real life

"One day it will be you!" Mum's powerful message about how we treat the elderly.

A mum’s powerful message about how we treat elderly people has gone viral and sparked a discussion about compassion.

Adele Barbaro penned a Facebook post encouraging people to help the elderly after witnessing two older Australians go ignored by others this past week.

“Twice this week, I have watched an elderly individual fade into the busy life in which we all live,” she wrote.

The Melbourne-based mum, who blogs as The Real Mumma, explained that one man asked where he could find the Panadol in a supermarket and was quickly told aisle six.

“But he struggled to navigate the supermarket and as I watched him go in the wrong direction,” Adele said, explaining that she decided to step in and take him to aisle six herself.

Then on Tuesday, she saw an elderly man who had “obviously had a fall” with a scrape and blood on his leg, be completely ignored by others on the street.

“He walked past people in the cafe, while he slowly made his way to his car. Not one person stopped. Or looked. Or acknowledged him.”

“I took him to his car and checked he was ok.

“He told me he had a fall and wasn’t sure how the air con worked in his car so he just didn’t use it.

“I sat with him, until his air con kicked in and heard him talk about the old frail body that he is in, that fails him now, every single day.”

Adele implored others to “take a minute” to ask an elderly person struggling if they need help.

She tried to help others see that stranger is most likely someone’s grandparent, parent or family member – and one day all of us will be in the exact same position.


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“Think about your grandparents and your parents and how p***ed you would be if someone didn’t stop to help them. But more, think of them as you,” she said.

“Once upon a time they were you. They were busy, they had work, they had children, they were able.

“Today, they are just in an older body that is not going as fast as it used to and this busy life is f***ing confusing. They deserve our utmost respect and consideration.

“One day it will be you, it will be us.”

Adele said she hoped more people would acknowledge and care about the elderly.

“I hope someday, not that far away, someone does it for me.”

The post was liked by more than 67,000 people and shared more than 40,000 times in less than 24 hours. It soon became a place for others to share the kind deeds they’d performed for the elderly – perhaps to reassure Adele that not everyone in society was selfish and unobservant.

“Last week a stranger found my dad fainted in the street and stayed with him until an ambulance arrived. The stranger even dropped into my dad’s house a few days later to see how he was. I’m so glad there are people like him and you in this world,” wrote one woman.

But not everyone is so compassionate. A woman named Susan shared the story of how after she closed her till at the supermarket she worked at in order to help a struggling elderly gentleman to his taxi one day, she received a written warning from her manager.

“I took the paper and simply said, ‘one day you will be old, and I hope someone like me takes the risk of being fired and doing a morally right choice by you’,” she wrote.

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