Different cultures value different things: religion, family, money, education, etc. Where they are placed on the list depend upon which country or culture you’re in.
Different cultures have different values and practices when it comes to aging. Some cultures celebrate the elderly, while others celebrate youth.
In some places, the elderly are respected and honored, while in others they are seen as old and incompetent. In some places, children take care of their parents at home, while in others they send their parents off to nursing homes.
Ageism is a form of discrimination in the United States that includes negative views and stereotypes about the elderly. Because of this there is a significant negative impact on the care and well-being of elderly people.
Check out this article to see “7 very cool things other countries do for their elderly.”
From my experience, in America, growing old or becoming elderly isn’t typically a good thing. Most people don’t look forward to that time in their lives. People do whatever they can – no matter the cost – to look and/or feel younger.
I have yet to understand why Americans value youthfulness over age.
The elderly have so much that they can offer. For one, they have knowledge and wisdom and are more than happy to share it. But so often, they are left alone with no one to talk to. Why don’t people take more time to spend time with them? To just talk?
In today’s society everyone is so busy with their lives. So busy, in fact, that they can’t sit down for ten
minutes with an elder. Who knows how much they could have gained in just those ten minutes?
In other cultures the elderly aren’t seen as a burden. They are loved, honored and celebrated. They aren’t pushed aside, sometimes never to be seen again. They are a part of their families and the society.
Check out this article to see “7 cultures that celebrate aging and respect their elders.”
Growing old is frowned upon in the West. In other cultures it’s frowned upon if growing old isn’t
respected. For example, “For citizens of Shanghai, not visiting their elderly parents will soon have a somewhat strange consequence — a lowering of their personal credit scores,” an article reads.
This goes into effect on May 1.
In China, there is also the “Elderly Rights Law” mandates that adult children visit their elderly parents often, no matter how far away they live. Punishment for not complying could range from fines to jail time. This went into effect in 2013.
This new set of rules takes it a bit further. The article reads, “The regulations decree that adults living separately from their parents must ‘visit or send greeting often,’ and also gives the parents a right to file lawsuits against their children for neglect.”
If a lawsuit is filed and the children still don’t comply, it could then “result in a negative impact on their credit rating.” The city’s law office believes that this will ensure that the law is adhered to.
Aging is a great thing that should be celebrated and honored all over the world – not just in some places. Our elders or the elderly are just as important as the youth and have just as much to offer.
How the world treats their elderly: