Pat Black: Please don’t call me dear

Seniors' columnist shares her disdain for the patronizing treatment of seniors, by calling them "dear."

I want to scream when someone calls me dear in that patronizing tone of voice often used by moms dealing with their recalcitrant children.

Why is it that so many middle aged people, both women and men, assume the aged person they are addressing is witless and childlike? I want to respond in the same condescending tone “please don’t call me dear” but have a problem with this. I once did say that to a very well meaning woman and she was devastated. Apologizing and almost crying, she protested she did not mean to be offensive and on and on she went. It wasn’t worth the trouble, let me tell you. My plan of action is to respond to the next “dear” caller with “thank you so much yourself, dear,” with the emphasis on the dear. Think that will work?

Jim, a reader, called to share a tip on saving money especially for low income seniors. He takes a high dosage of acetaminophen each day for pain and has found that he can buy 1,000 caps at a time from Safeway for $30 or from Wal-Mart for $28 if he calls the pharmacist first and orders them. Buying 200 caps usually costs around $12.99 so buying them in bulk saves seniors about $34 for each 1,000 caps needed.

The long delayed Community Dental Clinic is still on the way with renovations to the new office started. At last count the waiting list is 450 people signed on for care. However, the Urgent Care Program is available for low income people who are in severe pain with nine to 11 people being served per week. This service is performed by our local dentists at little or no cost and from April to December of last year 87 people were treated to services worth more than $75,000. All of those dentists that participated in this service are to be thanked. If you have ever experienced an abscess or severe toothache and had no money to have it fixed you know how much this service is appreciated. For more information about the Community Dental Clinic call 250-308-7163.

When a loved one dies what do you do with their hearing aids?  In great anticipation of launching a new program for low income seniors with hearing difficulties, we are looking to collect hearing aids that can be refurbished and reused, which is most of them. The Seniors Resource Centre and Rockwell Audiology are in the process of trying to collect used hearing aids for the launch of this new program. There are many low income seniors unable to afford new aids which can amount to up to $4,000 per ear and a lending program that can assist them would be extremely helpful.  Please drop off any hearing aids  that you may have to Rockwell Audiology, Seniors Resource Centre, Schubert Centre, Halina Centre or call 250-545-2226.

Finally the province announced on Valentine’s Day that a senior’s advocate will be appointed after consultation with seniors as part of a comprehensive action plan. This response came after many reports, countless recommendations by committees, including the Premiers Council on Aging, and the lobbying of all sorts of seniors organizations for change and in particular appointing an advocate for seniors. It may be that the Ombudsperson’s 400 page report on seniors and the problems they face, released also on Feb. 14, finally tipped the scale. It may also be that the large population of seniors in B.C., most of whom vote, finally registered with the current provincial government. What ever the reason, their Action Plan for Seniors is looking good and is available on their website at www.seniors.ca.

If you have any comments or ideas please call me at 250-542-7928 or e-mail blackmail1@telus.net.

Pat Black writes Personal Best every other Sunday. She is the Falls Prevention coordinator at the Seniors Information and Resource Bureau in Vernon.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vernon pedestrian struck dies from injuries

Emergency responders are on scene on Main Street near the CIBC, traffic affected

New park ready for play in BX

Vernon-area kids can explore a new playground

UPDATE: Fire near Wood Lake a “smoke chase”

A water bomber reportedly took off from Penticton and is on the way to Lake Country

‘Perfect mother’ celebrates 100 in Vernon

Hamlets resident Ann Prowal marks milestone amid COVID-19 pandemic

Vernon tech entrepreneur up for prestigious award

Promoting diversity in tech sector lands Jill Binder nomination for BraveIT Award

‘Don’t kill my mom’: Ryan Reynolds calls on young British Columbians to be COVID-smart

‘Deadpool’ celebrity responds to premier’s call for social influence support

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

Kelowna man convicted of not paying taxes after turbulent trial

Man claims he doesn’t meet the definition of a ‘person’ under the federal Income Tax Act

Accused in Kelowna’s 2018 Canada Day killing granted bail more than 1.5 years later

Esa Carriere was stabbed to death during the Canada Day fireworks in downtown Kelowna in 2018

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Protesters showcase massive old yellow cedar as Port Renfrew area forest blockade continues

9.5-foot-wide yellow cedar measured by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigners in Fairy Creek watershed

Taking dog feces and a jackhammer to neighbourhood dispute costs B.C. man $16,000

‘Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice …a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act’

Two people dead after Highway 1 collision west of Kamloops

Two-vehicle accident closed Trans-Canada Highway for more than five hours

Most Read