by William Skink
Back when I was gainfully employed at Missoula Aging Services, taking calls and assessing needs, my colleagues and I would often lament there wasn’t some program that dealt with multiple needs in a mutually beneficial way.
Specifically I am referring to older adults aging in place with extra rooms in houses they can no longer maintain, and young people perpetually screwed from birth by the failures of late-stage crony capitalism.
We didn’t just lament, we also brainstormed. Rooms could be rented, but at reduced rates with conditions the young tenant cook at least three meals a week. The young person could also provide transportation, take the older adult to medical appointments, etc.
The potential problems and barriers, though, are significant. How do you screen people to reside in a home with a person who, through age, has become vulnerable, not just physically, but cognitively? What kind of on-going support would be needed with the program? How would getting rent money impact programs, like Medicaid for in-home care?
If those barriers could be addressed, imagine the BENEFITS. And not just monetary benefits, but social benefits, for the older adult AND the younger person.
Instead our atomized modern society is further fragmenting under the auspices of a pandemic. Our elders? Put ’em in “homes” with poorly paid staff and forget about them. Or, if they don’t conform, torture them with ER waiting rooms and homeless shelters until they acquiesce.
And the family unit those social conservatives are always claiming is under attack? Yes, the family unit IS actually under a sustained, decades long assault with multiple vectors picking families apart so desirable atomized units (also known as “children”) can be harvested by sociopaths.
I know that sounds extreme, but one of the BIGGEST barriers people still have is the psychological barrier that downplays this harsh reality to avoid cognitive dissonance.
The heartless economic forces that turn the screws on grandma until she gives up the few remaining assets she’s stubbornly holding on to are in place for a reason. Those same economic forces are turning us against each other as we measure our personal victimhood against our friends and family like men with small dicks measuring the size of their engine bloc.
Even though it’s literally etched in stone on a mound in Georgia, we don’t want to believe some anti-human power structure is moving to cull a few billion useless eaters from the crust of this planet.
I suspect the more financially comfortable one is, the more difficult it is to accept this reality. You can afford nutritional food, haven’t seen the inside of a prison, enjoy some passive income untethered to place, have letters next to your name indicating a higher education, etc.
If the past six months has taught us anything, it’s how quickly fear transforms people into compliant receptacles of authoritarian rule. That won’t change, regardless of who claims victory next month.