Recently, my family was made aware of an unfortunate article in the Zachary newspaper titled “The Lady in the Little Pink House." It appears as if the purpose of the article was to be a tribute to a senior in the community, Mrs. Iris Young. As Mrs. Young’s granddaughter, I appreciate the intention. However, in truth, the only things the article accomplished was to offend those truly loyal to Mrs. Young and to deeply wound the lady herself.
Specific and loaded descriptors regarding my grandmother’s health were used. Simply put, these characterizations bear absolutely no relationship with the truth. Mrs. Young does not suffer from any sort of cognitive disorder nor is she receiving specialized care. The plain facts are that she is still fit as a fiddle and sharp as a tack.
It is true that Mrs. Young was recently under the weather. However, that little dip in her health was related to diet and medication; not a compromise in brain function. The recent illness was remarkable only for its insignificance. She is visiting Delaware, as she often does, to be with her family for holiday fun. The “little pink house” is still her home.
It is important to note Mrs. Young worked for many years as a nurse at Lane Memorial Hospital; in the nursing home. She was fastidious to ensure the highest quality medical attention was given while respecting everyone’s need for dignity. My grandmother would be happy to offer her insight into the gravity of dementia and the effect it has on entire families.
However, my grandmother is not to be used as walking advertisement for dementia awareness. It is a misrepresentation of her and a disservice to families who are actually facing that reality.
It is disheartening that a woman who dedicated herself to protecting the dignity of others was treated with such disrespect herself. It is a cruel injustice to say the least. Iris Young is not an elderly woman with a withered mind and body. She is lovely, wise and generous. She is a role model and mentor. She is a safe harbor and an advocate. These attributes more accurately describe the woman today.
Those who know her best can attest to Mrs. Young’s profound affection for the town of Zachary. That is why the sting of this article is so acute. Even at 93, it does not feel good to be misrepresented so egregiously. Irrevocable damage can be wrought by propagating misinformation with little regard to the feelings of others.
You and your contributors are responsible for hurting the least deserving. While I accept that you had no reason to doubt the veracity of the information you received, the delivery of that information is both startling and disturbing.
Tribute articles, particularly the accompanying photo captions, need to be edited through a more sensitive filter.
*The Zachary Plainsman-News wishes to apologize to Iris Young and her family for any confusion, misunderstanding or harm the above-mentioned article may have caused.
The Plainsman would like to add that the article originated and was published at the request of a family member, as was the information and quotes contained in it.*