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The miserable life of retired old pensioners in Poland


ufo973 10 | 89
3 Aug 2016 #1
Just read for your self... (summary?)

No it's not Belarus or Modova...it's an EU country with a strong economy.
dolnoslask 5 | 2,678
3 Aug 2016 #2
It's one of the things I find hard in Poland more needs to be done to improve old age pensions, Even in my local town I see old people selling a few pots of blackberry's and cloves of garlic, I buy whatever I can , even if I don't need what they have to sell, I alone can't fix this and it does not to be on the top of the list on anyone's political agenda.
Atch 17 | 3,063
3 Aug 2016 #3
Yes, and not only that but there is no culture of volunteering or helping the elderly unless they're your own relatives. You know how in the British Isles there are loads of volunteerng groups like Friends of the Elderly, Alone etc. Then there's the services like Meals on Wheels. There are day centres and places for elderly people to meet, get a hot meal, socialise. I don't think there's anything like that here is there? It seems that unless it's organised by the local priest, there's nothing here in the way of support for the needy elderly in the community.
mafketis 23 | 7,867
3 Aug 2016 #4
Yes, and not only that but there is no culture of volunteering or helping the elderly unless they're your own relatives.

Virtually all aspects of civic non-governmental organization were co-opted by the communists and simply dumped and forgotten when communism fell.

For various reasons the catholic church did not really step in to fill the gap either. I remember back in the late 1990s a friend was moving back to the US and wanted to donate a bunch of stuff she had acquired to some charity. She asked a very devout catholic friend about doing so and the friend had no idea what she was talking about. Charity? Tha'ts not what the church is for!

For various other reasons no political party encourages civic engagement either. PiS especially instinctively distrusts any citizen endeavor that they're not in control of.

It seems that unless it's organised by the local priest, there's nothing here in the way of support for the needy elderly in the community.

Polish priests seem to be only concerned with regulating people's church experience and their sex lives, making life outside church better is a very low priority.

This is the biggest flaw of Poland (from my perspective) the big gaping hole where "concern for other people" should be.
Wulkan - | 3,251
3 Aug 2016 #5
You are right, it's almost as bad as in Afghanistan.
dolnoslask 5 | 2,678
3 Aug 2016 #6
" no culture of volunteering or helping the elderly unless they're your own relatives."

This is another thing I don't like about modern day Poland, during the II republic it was common to share what you had with neighbors, my father used to tell me how neighbors would always step up and help if someones crop has failed or the breadwinner of a family was sick, the church did help out in the old days , what has happened to change all this.
mafketis 23 | 7,867
3 Aug 2016 #7
my father used to tell me how neighbors would always step up and help if someones crop has failed or the breadwinner of a family was sick

This is probably rose-colored nostalgia. Though I'm sure it happened more than in the 1990s (for example)

the church did help out in the old days , what has happened to change all this.

A little thing called the PRL. Communism poisoned all human relationships. In addition, the church was in a delicate position and for the protection of all there was kind of a .... wall maintained between priests and the faithful (esp in cities, things were a litlle more relaxed in the countryside). A Polish friend who emigrated to the states was amazed to see priests casually talking to parishoners after mass (she'd never seen anything remotely like it in Poland). A friend attends church where the priest in charge spent years in Canada and he's tried hard to make the church more of a social center than just a place to go for mass, but.... it's a long hard haul.

One thing that saddens me in modern Poland is the lack of basic sympathy at the suffering of others, especially the elderly. Anytime I read an article about an old person in trouble, half the commenters are gloating about how it's their own damn fault and how they have no sympathy for them. Not sentiments they should be flashing around in public.
dolnoslask 5 | 2,678
3 Aug 2016 #8
"This is probably rose-colored nostalgia"

Not really , The information that I have is first hand from someone who lived through those times.

There were Polish priests and nuns in Africa that cared for my mother when she was sick after she was freed from Siberia , in those days the church did care, they were only people prepared to face hardship and the possibility of their own death in the struggle to help others

For many years in my youth I had lost my faith in the church, It was only until later when I was much older mum explained how during their darkest times in the camps the only thing they had was their faith, this helped me to move my focus to balance between making a living for myself and also having a focus to help others.

The church should as a priority help the poor , for sure from what I see in modern day Poland there is much to do, especially for the elderly, the focus has to change.
polishspelling
6 Aug 2016 #9
A Polish friend who emigrated to the states was amazed to see priests casually talking to parishoners after mass

This happens at every Polish church I have ever attended in the UK (at least 10 of them), all of which had priests from Poland - the culture in Poland itself clearly doesn't allow or accept it.

One thing that saddens me in modern Poland is the lack of basic sympathy at the suffering of others, especially the elderly.

Sadly, I am in total agreement. Everyone pretends to care about "babcia" or whoever the unfortunate member of the family is, but I suspect it's far more to do with making sure that the flat is left to them than anything else.

It's my personal experience as well, especially with regard to my mental health problems - even my own mother thinks it's something you can just stop "doing" (like not crossing the road when the lights are red, or something, lol).

It's impossible to explain to the average Pole that mental illness simply can't be just "switched-off", any more than you can just "stop" having cancer or a hernia.
mafketis 23 | 7,867
6 Aug 2016 #10
I suspect it's far more to do with making sure that the flat is left to them than anything else.

Yeah, communism led people to actively wish for the elderly so they'll stop taking up so much prime real estate. Sadly, that mentality has not disappeared. Lessened, but not disappeared.


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