The Old Age Home?

This blog kind of follows on from LoneRogue's last blog and some of the replies it inspired.  We all know that sometimes 'the home' is  perhaps the only answer. That said most people view the notion with distaste. Number one it is not 'a home', not your home. You will have to fit into an alien time table, go to bed when they want you to, eat what they want you to and when they want you to. You will be expected to play cards, watch the TV programs that everyone else wants, or the channel the staff chose and no one can change it.

Then all those worthy people who will come and "entertain" bless their hearts and I really do bless them.  I've never sought to find  sing-along groups to join in my life so why at 70-80s should I suddenly want to?  I would much prefer to live alone even if it were a little dangerous for me to do so, I'll take the risk. Allow me do my own thing, I'd like the radio, TV, computer and an animal companion.  The odd visitation from a live person will keep me going. That is fine for me with my personality.

Other people have much greater need of human interaction and I feel for them if loneliness is forced upon them because it works against their personality and they will be unhappy.  Too often authority and relatives force an elderly person into care because it suits them, not the elderly person. They don't want to feel guilty if anything should happen to an old person on their own, they don't even want to have to think about the old person, so let's put them in a "deposit box" and then we do not have to think. I will repeat, I do recognize that sometimes the 'depository', is the best place for various reasons but not always.

On the  other hand  a very outgoing  social type of person  may well love living in a home.  It would be nice if there were more help available to help an independent type. I think self drive cars will be a wonderful thing for the elderly, so please engineers, get on with them please. So long as a person is functioning  I think they have a right to chose their life style. All this was brought mind  when a male friend of mine was  made to feel so guilty about living alone , by his relatives, that he eventually went in a local home. He is miserable and is losing interest in life. He misses his cat, he misses his little vegetable garden. He was fit for his age and he had things to do. I got to know him because he asked me to teach him how to paint watercolours. Not allowed to paint in the home?! Relatives that live a distance away like to think of him "safe" in the home, it makes them feel good.

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Published in Home & Family


  1. starlette

    Hi Rock, my dad ended up in a care home because he was assessed as not being able to look after himself suffiently, in actual fact his meals were taken to him by family and my daughter went to clean for him, but he had the odd black out so a care home it was, I couldn’t take him because at the time I lived in a house with steep stairs, he could no longer climb stairs, fortunately the care home was directly across from my home, I would return from work and even before I put the key in my own lock I would go straight to visit him, he did have his own room and tv, and also all his faculties, he never buzzed for the staff for his own needs but had to on numerous occasions for other residents, he used to say the famous last words in this place are………”be with you in a minute “..they never were………from what I have seen, read and heard they are not places where you would wish to place your loved ones…….the cut backs have resulted in shortages of staff, but make no mistake there are staff that work in them that should never be in a caring roll…….the wages are not good but that is no excuse for the neglect and abuse that takes place in many…….having worked in care for many years I see how the staff and management present a good front to the families…….my advice would be not to just have scheduled time visits but pop in whenever……find a home with a open door policy….do not be afraid to question staff on practices, there will be a complaints procedure pinned on a wall, follow that and go higher if you have any worries…I have helped people do this…….do not be fobbed off……..I don’t dispute there are some of the higher quality expensive homes around where there are fresh cut flowers renewed daily and the staff maybe be trained and monitored more closely……….as in every occupation there are good and bad staff, you cannot risk bad staff in nursing care……the good staff are worth their weight in gold……. there is not enough stimulation for the residents, and more often than not they are taken into a day room where they promptly fall asleep, if the mind sleeps the body will quickly follow …….as for myself, my daughter insists she will never put me in a home, but I also insist I do not and will not become a burden to anyone…..with the best will and intentions in the world its not a ideal option, especially when the family still do full time work…….sorry for the long comment but I could go on and on …….I know much about this subject……stay in your own home as long as you can…do not think you will have lots of company in the homes….the majority are asleep all day……

    1. Rockflower Post author

      Starlette, I hear you……one reads of terrible cases of abuse and unkindness by so called carers. Relatives with suspicions that have to resort to placing a hidden camera to prove their fears. One cannot always blame relatives for not taking an elderly parent in, modern build houses are so small and didn’t I read that councils wish to prevent their tenants from having a spare room? However there are are those relatives who want no responsibility for their own, cannot even keep contact. Then again people are so mobile and often live far away from elderly parents. It is all difficult but keeping an old person independent should be a priority,

      1. LoneRogue

        Wonderful feelings you express in these comments. One has to be some what of a pain in the a.. to many people that “worry” about those who want to live out their life alone. I have a neighbor who constantly talks to me and others about “what if something happens and you are alone”. I say so what. End of life, thank goodness, is not predictable. If I have pain or lay for a length of time unable to do what I need to do, that is my fate. So what. It is my choice and should be respected by all others. Blog entries like yours are very helpful for us to think what do we really want.

