Stan Lee, a legend as one of the creators of Marvel Comics and some of its greatest superheroes, died almost a year ago, but where were these titans of the galaxy when he needed them?
In news headlines a few weeks back, we now find out that Lee was a victim of elder abuse by a business manager who has just been indicted. How is this possible? Stan Lee, although 95 when he died, was not some “nobody” who folded into anonymous retirement without children or friends, where he was never missed.
He was still going to events and galas up until a year before his death. Do we live in a time where old age simply means anonymity, where we just disappear? How come no one checks to see if a friend or associate is OK, comes to the door, and says hello or just checks in?
We live in a fast-paced world where we do not do the things we used to do…simply see if someone is OK. Believe it or not, “mailmen”…that’s what we used to call them, would check on a home if there seemed to be an issue with mail delivery.
Elder abuse is a major problem with the change in demographics. Families live apart and there is no one to check to see if an aging parent is OK. Caregivers are not “vetted” carefully, and then when you find one, we never check up and follow through to see what’s going on. Finances, credit cards, checking accounts…. these are the tools of the perps, and then there is an embarrassment.
Seniors, or old people as the millennials see us, are embarrassed to find some help, or appear to need help…. that embarrassment leads to trouble with a capital T. When we feel embarrassed about our age, or what we can’t do anymore, the door is open to the perp who wants to” help.”
Is there a magic antidote to rid ourselves of embarrassment for getting older? The answer is no. The antidote is to believe that people, including our children, understand us, our reluctance to rely on others and the desire to remain independent.
Here is my answer…. what the world needs now isn’t love sweet love…. it is patience and listening for the signs of someone needing just a little help, who may be too embarrassed to ask.
Spiderman wasn’t there to help Stan Lee, but you don’t have to be a superhero to just listen for a sign that someone is asking for help, and then swoop in from your web and help.
Take it for what it is… It’s just as I see it.