The world is aging

FOUR years ago, I got a tattoo of one of those hazard signs you see on an X-Ray machine. I’m in the field of health care by profession. My friends keep saying that I must be proud of my job to have it permanently inked on my body. In reality, I got that tattoo after my grandfather passed in 2014. The last thing we talked about was that symbol on the machine.

He asked me what it was and I answered. He probably wanted to talk about something else to calm his nerves while getting a CT scan. Just days after that, he passed away of colorectal cancer.

Miss Universe Philippines Gazini Ganados shed light on elderly care. She proudly stated that “It is rightful for us to remember that they were the ones who paved the way” and for me, this hits home. I grew up with my grandparents and they filled the void my parents left. “The world is aging...”, Ganados says.

Our culture is evolving. We used to embrace an extended-family setting— grandparents, parents and children living under one roof. But as western influence continues to take over many aspects of our culture, we seem to forget that they are still family.

Unfortunately, elderly homes seem to be crowding recently. We leave our elders with strangers maybe because it’s a hassle to look after them. But to give others the benefit of the doubt, we are also living in a financially complicating society, probably what Ganados meant by “the stigma between ageism and poverty.”

But this is no reason to abandon family. The elderly deserve every chance to live and to make memories with the people they love. To the strangers who also fill the void that the elderly in homes may have, to the people like Ganados, who work with organizations that support elderly care, I laud your endeavors.

For those who are lucky enough to still have their grandparents, this is the twilight of their day. Make good memories and make them feel loved. If Ganados had won, I’m certain she would have used that platform to raise awareness of keeping this golden family tradition alive. (Mark Kevin Cordero)


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