Are senior citizens in the United States treated with the respect they deserve?


Do you think senior citizens in the United States are treated with the respect they deserve?……..why?

As a younger person, I did not notice too much nastiness against seniors. However, as I age (now in my fifties), I definitely do see occasional disrespect against older people (anyone nearing 50, in fact).

I believe we sometimes see this because people have not been taught by parents to show respect for grandparents, great aunts and uncles and such like we were as children.

I see this disrepect in the work environment at times, which is quite shocking when it happens.

I’ve always had a problem with that notion that “you have to earn respect”. Does that mean that people can treat you shabbily when they first meet you and continue to do so until they know you well enough to make their own decision if you are worthy of respectful treatment? Every human being should be treated with respect. Respect doesn’t mean the same as liking someone or having admiration for them because of their characteristics. I am weary of students racing down the hall, around corners, out of classrooms, nearly running into me and I’m the one who has to jump out of the way; students simply giving me a disdainful look when I smile and say “Good morning” when I pass them in the hall; people who loudly use obscenities in public places with no regard for those around them……. I agree that simply growing older does not imbue people with great qualities that younger folks should be in awe of, but at the same time, many (I would hope most!) people grow in wisdom, patience, tolerance, and understanding as they age. The longer they live, the more experiences they have that can be helpful to younger folks, if they will take time to listen.

I am an American but from a different culture originally and I find that senior citizens in the U.S. are treated disrespectfully by society in general and some by their own relatives. Good common sense and morality has diminished so much from what I can remember in the past. I still remember the phrases of ‘yes or no sir/ma’am,’ and I still use those words of respect for the others specially the elders.

Hmmn? I like this question, but is it in regards to seniors in America v.s. seniors in other countries/cultures? Unless you have a close friend or relation from a very different culture than American, you wouldn’t understand the reasoning or the relationships between the “elders and the youngers”, so to speak. Here is a sweet example.

My best girlfriend is from Sudan, 10 years younger than I, but explained they still highly respect the elders because they teach them the culture and the ways of life and religion in their family. She said her wedding was arranged, a little more modern, they use the computer now, but the same principle as her mother and her grandmother. She says they all lived together until you either get married or now if you go to college. You can live together because you share the same living styles, religion, music (to a degree), foods, and family traditions. She said a mutual commonality will nurture respect. She said the elders are an intricate part in the lives of all as they begin to have families of their own. Who else can pass down and tell the stories, history, trials and tribulations and family history?

Hmmn? with respect to one person you obtain knowledge?
Now why didn’t we get that memo in this country?
Just by being respectful and showing kindness, patience, and humility. But unfortunately, these are character traits going fast.

Absolutely not. I have worked in nursing/elder care facilities in the past, and have witnessed first hand how not only the younger generation has very little respect for our senior citizens, but for themselves as well. Why is this so? In my humble opinion, I think that because discipline in the home has changed so much in the past 20 years, children are not being taught to respect their elders. I’m not saying we should convert back to corporal punishment, but, the lack of respect we have for one another as of late, and especially our senior citizens, has gone right out the old window. That’s just my opinion.

Yes and no. I believe it is how you were brought up and, to some extent, cultural. So it varies from place to place and family to family. For example, the person that responded 4 above me (“four more years”) obviously grew up in an environment where respect was not taught. They lack respect for themself, and therefore, lack respect for other people. You will see just the reverse in other people that will show respect unless they are given a reason not to.

In my opinion, it is in our own best interest that we give our senior citizens their due respect. Even more than respect, we need to give them our interaction and our gratitude. This is true no matter our present age, nor theirs.

Edit: I see “four more years” withdrew his nasty response. Maybe there is some glimmer of hope after all – but, I’m not betting the farm on it!

Cant totally generalize – some are and some arent. Some deserve respect and some dont depending on the individual. I do think as a society we tend to look on older people as a burden when they cant take care of themselves anymore but many families are still caring for their aging relatives. We no longer have the luxury of being able to be one income families so women staying home to be caregivers is less of an option. For this reason we must rely on purchasing services and the present economy makes that difficult. People have outlived their savings and our government has few programs to help out. We are now living longer with more chronic disabling illnesses. All of these things combined make it more difficult for people to deal with aging relatives. I do think we respect people who have lived their life productively and who have treated others respectfully. Age does bring the wisdom of experience but the wisest know that you can learn new things at any age. I feel that respect must be earned and doesnt come automatically as we age.

no i don’t think that the elders get the respect that they deserve and have earned.
it seems to me that the elders get mistreated by family, governments, nursing home employees, the young kids in the streets, the list goes on and on……
i really can’t give a reason why they are treated badly except that it seems to me the younger generation, even some of the middle aged generations are all about greed and what they can gain from this or that. many have the “IT’S ALL ABOUT ME” attitude today.

I think here in the U.K. we are very lucky.There will always be some who dont treat you with respect but that has always been so.We get free medical Care/Free Television./Free bus travel anywhere in the country/Pension for every one over 65($400 a week)only by respecting Old Age and paying while you are younger will you be able to enjoy Old Age when you reach it.

If respect is putting your sunglasses on/looking out the window/reading a book/pretending to be asleep when a senior citizen gets onto the full bus, then yes.

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