Thursday, 10 December 2015

Being Scared

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We are all frightened by something.
Heights, spiders, things that go bump in the night.
My phobias are all pretty mundane.
But after listening to a sobering radio programme about the cost of social care, I think I want to add one more thing to the list, and that is the thought of becoming chronically ill enough to need nursing home care.
Of course, I'm a long way off such a sad time but the present day number crunching is terribly unfair...presently in the UK if you have something like 22 grand or below in the bank, your local authority will pay around 400 £ a week towards your nursing home care.
If you have assets more than 22 thousand then you will have to pay the fees yourself....and those fees are generally at least 400 £ a month more  than the original £1600 ....
The privately paying patients therefore supplement the council funded places.
Its a crazy system ..absolutely unfair and crazy......and with an ageing and physically more needy population....I can only see the system getting more battered and fragmented

I've said it before and I'll say it again .....come the time Shady Pines beckons, I'm off on the ice flows in a skimpy T shirt

To combat this depressing post , I shall leave you with this facebook photo posted by one of the ladies of the village......her puppy Podrick meeting Mary in the lane.
Note Mary has her Jamie Lee Curtis pink body stocking harness on





93 comments:

  1. I think of that now, that I am widowed .. who will be there for me?
    Although my husband was a lot older than I ... I still felt he would be there for me if I needed anyone. It is hard to change that way of thinking ... hard, sad and scary.
    This might be why old geezers marry young girls .. they are there to take care of them when they are really old geezers :)

    I think you must see a lot of real life examples, in your work.
    I will make my children take care of me .. if I know them, they will find an ice flow ..

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  2. Old age is a pretty scary place....sick and crippled old age is a pure fright.

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  3. But when shady pines is beckoning you might not be of sound mind John...the future as an oap truly can be frightening. That pic of Mary is cute as all get out and as for Jamie Lee....well I could look like that if I wanted (see my nose growing) and that leotard looks like a 'split your personality down below' garment!

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  4. Can I join you on the ice? We can have Ravel's Bolero playing in the background whilst we gently fade away ;-)

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    1. Its a deal ..... We'll hire a mini bus

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    2. Can I come too.

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    3. Ive reserved you a seat

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    4. Me too ! at least we will go laughing .

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  5. I try not t0o think about it. Tho not far off. On another note I love the name Bodrick. Is it Welsh? And/or have a meaning?

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    1. My cousins son is call Podric, its Irish and they pronounce it p-o-rick. Although his Uncle is called Padraig also pronounced P-o-rick. as if you are going to say porridge. I dont know if there is a Welsh version. The internet says it is the English version of Patrick.

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  6. Love love love, the photo of Podrick and Mary the charming internet star.

    cheers, parsnip

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  7. I'll be be already on that ice flow John, if my mind is still intact! I have already had enough of Shady Pines.

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  8. I think an ice flow and a skimpy t shirt an ideal end, if I can't find a skimpy enough t shirt ..... I'll just dress like Jamie ;-)

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    1. That pinks a bit lurid against the white snow

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  9. I've been sick in old age and now am partially crippled. I haven't found it frightening at all. Annoying is more the word, with occasional bouts of frustration when I run upon a task I can't do and have to call someone to help. They sell insurance for assisted care here in the U.S. but everyone claims they don't want to ever have to live that way. I only know one older person who is in assisted care. He has enough money of his own to pay extra for cheerful nurses who coddle him, and kids who pick him up and include him in their activities. He was a little depressed when he lost his ability to walk, but now he has a motorized wheelchair and he's good to go.

    I think the worst thing about old age is that most of us go through our lives putting off travel and fun things, thinking we'll do that in retirement. Then retirement comes and even if we have money, we don't or can't do those things.

    So do everything you want to do NOW, while you can do it. Then when you're old you can sit in a chair all day and look through your photo albums. I was confined to a chair all day 8 years ago. I learned to paint gourds, I read books, and mostly spent time figuring out new ways to make my life work. Old age doesn't have to be scary. You already know the end of the story.

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    1. Wise thoughts Jan. Thank you.