      2. Rockflower Post author

        Absolutely, if we are prepared to risk it living alone what odds? At any age we hold on to this life with just a thread, hit by a car, trip on stairs, hit by lightning or a golf ball??? In fact I read in an insurance company report that playing golf caused more accidents than most sports! imagine that , I would never have guessed LOL.Players getting in the way of their friends swing at the ball apparently. What ever my karma is??? that is it.

    2. songthrush

      Hello. This is my first attempt at commenting, so forgive me if I make a mess of it !
      I have had several very elderly friends who lived alone and were entirely dependent on others for their welfare. They are now sadly no longer with us. All had few or no family to call on for help, but they chose to remain in their own homes. I believe that they had moments of loneliness, which can, I feel, lead to depression. One lady had “Carers” calling several time a day to make meals, bath her, etc. Feelings of insecurity can hang heavy, should they have a fall while alone, a heart attack, or some other sudden health problem leading to serious incapacity I know at times that troubled my friends. They all had a disc or something like that around their necks which they could press in an emergency and it would ring a number who in turn would ring me to call on them immediately, which helped.
      I believe that a pet can help considerably to prevent loneliness, providing of course there is someone calling to make sure the pet is cared for properly.
      If the person is able to get about then I agree with others that getting out and mixing keeps loneliness away from the door.
      I went to the beach today with my little black scottie dog. The journey of just ten miles was delightful, even though the sun didn’t shine. The various colours of the trees, several shades of green, bronze, red, yellow and silver, especially when in a wood together, were a wonderful sight. I noticed in two different fields a single horse, standing still by the gates, alone; their heads hanging low. I am told that they too get depressed without company. After all, in the wild, that is an unnatural way of life as they live in herds. So it isn’t just us humans that suffer loneliness, many animals also do.
      Thankfully the tide was out when we arrived at the beach, so a massive expanse of firm sand greeted us, and my ten year old scottie (suffering with an under active thyroid), surprised me as she streaked around in frantic circles enjoying the freedom of no restricted lead. Few people were in sight, I counted five and two dogs.
      I am fortunate living in the country and having my own transport with the company of my little dog, but I would urge anyone with this common complaint of loneliness, if unable to mix with people, to feed the birds in your garden, they are very entertaining to watch, and of course you are helping them to survive. Mother nature is fascinating if you examine and not just glance at what is around you.

  2. roseinbloom

    Rockflower. In the US, we have homes with levels of care and you can start with independent living and move to other levels. These homes are not subsidized unless you have private insurance. Not many people can afford them.
    Our own age and disability looms large in our minds.
    My friend’s mother had disability insurance of two years and was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s until her disability ran out and then she was back in her own home and able to function. Later my friend’s brother found a woman who cared for 3 disabled older people in her home for a reasonable fee, a fee that was less than the mother”s pension and near the brother.
    My niece moved in with my sister-in-law for about a year before her death. My sister-in-law died at home with her family and friends.
    Younger people who live with old people and see the cycles of life benefit greatly in many ways. One is a person who has nothing to do but sit and talk or listen or teach them something that they know. Another is that they learn what a lifespan is.
    Starlette and the rest of us can only hope that we can have this opportunity and will not be a burden, but a blessing.
    I also hope that our “death with dignity” laws get passed in my state and if not, I am planning to travel to a state with better laws if my situation meets the appropriate gudelines like a condition that is terminal and disabling and also very painful.
    I know two members in our church who have brain cancer and that is a horrible disease and If I were them, I would go to a state and skip the last stage. Both people are younger that 75. One is a veterinarian and I know he knows what is ahead. Both are educated and I know one is in a hospital and I don’t think he will ever come home. He is a large man, not overweight but large and his wife is devoted but would not be able to manage him on her own.
    My friend took care of his wife with brain cancer, until the last 3 weeks of her life until he realized he could not do it any longer and she spent the last three weeks comatose and needing total care. He almost did not survive himself and during the last few months needed a heart stent placed as he did not eat properly and had a lot of stress and anxiety.
    These are stories. None of us want to be a burden, but for most of us and for most of our life we are capable of living and making a real contribution to a family. I have a large pension and a large home, as the cycles of life continue, I can only hope that
    the last cycle of my life will be with people who see me as a person that can add to their life and I know this does not include mental or physical incapacitation.
    This may be a hope that is not realized but without hope, what else is there?
    Rockflower, thank you for this blog.

