Friday, 31 July 2015

No One


A poster supporting the work of age concern 
I saw it on one of the kent trains

" No one to say good morning to
No one to bless you when you sneeze,
No one to take tea with
Or whiskey, for that matter.
No one on the end of a phone.
No one to share anything with,
a cake, a laugh or a problem.
No one to make one day
any different from the rest.
No one to turn to.
No one, but no one
should have no one."



50 comments:

  1. Indeed. My friend Nicola in Buckingham volunteers for an organisation that puts on afternoon teas for older people, it sounds like a hoot and it really works to get them out and finding out what they need and such like. There by the grace of God...

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  3. I really feel for people who suffer from loneliness. Most people can call on services for company or services, but that can't replace someone at home with whom you can discuss daily trivialities and ensure your own view of whatever is balanced. Oh, and sharing whisky! Most important when the world needs 'sorting'.

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  4. I think the poster resonated with me so much because I have just had a lovely time in Briadstairs with the Prof
    WITH being the operative word

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  5. Until recently, I had my beautiful Cocker to ward off any loneliness I may have felt. And I felt it rarely. Being what most would call a strong and independent person, I'm surprised at how the lack of a living, breathing (and snoring!) presence in the house changes all that. I vowed never to get another dog as they break your heart when they go. But after just a few short weeks, I'm wavering.

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    1. So many dogs are in need of a loving home and you sound like just the person to provide one. Yes, they absolutely break your heart when they go, but they also give so much love while they're with us. They also give us company, give us plenty of exercise and get us out and about to meet people while on our walks. If you aren't at home all day, how about paying someone for a half hour dog walk during the day. Some people who previously owned a dog and miss walking a dog but don't want the tie of owning one again, would probably love to do this. Or there are professional dog walkers. I dog walked for 6 years.

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    2. Good advice Susan M..x

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    3. Do you have an animal shelter nearby that you could foster for? I am considering it as we lost a dog a few months ago and are not really sure of the commitment as we travel frequently. , They pay for any medical treatment as necessary, you have a companion that doesn't have to wait for a forever home in a cage. you can walk it, and train it to make it a better pet for someone else. And if you fall in love and decide to keep it, you already know the animal and its quirks and habits.

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  6. So poignant. I do hope I'm there enough for the people around me that need someone to call on.

    And Ninaschen, why don't you get a little rescue dog, an elderly one that no one else will be looking for and make it's final months or years on this planet lovely ones. I've heard of someone else who does this and it's changed her life.

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    1. That's a lovely idea and I've thought a bit about approaching the local vet clinic about fostering. I'm still working full-time so probably not practical right now - it won't be long until I'm an 'old-aged pensioner' and home more often, so maybe then. xx

      PS my vet clinic sent me flowers when my Pandy went. How lovely was that? She was a special girl and they thought so, too.

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    2. Www.oldies.org.uk
      Will break your heart how many gorgeous, older dogs have been waiting for a home. Please have a look. You could make such a difference to a little hairy soul. Xxx

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  7. Elderly men in particular have it bad. They are often reluctant to attend the day centres as its "all bloody bingo".

    The slow extinction of the local pubs has left many of these people with no where to go.

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  8. That's the sort of vow you should break Ninaschen. Yes they hurt us when they go, but oh how dreary life is without one... or two... or three.

    My mum lives next door and I see her at least once nearly every day. It still isn't enough. As the poster says, no-one to share her day to day stuff with, not since her partner died four years ago. I try but I'm just not the same. I did accompany her a few times down to the local community centre where they do things every day, and not just for oldies either, though these days most younger people here are too busy paying off their mortgages to manage any sort of social time. I am hoping she'll settle in and want to keep going. Once a week is a coffee morning, and a few older people said the same thing to me, "It's just light chat, you know, but it's very important to come."

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    1. Thanks TLM. Yes, life is dreary without them and yes I will probably break that vow eventually. They leave a huge hole, don't they? Thanks for your thoughts. xx

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  10. A sobering thought.

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  11. I am lucky enough to attend a craft group of ladies of a certain age. I'm the baby at 49, the oldest stopped counting at 80. They are the kindest, funniest bunch of gals you could wish to meet. Their humour would make a sailor blush and their tales of life in the "olden days" are fascinating. Thay have so much to offer and give it freely. I wish more people had access to this kind of gentle companionship.

