The Sandwich Generation Transcript
Robert Lipsyte, journalist and author of In the Country of Illness
Anne-Marie Johnson, actress
Abigail Trafford, Washington Post columnist and author of My Time
Robert Kane, MD, author of It Shouldn't Be This Way
Dr. Robert Kane: I think we need to create a situation of what I would call creative indignation...
Robert Lipsyte: We have to have a civil rights movement for old people. And it's really a civil rights movement for us, because not only are some us going to get old, not you guys, but we're going have taken care of older people.
Dr. Robert Kane: If we're looking for recommendations it seems to me that there are a couple. Number one, I think you are absolutely right about the civil rights issue. If you contrast how we handle disability with younger people disability compared to how we handle with older disability, this is an ageist society. I mean basically the younger persons with disability would argue that the entitlements they're demanding are civil rights entitlements. They are denied access to fundamental parts of everyday life. With older people we consider ourselves enlightened if we let them stay at home. If we could use this show to basically launch a campaign of what I would call creative intolerance. My hero is that newscaster on that movie network...
Ann-Marie Johnson: oh yeah right, right, right. There not going to take it any longer.
Dr. Robert Kane: ...exactly. I mean we need to just basically talk about...
Ann-Marie Johnson: You are going to have to change the emotional any psychological wiring of the average American.
Alan Rosenberg: It's also a little tougher talking before to build a movement with its chief beneficiaries of that movement or ageist themselves. Some of the worst...
Abigail Trafford: That's right, we internalize those measures we think oh we're old we're not so valuable maybe we don't deserve very much and so you just trickle down.
Ann-Marie Johnson: Or we never consider ourselves old.
Abigail Trafford: That's right we're talking about them, we're talking about them they're our parents as long as we have parents we're not old and you know we got to say hey we're old this is us and we're not taking it anymore.
Dr. Robert Kane: Well I do believe when people talk about the Baby Boomers and that when they get old their really going to be different. My sense is that a demented Baby Boomer won't be any different. [laughter] ... with current people with dementia.
Robert Lipsyte: Be stoned and have dementia at the same time. Wow, what a future. Maybe you won't mind.
Ann-Marie Johnson: You won't know.
Dr. Robert Kane: But the Baby Boomers are going to have their greatest impact now as they begin to negotiate and demand care for their parents.
Alan: You know it is a civil rights issue and you know we always give lip service to the fact that what helps everybody helps ourselves, but like you said before Bob this really is about us.
Robert Lipsyte: We'll follow you.