Tuesday, 18 December 2012

What's Going To Happen To Us All? eh?

I had just gotten stuck in to the mountain of papers that are Chris' expense forms, when the phone went.
It was a friend of a lady from the village who I had visited earlier in the day.
"Could I pop round and re set the boiler settings?"
"She's pressed the buttons and we're not sure if things are working properly" the friend explained
It wasn't a problem, I was happy to go around.
Now before the more sensitive of you start reaching for the "aren't you an angel!" buttons on your computer keyboard....DON'T...calling around to help this lady who has recently suffered a marked deterioration in her memory and abilities due to a stroke, is something quite a few of the villagers are doing at the moment.....so please don't mark me out to be some sort of Florence Nightingale.....it's just that the whole situation around Christmas and this lady that has gotten me thinking about Chris and I.
When we are frail and in need.
Who will be around to help us re set the boiler when our little grey cells have magically forgotten just how to do it?
The answer is a worrying one.....
As two ageing old Queens with no kids we are effectively and practically "on our own".

I couldn't help thinking about this especially when it has come to our attention that the lady in question will be on her own Christmas day. She has a family living away, but because of reasons unknown they will not be visiting until Boxing day. Or so goes the story.
Not to step onto any toes if this rather sad fact was not indeed true, I wrote down on a pad that Chris and I would call around on Christmas day with a drink and "Something nice from Marks to share!"
( for those that don't know "Marks" is indeed "Marks and Spencer" THE place that anyone of a certain age would go for superior Christmas Nibbles!!!!).
The note which I placed on the lady's "pottering around trolley" would be a reminder to her and to any family or visitors that we would do so. I also left our telephone number on the pad.
If family or other friends have arranged things for the day, fine and dandy.... that means more nibbles for us!, if not.....well it's only a couple of hours out of our day.

I pray we remain healthy and able well into our dotage.

I want to be like Auntie Glad ( without the shampoo and set)
Fiercely independent and "with it" .

.............I don't want to worry about who will come and re set the boiler.

59 comments:

  1. We should all be more neighbourly. Last winter, during the snow I popped to see all my elderly neighbours & left my phone number with each of them.

    Strangely the only thing I was asked to help with was to put a post op stocking back on a man who'd taken it off in the night & his wife too weak to help put it back on !

    I thought the kids or I would be asked to pick up groceries or prescriptions but most of these neighbours had food delivered from the local grocer.

    Some years my mother chooses to spend Christmas alone as finds it too much to travel to my brother's or us. This year husband is collecting her Christmas day & taking her home on Boxing day. She doesn't like staying over now but the offer of our bedroom clinched the deal !

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  2. You know I'm not one of your Florence Nightingale brigade but I do have to say, as somebody working very closely in the field of dementia with two organisations at the moment, that this is a lovely gesture.

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    1. I know I do "tell you off" for always being around with a waspish comment.. so I do appreciate what you say x

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    2. Let's be honest though - waspish is what I do best...

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  3. This is a difficult one for me. I'm not visiting my elderly aunt on Christmas Day, she will be on her own. However, I am taking the grandchildren around, with crackers and party food, gifts and a little tot of sherry for her (she can't be trusted with a whole bottle) on Christmas Eve. We did the Christmas Day trip last year, it took 3 hours with the travelling - while we were there all she was interested in was the television...

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  4. Surely someone in the village will invite her for Christmas lunch. I couldn't bare the idea of someone, especially elderly, being alone; unless of course she preferred it that way.

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    1. The truth could be very different from what I indeed think I know cro...One the surface she seems "ok" with her family plans....but I would not feel ok with not "making some sort of effort"

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  5. It used to worry and upset me every Christmas when I worked in day services, that the elderly ladies I supported would be (mostly) alone at Christmas, but some of them all year round, with no family to sort out their many little problems and fix things. They are so vulnerable to the dishonest. I'm heartened to know that's not the case in Trelawnyd where there is much more a sense of community. I'm sure it's to do with living in a village where people know one another and look out for each other.

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  6. I'm currently working with the over 65s and at times it's bloody heartbreaking.

    Saying that last christmas I poped round to see one of my clients on the way to my mums to take them a box of quality streets only to be grumpily met at the door and informed he was "bloody fed up of people coming round and giving me stuff".

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  7. The important thing is to decide your future while you can and not to have it thrust upon you.

