October 13. It is a known fact that abuse and neglect of the elderly is not uncommon.   Even in their own homes, or living with children and grandchildren, or in institutions they may not be as well cared for and protected as they should be.  A blot on our SA societal conscience remains the Life Esidimeni case of institutional mismanagement and neglect leading to the death of 144 mentally disabled people. Those ultimately held responsible were members of government departments but we cannot only blame authorities. The question should always be asked where their families were at that time and if our families see their elderly as unbearable burdens.   

 “Jesus said, “Woe to you lawyers also, for you load men with burdens hard to bear and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers. Luke 11: 42-46.  Pope Francis:  Some parts of our human family, it appears, can be readily sacrificed for the sake of others considered worthy of a carefree existence.  Ultimately persons are no longer seen as a paramount value to be cared for and respected, especially when they are poor and disabled or no longer needed, like the elderly.  We have grown indifferent to all kinds of wastefulness, starting with the waste of food.   FT18.  Reflect, share, act and pray.    Do I inform myself about the needs of elderly and disabled people?