Why Do We Treat Prisoners Better Than Our Elderly?

Having the wonderful wife that I do, she often sends me things that may be worth writing about and this is one of them.  She gleaned these words of wisdom from someone’s post on Facebook.  I often ignore these, but this one got my attention, partially because I once worked in the intensive care section of a nursing home and partially because I am utterly disgusted with our prison system.

The wonderful words of wisdom are:

“Here is some food for thought…We should place the elderly in prisons. They will get a shower a day, video surveillance in case of problems, three meals a day, access to a library, computer, TV, gym, doctor on-site, free medication if needed.”

“Put criminals in nursing homes.  They have cold meals, lights off at 7pm, two showers a week, live in a smaller room and pay rent at $4,000 a month!!!  It’s pretty sad that we treat prisoners better than the elderly.”

I know that prison is not a picnic and poses a number of dangers to men and women, but in many aspects, the words of wisdom are true.  I looked online and found out that in 2008-09, California spent an average of $47,102 per year per inmate.  Now consider the fact that the median household income of 2008 was $52,029.  Most households have two people working to make ends meet.  So it costs nearly as much to care for one prisoner as the average family grosses in a year.

A 2012 report from New York stated that their cost of housing 59,237 prisoners was $3.6 billion which works out to $60,772 per inmate per year.  By 2012, the median household income in the US had fallen to $50,054 dollars.  New York is paying $10,000 more a year to house one inmate than the average American family grosses with two people working.

My dad is 91 and his health is failing.  Last month, my mom and sister looked at putting him into a nursing home as it’s getting harder for my 87 year old mom to care for him at home.  The cost was just over $4,000 per month, so it was pretty close to the words of wisdom above.  That adds up to $48,000 per year.

$48,000 per year from someone who has been a valuable and contributing member of society his whole life compared to $60,772 for someone who violated the law and is supposedly being punished.  My dad spent 6 years in the US Navy, 1940-1946, all during World War II helping to defend the country, and now men and women who committed crimes and gave up their rights to walk the streets of our nation get better treatment at a higher cost than my dad.

The words of wisdom are right, it’s not fair.  Our elderly, many of whom were responsible for building our nation to its greatness, deserve to be better cared for in their later years than prisoners, who in my opinion gave up their rights when they broke the law.

Of course under Obamacare, that won’t be a problem for much longer because many elderly will be denied coverage on a number of health issues and will die earlier than they are now.  That’s their plan – kill them off younger to reduce health costs and prevent them from being a burden on society.

Our values and principles are definitely upside down!