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    1. I would so love that group of gals!

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    2. They would make you very welcome, especially if you bring cake!

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    3. Heh, same here! At 49, I took my mum along to the local UFO craft group, and found myself the youngest, and the oldest was in her mid 80's and working hard on crocheted afghans for all her great grandkids! They were very welcoming. I'd keep going myself since I'm a mad crocheter, but I have perfume issues and they were well doused. :)

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  12. My ex ran off when I was 51 and although I was/am still working I did wonder about being alone and "fat, 50 and menopausal". While I am extremely happy with my own company I can see that never getting to chat to others can/could be very hard. Then a colleague told me about "solos" holidays (there are quite a few companies to chose from). They are designed for people who, for whatever reason, travel solo. Some are single, many are widowed, some - like me - are divorced, and some are married but their other half won't travel. Now I am not shy but my first trip (to Turkey) was a revelation. A great age range and such fun. There were quite a few nervous widows who had taken the brave step of giving it a go and I have to say they were a great bunch once they realized it wasn't so bad after all. I have just booked my 5th trip of this kind and I LOVE them. If you are looking for love I would say forget it (although one man did propose to a lady he met on such a trip while we were in Machu Picchu)! But if you like other people's company they are great. I particularly like the older ladies who can be such a hoot and have I have made a few real friends. The oldest I met was a widower of 90 while in Croatia (the youngest on that trip was 34 so you can see the age range). And good old Bill (the 90-year old) said he had had the time of his life. On my last trip (to Cuba) one of the chaps nodded at a "couple" sitting at dinner and said "they haven't said a word to each other in over an hour, and here we are talking the hind end off a donkey". He also said that some of his mates actually envied him! So, if it is physically and financially possible I would say give it a go. Who knows, maybe I will meet you on my next trip. Anna

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    1. Loneliness can happen at any age but as we get older, and life happens, it is important to get involved with others through groups and organizations. I have found that through helping others, I help myself.

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    2. Cool! am hoping to encourage my mum to do a few of these as she loves to travel. She has me to mind her dogs, so why the heck not? :)

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  13. this poster makes me think of auntie glad and mrs. trellis. I hope they are not feeling like this.

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  14. In the small town where my family and I lived until we moved to the family farm, there was a small nursing home on the street behind our house and a number of elderly couples or widows who lived around and about. Every week I did my rounds, and several times a week during summer holidays. No one told me I should or insisted I do so... I'd just always enjoyed the company of older people, still do.
    These days I understand why they were so willing to put up with me.

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  15. There is a world of difference between being alone and being lonely.

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  17. When my mum became housebound we moved her in with us, but as we were both still working full time and son was away at Uni, she was alone during working hours. It was tiring having her talking all evening when we finally got home, but we understood why. She said it was the little things that she missed most, having someone to share a cuppa with, being able to comment on a news article to someone, just ordinary day to day stuff.
    Owing to my job, I've had a lot of contact with elderly , often newly bereaved people, and am acutely aware of how huge a problem loneliness is for them.
    Now I'm retired I make a point of dropping in to visit the 'oldies' in our village, we have a natter, often a game of cards when they annihilate me, and a cuppa! I've been told that I have the 'magic touch' with old folk, but all I do is remember that they haven't always been old and frail, there's nothing that younger people do that they haven't done before us!
    I have a vast repertoire of mucky jokes, 90% of which were gleaned from people over eighty, and in three cases two women and a man all over ninety two! These people lived through WW2, and have a reservoir of knowledge and experience just waiting to be tapped.
    Admittedly, some old people can be cantankerous and tetchy, but I think a lot of that is caused by loneliness and isolation.
    We'll all be old one day (hopefully) so should all stop and think what we'd want if we were completely alone!

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  18. Even with someone you can feel alone...I think it's a matter of mind. I have always been with someone but there have been times I have felt all alone. I do worry about the very elderly and wonder where their minds roam and then think what could have brought them to that point. Guess we all need to make a difference in the lives of others where we can.