    No matter what you say, you are angelic queens!xx

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  8. with no rellies or children we'll be alone in our dotage too (next week I fear the way we're going), but at least having the cachet of being an "old gay and with an acerbic wit" you'll be popular with your young male carers, whilst we'll be relegated to the non-English-speaking (probably non-speaking full stop)Cruellas, who'll hit us and place our food out of reach.
    Now I've thoroughly depressed myself I'll go wrap some pressies. Ho ho ho.

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  9. I don't know, John, I think a shampoo and set is just what you need sometimes after feeding the menagerie in the pouring rain, slipping on your arse in mud while mucking out and generally getting filthy up to the eyeballs!

    Checking up on your frailer neighbours is nothing less than we have all come to expect from you John. If you are worried abut who will look after you in your dotage, I think you will have even more friends by then. Alternatively, you could always adopt. Just don't tell them you vote Ukip...

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  10. Don't fret John .... I have already warned the girls that the chicken man is getting on in years and may soon begin to display signs of eccentricity which may possibly be a sign of early dementia ....then eve saw you out and about in the village in your winter attire and questioned whether it had already begun to happen ..... She said she would feed the chickens for you !!!!

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  11. When I look at your comments and followers, I bet there would be several hundred volunteers who would move in to Trelawnyd in your dotage, so they could pop round and wipe your bum and set your boiler. The trouble is, you probably won't remember who they are... (frail voice from behind bolted door): "Go away..."

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  12. For those of us without children it is a scary thought. I am hoping that my mind outlasts my body - but have my doubts already.

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  13. I heard years ago of some organisation that arranged for young people to adopt a grandad or grandma. Could be useful!

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  14. Just because people have kids doesn't mean that the kids will be there for them in old age does it John? Let's hope that if you are ever in need, the social conscience of society will be focused on helping you and indeed on all of us!

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  15. Train the dogs in boiler maintenance...?

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  16. You are a good person. And for the future at least you and Chris have each other. One hopes you won't both fall apart at the same rate. I am a good deal older than you and do not have a Chris is my life so I think about this often. I have many good friends and will go into assisted living when I have to. Not great but beats the alternative!
    What a depressing way to start the day!
    Cheers Peter

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  17. good deeds are always paid back and all the good deeds you do will certainly be repaid in the future, so no worries there.

    Gill

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  18. Me too, John, me too.

    And you are an angel, so there. :P

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  19. Would that we could all be like Auntie Glad at her age, complete with shampoo and set. Whenever I see her, she is always beautifully dressed, with her hair done and with her dangly earrings in! Stood next to some of our younger villagers at the bus stop opposite our house, she puts them to shame in their hoodies, tracksuit bottoms and trainers. Trelawnyd is such a friendly village that I'm sure that many villagers (probably led by Auntie Glad) will keep an eye on you and Chris when the time comes!!

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  20. Yes, that's a very kind gesture on your part to an old lady who may well appreciate a Christmas Day visit. On the other hand, as Dan says, some people actually prefer to be on their own, so we should be careful to check that barging in with some treats and cheery chat is genuinely welcome....

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  21. Keep on giving John . . . It'll come back to you one day x

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  22. Be kind to those younger relatives! They may be your future one day or like you say you may be as spry and alert as Auntie Glad to the the old age stage. You and Chris hold on to each other live for the here and now as none of us know what the future holds. That little village will never let you down.

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  23. What goes around comes around and the kindness that you have shown to others will be repaid when you are older. Don't worry about it. Somebody will be there for you just as you have been there for others. Especially in a rural community, that is how it goes.

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  24. Chris and I are planning to move to a retirement residence...we're going to host "Martini Nights"...you and Chris would be most welcome.
    Jane x

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  25. I think we should all reserve places at The Home for The Deranged and take care of each other in our dotage!

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  26. Getting older is a horrifying concept. There is a limit to how much an average older person can afford to have done for them and what happens when we can't remember that it needs to be done? Even those of us with children have our concerns.

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  27. I agree with Jacqueline! We should all start a childless old age commune that we could bring our pets to, and then we could all be old and crazy together! That would be awesome! LOL

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    1. Too much shit to clear up with that
      Many in one place .....and then there's the animals as well

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    2. A COMMODE tastefully screened by a chicken coop would suffice

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    3. I like this idea... now if only I could get there.

