Supposedly the state of Vermont’s population is aging. If so, why aren’t there better treatment and care facilities for those who have worked hard all their lives? It seems like the elderly in Vermont are very much akin to Rodney Dangerfield who also couldn’t “get any respect”.
The news media (WCAX, Burlington Free Press, etc.) clearly have an obsession with youth. Stories about bare-assed bike riders take precedence over events taking place to honor those who served in WWII. Old news, old people? Forget about it. A large group of motorcycle riders were recently ignored by the Vermont media as they rallied to support the troops serving overseas by staging a special Memorial Day ride. They were overshadowed by the insignificance of the marathon which was strategically planned as a cash grab for Burlington. Memorial Day? Forget about it. Too many old farts saluting the flag. People don’t want to see that on the TV news when they can see young, scantily clad folks trotting their way to a finish line. (WCAX seems to have an odd fetish for naked and nearly naked people.)
What’s with the Hollywood type fascination with young, good looking, out-of-state and financially endowed college students who meet their demise in the Green Mountains? Tragic events yes, but why does the media (especially TV news) have to turn it into a play-by-play soap opera or local version of Entertainment Tonight? Is that the best way to remember these unfortunate, young people? Meanwhile, if you’re a somewhat plainer looking local and/or less financially gifted person, you may get 30 seconds on WCAX at 6. Remember the elderly lady who disappeared in Westford, VT about a year ago? We never heard what happened to her, even to this very day. There were no nightly reports about her possible whereabouts or any of the other CSI/WCAX type adventurous reporting. But she was old and that’s not sexy enough for the Vermont media. Who cares, right?
Last but not least…nursing homes in Vermont. Yes, there are some good ones, maybe even terrific nursing homes. Unfortunately, the best ones are full of the wealthier seniors who can afford quality humanitarian services. As for the working class Vermonters well, you’re screwed (possibly in more ways than one). More than a few of the nursing homes in Vermont are dirty, smell like urine and employ people who are paid wages so low that they have little incentive to care about the people who are entrusted to them. How can that be? Why does Fletcher Allen have a birthing center that is so clean and delightful that most new mothers describe it as a near religious experience? You would think that the money spent on making the process of giving birth heavenly, could be just as rewarding for those who will soon be leaving this world. What a kick in the ass to those poor souls who have worked hard all their lives, only to finish out their days at the mercy of people who are probably overworked and underpaid.
How can anyone justify Vermont’s dirty little secret of how the elderly are treated, while the TV news preaches “Kid’s First!” as it’s rallying cry? Sorry, but kids can wait. More time and resources need to be devoted to helping our aging population finish out their finals days in comfort and dignity.
Is there a lesson to be learned here? Yup. If you’re going to get old and sick in Vermont, make sure you have a LOT OF MONEY because you’re going to need it for proper care. Otherwise, hurry up and die already because the state needs the money to pay for more children’s programs.
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