Sunday, June 22, 2008

Grandma's Dirty Little Secret

Mabel and Joe were observed holding hands as they walked down the hall..The staff commented on how cute they looked together and thought nothing of seeing the two of them benignly holding hands and smiling..Later that night, the C.N.A. calls the nurse to Mabel's room...Mabel and Joe are sound asleep in the nude, snuggled under Mabels blankets...both elders suffer from mild dementia; and Mabel is not Joe's wife..his wife Mary is at home...Is this a crime, an incident that bears reporting to regulatory agencies, or a lawsuit waiting to be filed? or is it simply part of our human/animal existance that has us seek out the comfort of pleasure in it's most raw form when we are stressed, confused and alone?

Ah yes..the dirty laundry of dementia and adults; yes folks we still want,seek and need the comfort of sexual release when we are old, gray, and even at the end stage of our dementia and aging processes..Social acceptable? good heavens no, at least for the current generation of elders being cared for in any setting outside of home. Will the next generation finally break the code of puritan values and norms that are currently in place that restrict and make normal human desire and comfort a social deviant behavior? I hope so..

This topic was brought to light this week on MSN. For the first time someone outside of our industry has brought to light the skewed value system in place for elders who desire sexual intimacy and comfort. The article; a reprint/connection from focuses on a situation of two real elders who resided in an assisted living facility. Both suffered from mild dementia; both sought each other out for sexual release and intimacy. Their families; who due to power of attorney and legal authority; requested that the facility separate the two and keep them from "having relations". The result? depression and weight loss for the female, and rapid decline and sudden death for the male partner.

As squirmy as this topic may make you; it is the harsh reality of aging..Are we, or will you be willing to give up control of the intense pleasure associated with sexual release when you are an elder? Do you want your patient advocate, or power of attorney to determine with who; how often or where you are allowed to express yourself sexually?

I wonder why as a society we freely accept sexual expression in our music, art, advertising and filtered in our daily lives; yet, when we get down to the base act we apply a rigid value system of what is acceptable and not...elder sex is a taboo subject and one that most of find very uncomfortable to think about; or discuss..In fact, when we do talk about being "old" and having sex; we bring up things about body image issues; functionality; and whether or not we will need pharmacological support to make it happen..It is the epitomy of joke fodder for most comedians..

Yet when faced with the reality of it happening to Grandma; we become highly agitated and desire to control Grandma's frisky behavior with outrage and disdain that it "was allowed" to occur...

Reality check...Grandma probably had sex figured out at some point in her life; or you wouldn't be here to shout outrage....and Grandma has stored that wonderful pleasure feeling in her basic animal instinct portion of her brain; and she knows what she likes and how to make it happen over and is not rocket science; it is pure pleasure and comfort..two things all humans need to survive. Do you want to face aging alone, demented, and devoid of the most basic form of pleasure and release?

Friday, June 6, 2008

Show Me the Money...

Interesting..Sitting and reflecting in Reagan National airport after a two day lobbying junket...I love the democratic process. It was a great opportunity to actually feel the process at work. A special thanks to my state rep Mike Rogers and his staff for hosting our visit. We actually got to "meet" on the house floor after a vote was finishing. First hand experiencing the democratic process was outstanding and uplifting..

As a non-baby boomer; I have watched the coming storm with such trepidation and anxiety..How are "we" the future generations going to pay for our health care? How are "we" going to survive financially? It has become the hot topic for domestic policy and the upcoming elected President's first agenda issue.

As an observation; it is interesting to note that the previous generations attitude regarding aging and entitlement, ie: "I have worked hard all my life" the government should take care of me now", has come full circle. My generation, cynical realist that we are; have started a new mantra..."personal responsibility" is our adage..we will seek/push/fight for government programs that are incentive based/tax lowering in structure that reward our financial frugalness and saving of our own money for our elder care and services.. In fact I predict that my generation will not only change the IRS code, we will fix it to be fair and equitable via a flat tax that is bipartisan supported.

I predict that we also will figure out how to fix the hemorrhage known as our national debt and deficit..Or we will learn Japanese...(little known fact, we owe them significant payment on loans that we yes we the U.S. citizentry via our government; has borrowed). How will we fix this financial problem? Taxes...and decreased domestic spending.. We will fix the tax code to be fair and equitable; capture the internet commerce, home based cash businesses, and large corporate over seas avoidance tactics...

In exchange for higher taxes, we will demand better infrastructure, and a clear tax code that rewards us for saving for our future health care, and the education of our children..

My theory is that not only will my generation change this, we will understand and educate the government to recognize that those of us in the "middle class" that bracket of families earning 75,000 to 250,000 per year; will no longer stand for being the highest taxed/under rewarded group of individuals in this country..We will demand and demand loudly a fair and equitable system for all..We want to help those in need; we want to eliminate poverty and the literacy issues..but not at the expense of getting our children educated or taking care of our needs when we age...

If we are to survive not only as a country and world power, but as a culture and generation; we must speak loudly about the "show me the money" attitude of the government...I am willing to show them the money, when they show me a realistic and practical plan that the majority of Americans agree upon..