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    2. Thanks Jan, I wish I could show your comment to my MIL. She won't read, do handiwork or even socialize. We bought her a digital photo frame and I regularly update the photos on it. She claims she enjoys this.

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    3. As life changes, we need to turn the page and keep reading. Learning new skills, adopting to the new normal. Go and do what you can today, make the most of what you have to work with.

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    4. Brilliant reasoning Jan. You are spot on. Anna

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    5. Yes jan.... A lesson heard and learnt

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    6. Thank you Jan! It does give us hope.

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  10. I'm with you on the ice. And Mary's outfit is divine.

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  11. I want to wring every last drop of out of this life before I die, but I reserve the right to change my mind if the drops get too bitter. I like how Jan (above) is working to keep her drops sweet and I hope that I can find it in myself to do the same. Very thought provoking post, John.

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    1. It got better by virtue of the comments wilma

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  12. The costs will only rise as we are an aging population. quick buy an old folks home! And then with the amount of people who are willing to become nurses for this being low, there will only be a shortage of spaces in time.

    Plus with some of the awful things that have happened recently with people not caring properly for the elderly in these homes, I will be joining you on the ice.

    We will end up going back to how it was, and still is in many countries where lots of generations live in one house. Makes sense.

    Already told my Nephew, I will pay for you to go to uni, if I can live with you when I am old! lol He is 10. He looked at me like I was a loon so I take that as a no.

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  13. It's always a good idea to get all the maudlin thoughts out of the way before Christmas :)

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    1. Long time no hear!
      Yes, i know where they came from, I was in llandudno yesterday and I watched with interest the old people in the seaside hotels

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  14. Podrick and Mary - Sweet Puppy Lurve! I can already hear the distant pattering of puppy feet... But on a serious note the prospects for old age with personal care are certainly worrisome.

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  15. "Its a crazy system ..absolutely unfair and crazy"

    Have you a better one to suggest, and would you pay any hugely increased taxes that may be required to fund it? Not a snipe, but a genuine question. What would be less crazy?

    And Mary looks far more elegant than Jamie Lee Curtis performing her pelvic floor exercises in public.

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    1. I think we first have to revere our elderly
      We dont do that..... If we did, things would be easier all round

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    2. Revering costs nothing.

      Funding our care as we age costs huge amounts.

      Anyway one has to deserve revering rather than reciving it automatcally. As a nasty cantankerous grumpy old git I won't (or perhaps already don't) deserve it.

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    3. I agree with Andrew. Things are somewhat similar in Canada; nursing care is under provincial jurisdiction and in our province those who have money pay a higher fee (the actual cost of their care) until they are out of money. When they run out of money then they are charged a percentage of their income (old age pension, if that's all they have, which also happens to be taxpayer funded) and are left a small amount monthly for personal needs. The amount they are charged does not even approach covering the cost of their care - but they are cared for anyway. It's not a perfect system but would you have genuinely poor people unable to have care? Or do you really think it's fair for a person to have money of their own and still be subsidized by taxpayers? Until someone comes up with a better system, this one seems fair to me.

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  16. Bugger the ice! I'll stay in my own house if I have to crawl about on my hands and knees - Social Services can fuck off too - I'll just shuffle off UNAIDED thank you VERY much!!.... I feel sorry for the operative who'll have to scrape me up for disposal but I expect they're used to it...

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    1. Go Wanda! :-)

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    2. What Wanda said ...

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    3. Wanda, thats the spirit........ Only removed after a mental health section

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    4. My sister in law is in her 80s and can remember every plot line to every Harlequin Romance she ever read .. I will have her take care of me when I grow too feebleminded ..

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    5. There's more than one plotline? Who knew.

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  17. I have a lot to do with old age now that my MIL lives in the retirement center two blocks from our home. It's frightening to see how ladies (only one man to every 20 women in that home!) whom I socialized with normally, ten years ago, are now frail and using zimmer frames, have Parkinsons and/or Altzheimer's. Our state doesn't pay for anyone who cannot pay for themselves. Their families do this (as we do for MIL) or they subsist in tin shanties at the bottom of our town. Thought-provoking post, John. Bless you!

