Over the past weeks I have had several reasons to reflect on how we care for our elderly and supporting them has been top of the agenda. Talking recently to my Chairman of our local charity to help the elderly; we compared the UK with how other countries hold their elderly in such high regard and we could do more I’m sure.
I am of the age where friends’ parents are becoming frail, sometimes in and out of hospital, sometimes having to make the difficult decision to leave their homes and move into a nursing home. As it is the Stroke Association’s purple awareness month I must of course mention stroke survivors and dependent upon the severity may have no option but move to full time care.
As with most things in life we tend to focus on the negative reports, but as I expressed to a friend today they can be useful in helping us be aware and cautious enough to ask more questions. Not all nursing homes are dreary places, but nice decor aside it’s the staff’s attitude that’s paramount in us feeling certain our loved ones will be as happy as the circumstance permits but more importantly safe.
What I always find sad is those people who have fought to keep their independence and are very bright and positive are suddenly faced with losing their independence and sometimes left without feeling active in the decisions being made around them.
I have visited a nursing home today but not naming for many reasons but it made me realise that maybe I should be doing a bit more for the elderly as well as my pro-activity already and more recent focus on teens. Today’s experience thankfully was a positive one though even if it did remind me of visiting my own Mother in a hospice.
A friend shared his own Father’s advice today:
‘As you grow older you realise you have two hands; one for helping yourself and one for helping others.’
A sentiment I agree with wholeheartedly and of course there is nothing as strong as the heart of a volunteer.
Not forgetting of course those who have moved to that next place -location depends on your viewpoint. My Mother is on her beach in heaven making everybody smile.