render us indistinct—nothing more and nothing less.

Speak against injustice. Open your mouth when someone speaks slowly to you as if you are out of your mind. Speak up at the doctor’s office. I just said the other day to my adolescent doctor, “No, I will not be taking_____________ because it is hurtful to my already low vision.” She blinked a couple of times, and I explained that I had done research. In a split second, I could see a bit of pride on her face and an admiration (maybe) that I was not one of her complacent patients. It’s as simple as that. I am pleading for the voices of those who have not given up and have not given in! I have more on this, but I will continue next month.

Blessings to all!

Barbara Morris, R.Ph.
P.O. Box 8345
Surprise, AZ 85388

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Barbara Morris, R. Ph.
Title: Editor, Publisher
Dateline: Surprise, AZ United States
Direct Phone: 760-520-5202
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