I AM NOT AWARE OF A TIME IN LIFE WHEN BEING INVOLUNTARILY OPTED OUT IS FUN.
MARGINALIZATION seems to be systemically tied to growing older. First you are retired from whatever you do for work. In general you are no longer part of the production process. This is not altogether a bad thing. Physically and mentally there comes a time for slowing down and shifting gears. Try as we might, we can not stop ourselves from wearing out.
Taking this process (the aging process) one step farther, we begin to bring into the discussion subtile disabilities that crop up along the way. There are the degenerative conditions that affect many aging people but do not prevent participation in the stream of life going on all around them. Such conditions affect people in different ways and to different degrees. Some people sneak through the latter years with little or none of those degenerative encumbrances. These people are fortunate and few.
It is when the sensory systems - mostly sight and sound - are affected that real marginalization occurs. Thankfully, blindness has been recognized as a medical problem since the beginning. The treatment for cataracts, macular degeneration and other vision disabling conditions are central to healthcare contracts.
Hearing loss seems to have been ignored in this age of one breakthrough after another. If you suffer from growing hearing loss as an adult it becomes quite completely your problem to deal with. Why is that? It takes quite a stretch of the imagination to call treating deafness a cosmetic procedure, but there it is. A more fatuous denial rationale can not be found.
Then there is the money angle. The instruments are quite expensive specially the digital type which enable the wearer to navigate complex situations. Nobody wants to pay for them. The VA does pay for hearing aids after a lengthly screening process for some of its members. I understand that is normal for most VA based services.
The obvious truth that there is money in the government to pay for taking care of the needs of older people into the ages is completely ignored. Except for fancy book keeping and emotionally charged wording in the public discourse, it is a testament to the feckless selfishness of the ruling class, the industrial military partnership and their political henchmen that this hasn’t been handled long before now. Need a new killing machine? OK. Spend all you need. When I consider that new stretch destroyer in the ways up at Bath Iron Works and the fancy new all service fighter jet, which is billions into your money and is not even thought to be viable at this point, I get a sick feeling of being willfully bamboozled and marginalized.
It really isn’t a mystery why this is the only advanced nation in the world who does not sponsor universal health, and support for the aging population. Qui Bono, indeed. Who benefits?