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  18. Oh, I meant to combat my depressing comment with one on Mary meeting Podrick. She is so cute in that JL harness and seem quite the sociable gal! Podrick looks like a Labrador pup.

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  19. It just occurred to me that our dog also sports the Jamie Curtis look as you can see from my post today.

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  20. Simple. Don't bother to accumulate savings just for the government to take them off you in your twilight years.
    Spend your money - enjoy it having a good time while you can so you've lots of happy memories to dwell upon while you're wetting yourself in your wing-backed chair staring out of the window of the old folks home.

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    1. Thought you would enjoy the photo

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  21. Be afraid, John, be very afraid. Ever think you might not be able to get to the ice flows when the time comes? The whole thing is very scary and lots of us are looking into that prospect now. It just isn't pretty.

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    1. Forget the ice, hit the strong booze, after a bit of fun it will carry you away soon enough and a lot cheaper than rotting in a Hell Home for years. Get your cupboard full of supplies now because you won't be able to fetch them while legless drunk. (Dr. Scott)

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    2. I like Andrews idea.. sorry Dr Scott ..I will take that doctors advice :)

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    3. I like Andrews idea.. sorry Dr Scott ..I will take that doctors advice :)

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  22. Looks like Mary is growing nicely!

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  23. My mother says when Shady Pines beckons she will throw herself off Southend Pier. Which means that as she gets older I feel a slight panic if she's not home when I call.

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  24. Jamie Lee Curtis - hot damn!!
    I'm sure I've still got Trading Places kicking around somewhere....

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  25. I share that fear. And regret that there are no nearby ice floes.

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  26. “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”


    ― Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967

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    1. Good Lord, I love that quote and was actually thinking about it today - I want it as my epitaph (although not for a good many years yet). Anna

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    2. Unfortunately that ride slows down somewhat at the end

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    3. It's a depressing thought. I heard recently that we could all live to 120 years old thanks to wonder drug Metformin! I've been on this for 5 years and still feel knackered!!

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  27. After such a depressing post John, I'm glad you posted the photo of Podrick and little Mary - what a sweet pair they make.
    The last comments by Travel are definitely the way we all ought to be able to go !

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  28. Sweetest puppies. Mary looks completely adorable in her Jamie Lee outfit x

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  29. My biggest worry is what will happen to my hair !!!!Will there be someone to take me to get it permed or will it just grow long and straight and awful? Perhaps they'll put it up in a pony tail ??? I'm going to start looking around for a t-shirt to wear out on the ice flow.

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    1. Buy a wig, it did wonders for cher

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    2. I have seen so many women in nursing homes who have had someone cut their hair like a mans haircut. Awful. Just because you are old/ancient and pitiful, doesn't mean you have lost your femininity or care if you look nice or not.
      I will go out with my hair brushed and lipstick on ..

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  30. I wonder if they have a hairdresser at Shady Pines ???

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  31. My grandmother was in her 80s, lived with one of her daughters and loved going to the Senior Center each week to "play cards with the girls" ...She loved music and listened to the radio and would talk about the news etc ... she was tiny bright and very breakable.
    So breakable that when the Senior citizens bus crashed, she was the only one who died .. all her little bones broke.
    She was in her 80s and had been discussing the possibility of flying to Arizona to see one of her grandchildren.
    She always talked about the future .. what she was going to do or see or where she would go. She never talked about her life as being just there .. she talked like we do and young people do .. that is what I am going to try to do .. be like her.

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    1. Bittersweet and so sad

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    2. It really was sad .. considering that tiny woman had been through an amazing amount of tragedy and had countless grand and great grandchildren and every one of them adored her. Her later years were sweet and full of love .. that is some comfort there ..

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  32. Summer, 2017... a month in Scotland with the in laws; a weekend set aside for meeting a few blog friends whom I adore. A round of holidays later in the year followed by a nice stroll into a polar vortex. Ice floes? No thanks, I'd probably slip on the ice and break a hip, spending my last hours in a good deal of discomfort.

    Cheers!