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  19. Sounds like me. Apart from talking to my pussies and a weekly telephone call to my sister (just for maybe 5 -10 mins) there's no one at all in my life. (Well, okay, there are my valued blogger-pals too, but you know what I mean).
    Cro Magnon, above, is so right that he says it twice. There's an enormous difference between being alone and being lonely. I prefer to be, and actually LOVE being alone. But advancing yet further towards inevitable senility I'm really terrified about the time when I can't manage for myself. Then the regrets about having no one to turn to, or even just to talk to, will really kick in big time.

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    1. I agree with you. I was so relieved when my ex left and there was no more fighting and screaming. But I did have to watch out that in case I would end up like Psycho's mother - dead, sitting in a rocking chair and covered in cobwebs - as I was so happy just to have peace in my life. I had to force myself to go out and eventually I think you find the groups of people or interests that tick the right boxes for you. Hard work though. Anna

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    2. I also agree. Sometimes I go an entire week without speaking (except online) to another human being. Once in a while I stop and ask myself why I'm not lonely, then I have to go out and feed and water all my animals. In the winter I'm off almost every weekend to a poultry show, where many of my friends are also geezers. I don't miss daily human company, though. For once my life is totally my own.

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    3. And I thought you lived in Brighton. You can never be lonely in Brighton. I should know!

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    4. I did live In Brighton for the seven years up to 2000, C.M. but my time there was every bit as friendless as since coming here to Worthing. But at least in B'ton there's always some event happening on the streets or on the seafront, which is more than can be said for where I now am. Apart from necessary shopping and the occasional cinema visit there's no reason to go out the door here..

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  20. A salutory poem John - and so true.

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  21. It's too early to cry, John! A sad but true poem.

    Hope you and the Prof are having a wonderful time. Long over due I might add.

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  23. Why doesn't he turn on the TV? You have always got a friend in Jeremy Kyle or those loquacious "Loose Women". Reading a good book can also be a nice diversion. I will not even mention hermits.

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  24. How poignant, and probably more common than we give thought to.
    ~Jo

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  25. Oh my...must be the day for making me cry!
    How sad!!
    hughugs

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  26. I meet many elderly people while out walking each day. I always stop and talk to them and let them fuss over the dogs (many of them were dog owners previously and miss their dogs, but don't want to replace them in case they live longer than the owners) and soon forget about the age difference. I've come to the conclusion that folk are folk and old people are just young people with white hair and wrinkles, still the same underneath as they've always been. They always have such interesting stories and I love to hear them. With so many people out working full time now, communities have emptied during the day and there are fewer people around to chat to.

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  27. The poster certainly achieved its purpose. Look how many are already discussing it here.

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  28. I always seem to attract the lonely elderly persons. I make the effort to stay and converse with them as I can tell when they need the connection. An extra ten minutes out of my day is not as important as listening. They usually are really grateful for the talk time too. Hey, I'm right behind them in line and usually alone, so I might be that way too one day.

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  29. I don't find it easy to talk to people I don't know - heck, sometimes I don't find it easy to talk to people I DO know - but with the elderly I'm always glad I did. As I get older myself, I see myself in these other, older bodies and understand what other commenters have already said: only the bodies have changed (and, well, sometimes the minds) - they're still young people inside ... just like me.

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    1. I was talking to an elderly lady one day and she said she is sometimes surprised when she looks in the mirror and wonders who that old person looking back at her is!

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  30. Apologies for not answering all comments ...been a but busy x

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  31. On of my jobs at the doctors surgery is to ring over 75 yr old patients and offer them health checks. I'm pleased to say a lot of them find it difficult to squeeze in an appointment in between all their social outings and hobbies. Sometimes you can sense if they want a chat and so I make sure I stay on the line for a little while, as far as I can when the job allows. Some patients I am starting to recognise when they come in and I greet them by name which they seem to like. Just little things.
    Lisa x

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  32. I was married to my husband since I was 21. We were going to celebrate our 41st anniversary last November.
    He was all I ever needed, he was my best friend, my lover, he taught me, he made me laugh, he watched over me and he was supposed to be with me until I was at least 99 years old.
    But thanks to a crap doctor in Albany NY .. my healthy sweet husband died .. suddenly and shockingly one morning .. I have been in shock ever since .. I am starting to get better but the thing is .. I will have to grow old alone. He used to talk about our being old together and he would make it sound like something to look forward to, to have something to laugh with at the end of the day .. Now I don't know what will happen .. I guess I will wait and see ..

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