We are a group of people over the age of 55 with ME. In August, Bob Gawron wrote our first article introducing us to the ME community. At that time we had 520 members from around the globe. In less than 3 months we have almost doubled our membership. We are now over 1,000 members strong. That is worthy of a celebration! Within this large group we have more than 200 “Elite” ME Seniors (those aged 70 +). We are growing by leaps and bounds and we are very thankful for all who have joined the ME Seniors Connect group.
Honoring our Elite Seniors: 70+
By Connie Faast, Writer | Contributions by Beth McClelland | Edited by Nancy Wood
This article is to honor a very special group of people – our Elite Seniors – aged 70+. When I first decided to write an article about our Elite Seniors, I had no idea what I would write. My mind was blank, never even having made the connection that I am only a few months away from being 70. How in the world did that happen?
So, what are some of the special challenges we face at 70+? We saw from a recent post in our group that there are some in the medical and the younger ME communities who think we don’t exist. We’re not dead yet! Despite perceptions, there are many Elite Seniors who have been living with ME for decades. If there are 200 in this #MEAction group alone, imagine how many more there must be. How many seniors have not yet found us, or lack access to a computer or skills to find us? Elite seniors are true warriors! This is one of the reasons I am so thankful for this Facebook group. Prior to joining, I was always the eldest in my other FB groups. It is great to communicate with people who have similar needs, thoughts, and desires.
At this stage of life, being an Elite Senior may be very difficult physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Many have multiple health issues, some are homeless, penniless, cancer survivors, alone, cannot afford medications, extremely sensitive physically and emotionally, have no help, no caregivers, and, as we have heard from our membership, some even live in their cars. If we can hope for anything of our senior group, we hope our membership can bring attention to the plight of our suffering ME seniors who are “invisible” and need assistance.
This is in no way meant to sound gloomy or cause anyone to lose hope. We follow the research and see that there is much hope on the horizon. Our purpose here is to speak out and educate on the fact that there is a large segment of the ME community who have special needs related to the combination of this illness and aging. Elite Seniors are experienced at living for decades with this illness. We refuse to become a forgotten segment of the population. The good news is we have learned how to use humor in dealing with our realities, we are hardy, we are true warriors, and we are survivors.
Among the Elite Seniors are veterans, baby boomers, professionals, entrepreneurs, hippies, black, white, rich and poor – all with a world of life’s experiences. Many are parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. This is a very special group of people with incredible life experiences going back to pre-World War ll. At this time of their lives they deserve to be honored, treated with respect, cared for, listened to, and learned from – most have fought an ongoing battle with ME symptoms for decades.
Our group of Elite Seniors deserves a special badge of honor. So, below is the Badge of Honor for our Elite Seniors 70 +. I hope this badge puts a smile on your face and you know that you are respected, understood, and appreciated.
Together we can work toward needed changes for seniors with ME. Join #MEAction Seniors Connect on Facebook.[maxbutton id=”21″ url=”https://www.facebook.com/groups/391269901334695/” text=”Join the Seniors Group” ]
6 thoughts on “Honoring Our Elite Seniors: 70+”
I’d join as a pwme over 55 but do not and would never use Facebook because of their use of personal data for their own profit and I do not wish to have personal information sold on to data mining companies.
I would love to hear tips, techniques and strategies from the Elite Seniors group as to how they have learnt to best manage their ME symptoms. Also, any tips and strategies about how they are managing the socio-economic determinants of health involved with a life lived with ME – it would be amazing to hear about any of the above. Tips and shared wisdom would be super appreciated !!
Leslie, Thank you. This sounds like a topic that would be a great upcoming article!
To Connie Faast – thank you for writing this important and meaningful article! Being middle aged, I knew there were seniors out there, as I have actually met a few – but the challenges they face are indeed unique and their life lessons learned are precious.
To the Elite Seniors – you are not invisible to those of us with ME who are creeping up through the ages, as well. However, your experiences are so much different and your challenges are sure to be that much harder. However, many of us could use the lessons of your humor and heartiness. And all of us fighting for medical equity should be fighting for respect in aging as well. I hope someday we can make a real change in this world not just for ME, but for our society’s treatment of it’s seniors -who still have so much to offer and need a safe, secure place from which to do so.
Thank you for that Jen!
Wonderful work! We absoutey do need to be heard & to be assisted.
If Seniors deserve respect, so do we with ME
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