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  33. Will shuttle off to Attalos hotel in Athens, cost less than £200 a week
    Amazing view of Acropolis, family run cosy, will get lift to roof top terrace n drink wine n eat olives. Order souvlaki n smile.

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    1. Is it shady because of all the trees or shady characters ?

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  34. Mary, you look delightful. As for the end of days, Willy Dunne Wooters and I have an agreement. We'd better go at the same time, or one of us will be stuck.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Please, I beg of you, take the verification thing off your blog. I can click on the box, but I can't always see what's in the tiny pictures. Then I have to face more rejection.

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  35. No way I will end upon a nursing home!. I,m a nurse, no no no.
    Hotel in sunshine fine, paying extra for wet bed sheets , or someone to shower me fine. That's assuming I don,t get dementia , then all bets are off, send me to America n shoot me.

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  36. Athens is not Corfu, but I could handle shady pines in sunshine. With a pool, n chef same cost as UK

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  37. My gran was in a nursing home was dying, told me she wanted to go over the Tay road bridge , eat fish n chips with me. Nursing home was aghast, but I managed to get her that last wish. Ordered private ambulance , gran heard the sound of the waves, ate just a tiny bit of fish , drunk 2 sips of sherry but was was what she wanted. She died 6 hours later . Glad I could carry out her last wish :).

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    1. Oh how bittersweet that is ! /What a lovely grandaughter you are !

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  38. My biggest fears involve turning into my mother who suffered from dementia / alzheimers, had horrible reactions to medication, and who wavered between being a nasty piece of work and a repetitive relatively content woman. I would not wish that on my worst enemy. Now it is my husband and I who are subsidising his mother who has dementia. Seriously, ice flow, not a bad idea!

    On a different note- oh my god, you actually remembered Jamie Lee Curtis in Perfect? (and that she wore a pink leotard???) That's incredible. -Jenn

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    1. Its the kind of shit i remember...i am such a sad sack

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  39. The lucky people have a quick heart attack in their 80's when no one is around to revive them. We all want to go gently into the night and not be dependent on machines or expensive services.

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  40. I wonder how many of us have a firm plan in mind, and then how many of those plans are scuppered by a well meaning relative? I do have my own ice flow in mind.

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  41. You know, 2nd Man and I often wonder about this. We don't have kids...and thus won't ever have Grandchildren...I have no family left and he has a brother (who is a couple years older). Who takes care of us? Who do we leave our 'stuff' to?

    We're often reminded of the touching and tear jerking scene at the end of the movie Bicentennial Man...we do have insurance plans here in the states that cover you for expenses in those situations but they are expensive and all the money you put it might not ever even be used.

    Things to think about. Damn....no ice flows in these parts of the country...when the time comes, hopefully not for 35 more years, maybe I'll just go out to a great tree on the farm, lay down and sleep...for eternity.

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    1. I think we would all like to go like that..or sitting on the porch with a blanket on our knees

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  42. When our friend's dog comes to stay, they bring all her kit and that includes a JLC harness. We never use it she has to go out with us wearing a collar. However, she 'borrows' one of our dog's that has our telephone number on - just in case.
    As to the ice flow (getting crowded now) that would be a good idea just as long as all the dogs have been catered for.

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  43. luckily my mother & my mother in law are both doing very well in their own homes. Love Mary's outfit rather more than Jamie Lee's !

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  44. Oh, Lord, that body stocking is SCARY. (The second one.)

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  45. I'm with you on the ice floes. But I'll be wearing that pink body stocking.

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  46. Hopefully by the time I get there (pushing 70 now) we'll have reached "Soylent Green" with nice places to voluntarily "go home" when we know it's time (best part of the movie).

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  47. It worries me too. I hope I never see those kinds of worries and troubles, but if I do, can I reserve a spot on the ice as well? Maybe just come to Canada, we have LOTS of ice in the winter.

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  48. I read this yesterday and could not finish it nor comment it. It is sadly even worse here. I will not tell the stories of Dad's care After we could no longer safely keep him at home.

    Then I gave your post another go and was absolutely delighted with your ending. Thank you.

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  49. This comment has been removed by the author.

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