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  28. I have one daughter (a nurse like her mama) and three sons and they have my diaper years all planned. They will make the big money to PAY their big sister to do all the dirty work. She has already come up with a fee schedule for them. As for you and Chris. You are welcome here. Plenty of room at the South Pork Ranch Inn

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  29. When I'm too old for a motorised wickerwork bath-chair I'm going to steal a Ferrari and drive it over Beachy Head!

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  30. Having just gone through a very stressful situation with 6 siblings,concerning the placement of my father in a veterans home, I wouldn't wish that experience on any child of mine. There are good places out there for most aging people when it is needed and family should not be expected, I feel, to do this. In our culture it is not a guarantee (like is mostly is in some Asian cultures) that we will be looked after by family.So make those 'reservations' now for your future!!!
    John, I think there will be a population boom in Trelawnyd once your good deeds get out!!!

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  31. I've been thinking about this, too. Most of my neighbours who help me now when Himself is away and i need an extra pair of hands are older than i am; some by only several years, but others nearly a generation older.

    We've discussed this at my knitting group, but again, i'm the youngest, so no guarantees that any of my fellow knitters would be in a place to help me out should i go dotty. Unless i beat the rush and start losing it now.

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  32. John, my hope is that by doing things for our non-relative elders now, someone will be there to do for us later. Now, that's faith at its best, eh? Lane

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  33. Is that photo of Aunt Glad or the actress Frances Sternhagen?

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    1. frances sternhagen sparrow
      one of my fav actresses!

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    2. ps she will be playing gladys in TRELAWNYD THE MOVIE

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    3. OOH who will play you John?

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  34. This question has been brought up several times by my husband and I.
    A life well lived and a positive attitude is what we are counting on. Faith in our fellow man to step up and check in on a couple of old men. That and an escape plan when things get bad enough.

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  35. When I get there, I shall climb into old Vivian my Volvo (33 yrs. old) with a bottle of my finest Scotch and drive her into the fish pond. Now where did I put those keys?

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  36. Replies
    1. sounded like you needed one

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    2. Thanks, John. I wish I could.

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  37. Oh John, you've hit a nerve with this post. I don't have children and I live alone...and I'm getting older every day. I just hope my mind outlast my body, but like Elephant's Child I'm starting to have my doubts. (Now where did I put those car keys...)

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  38. This worries me as well John. My hubby is already in full time care with dementia leaving me on my own. Only sibling is Cro on the other side of the world. Hopefully old age is a long way off.

    This year the two ladies on their own that I would have had to Christmas dinner are both going away to their families so that is nice for them.

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  39. I think when I get to that age I am going to do what any self respecting septuaginarian does and follow Silvio Berlusconi's example and get me some hot Italian tottie to check the setting on my boiler.

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    1. oh lord we are hurtling towards "Carry On the elderly"
      here.... good to see you again Mr Bloggs

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  40. I don't think you need to worry either of you. The kind of person you already are will attract kindness in turn (doesn't it already?) And from my experience and observations Family can create tension around Christmas. Something that I shamelessly cultivate in the hope of a less lonely old age is the company of people younger than myself - and living in a small community, yeah keep that up :-)

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  41. I hear you Loud and Clear, John...we are in the same boat because Jim`s sibs are so unconnected even though they would say they were connected and my brother lives 4000 miles away, so....I can only hope I know how to turn up the heat (if I even have any) and boil some water...:-(

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  42. Since we have no neighbors, I just hope we're all still blogging so I can post about it, and maybe someone can remind me, or walk me through it... :-)


    THANKS for the Christmas wishes! I'm surprisingly in the holiday mood for a change!

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  43. John, I've been thinking those things too, since we got here to Louisiana and hubby has started having more medical problems.
    I worry about that a lot.
    Here is praying that you and Chris (and all of us, really!) will live to be very much like Auntie Glad!

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  44. I hope that I grow older quite disgracefully and when its time to kick the bucket, I want to be found holding a good book and my wine glass empty on the side table.And if I lose my mind--as Hubby says, that's ok, each day will be a new beginning!!!

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  45. John, I came across this and thought of you: http://cheezburger.com/6867020544

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  46. You reap what you sow John....you won't be alone and needy x

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  47. As Lady M and Claire have said, I would banish that concern from your be-beanied head John. People don't really change as they get older. There will be plenty of visitors for you. By then I may be living up the road myself, and will toddle down wrapped in tinsel each 25th. Ha.

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