Do other cultures treat senior citizens better?

Another stereotype that people in industrialized societies have about aging is that things are so much better for senior citizens in less developed parts of the world.

Here in America and other so-called modern societies, there is a notion that less developed societies have some sort of elderly oblige, with gushing respect and reverence for senior citizens.

The reality, however, is quite different.

In societies where life is harsh to begin with for everybody, it is even harder for those who may be infirm. Societies in trying climates or difficult living situations may actually be less respectful of senior citizens for one simple reason. Senior citizens, especially those who may be blind, deaf, immobile or senile, contribute less and require more care, which is likely unavailable.

And even the notion that there were good old days for old people in this country is flawed.

According to studies, senior citizens in 18th Century America were thought of in no better terms than they are now. However, the high esteem in which we now hold the young and nubile may have had its beginnings during this period, for two reasons. First, as more immigrants flooded here, they traded tradition for adaptability. Second, the industrial age sped up the jettisoning of older workers from their jobs as they were replaced by mechanization.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.