Seniors are also subject to implicit bias but still manage to exceed expectations

Author’s note: I was truly humbled by how last week’s article was received. Thank you. It’s apparent we appreciate how lucky we are to live in this community. Both our Community Foundation, Roxy Lohuis and her team, and The Chabad Jewish Center of Key Biscayne have stepped up to assist our seniors.

The axiom is charity begins at home, as it should. It’s apparent that Key Biscayne does it in a secular manner and shares. I’m biased, but I think we lead the way.

“Microaggressions” and “implicit bias” are not new words, but they have come into mainstream verbiage because of the #metoo and #blacklivesmatter movement.

The broad definition of both is remarks or actions that are painful to hear if you’re a perceived minority. A key part of what makes them so disconcerting is that they happen casually, frequently, and often without any harm intended. In fact, most are meant as compliments. An example, “You’re the whitest black person I’ve ever known,” or “iIs she in that time of the month?”

We need a #elderlivesmatter movement! The microaggressions are all over the place. One of my favorites, “You look good for your age.” Really? I look around and I think I look good for many ages.

Another is “He’s over 90 but still has all his marbles”! Well rest assured, any person over 90 doesn’t care about marbles, and the MAJORITY of 80- and 90-year-olds are not senile or demented. They might take a little longer to get around, but that’s physicality, not mentality -- which is why they don’t play marbles. You have to be pretty agile to aim those glass balls.

They can, however, beat you at chess!

A great example is the recently deceased Captain Sir Tom Moore (retired). At age 99 he began walking laps in his garden in hopes of raising 1,000 pounds for the British National Health Service. By his 100th birthday he had raised $33 million, which is $45,330,417 in US dollars.

The Queen knighted Moore in 2020 and the RAF gave him a fly-over. When he died earlier this year, Prime Minister Boris Johnson had a national clap for him in which the entire country joined. His name was synonymous with #nationalhero #centenarianwalker #HerMajesty’sKnight #SirTom.

Tears came to my eyes when I read of his death – pneumonia due to COVID-19. At the time of his death, the total he’d raised was $39 million.

We have these same people in our own backyards. I’m good at reminding us that we are privileged (and I am grateful to be one of “us”). I also know it is the money we raise in our privileged communities that assists others in need. In fact, if the Miami philanthropies were in charge, I think we’d be way ahead on vaccine distribution. That, however, is a discussion for another column.

About H. Frances Reaves, Esq.

A graduate of University of Miami Law School, Frances spent ten years as a litigator/ lobbyist. She founded Parent Your Parents to assist seniors and their children through the myriad of pitfalls and options of "senior care". If you have any questions or comments contact Frances at hfrancesr@parentyourparents.com


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