    1. Rockflower Post author

      I agree Rosinbloom, in fact I should guess most people would not wish to be a burden. I have to say and I don’t wish to offend but I just do not understand the the prevailing attitude of America to anything with a whiff of universal medicare. I feel for elderly Americans who must live in dread of some inevitable medical condition, as they age. Not everyone has a great pension or great health insurance and that does not always mean that they were wastrels who frittered away what they should have saved. I hear medicare critics on TV saying ….ah but we have the best medicine…. perhaps you do but what good is it when half the people cannot access it? I’m not saying you are against it Rosinbloom but a lot are and the rest of the world just scratch their heads.
      I do hope that if you need to be cared for, that you are treated as a person and as the intelligent woman you are but none of us can count on it, that is the sad fact. We need more chairs in universities studying aging because most populations are aging. We need more options and living styles for the elderly, one size does not fit all. Also I know it is touchy because some people strongly disagree .I do think if you come to the stage after much careful thought , that you are ready to leave this life …you should be allowed to go. All kinds of counseling and safeguards but you should be allowed to pass over legally.
      Sad note to finish on but nevermind we have time yet LOL.

      1. Rockflower Post author

        Exactly, some homes are great, most carers dedicated. Some people love the bustle and constant sociability of a home, some don’t. Horses for courses …as they say. We do need a variety of options for elder living but not elder ghettos.

        1. roseinbloom

          Rockflower, I know people need and deserve help. I do know why the US does not provide national healthcare, the insurance people are paying the legislators and people who need the healthcare are being duped. Sad Sad. Sad.

  3. waylander

    My mother in law went into one of these care homes. she had to, poor soul. Alzheimers and bedridden due various problems, but I can’t fault the treatment she received. The poor old girl had been miserable in her own home where she was alone most o the time. In the care home she bucked up no end. It suited her.
    For myself, I’ve already made my decision. No care homes for me. When I can no longer manage, i’ll make my own exit on my own terms.

    1. roseinbloom

      Waylander, a good plan, but we can be rendered helpless with no warning. My father and my brother had major strokes and neither ever recovered but some do and are totally incapacitated. I don’t want to alarm you but we also have to take measures to prevent this with the proper legal process that our laws allow.

  4. missyu

    what happened to my unfinished comment??? I wasn’t ready to post it.
    Is there a secret holding cell for unfinished comments Does anyone know the answer?

  5. CSweet51

    After just moving my mom into a senior housing facility two weeks ago (which she had picked out) was very hard to see her saying good bye to her house, which is on the market for sale. It was her choice, with help, to move when she did. She is a people person and was very lonely living in her house. At the age of 93 she has managed to outlive all of her friends. Funny thing Is that her new friends now are mostly my age.
    She was blessed to have found a facility that is like a party house for seniors. Wine partys, full restaurant, music, gym, library, billiards, movie theatre, hair salon, exercise groups, bridge, majong, bingo, art classes, weekly maid service….I could go on. all included in the price of her rent $2960/mo. for a one bedroom apt. including all utilities. The first week was extremely emotional for both of us but she is settling in well. When she gets to that point where she needs assistance in her daily needs she can stay where she is and there will be people who will care for her in her apt.
    She is a member of ‘Final Exit’, a group that believes in death with dignity. She will ultimately be the person who determines when she will die. That is if all continues as is. No nursing home for her. I am responsible to make sure that she can carry that out. So as it is she will party till the end. God Bless my mom…

    1. Rockflower Post author

      That is great Sweet, she had nothing forced upon her, she made the choice and likes it.I’m happy for both of you.As we move through one stage of life to another there is always emotion. Must say that home sounds very reasonable, you can pay thet a week in a UK private home.I hope your Mom can enjoy it for some time.

      1. roseinbloom

        Rockflower,some states and cities are less expensive than others and the price goes up for the more disabled. Our health insurance for seniors does cover short stays for nursing care but not custodial care.

    2. LoneRogue

      Yours is, I think, the best way for the end, the elder person having someone close who can and wishes to care for them. Sadly not many situations match that for perfection of wishes by both or all parties.

      I know my personality and it has brought me to a place in life that I have made. I’m selfish and always have decided things in the way I wanted them. I have been very charitable to family and others when I felt it was truly needed, however there were times when help was asked and I decided it best be solved by the individual asking. I firmly believe that a person should solve their own problem if they can do so. I also believe in pushing offspring out of the nest when they are ready to take responsibility for them selves. I say all this as an indication that now it is my turn to do for myself as much as I can. I freely accept that responsibility.

      I also accept that I would be very disruptive of other denizens of any care facility of which I was a part.

  6. vonMichael

    Good Afternoon friends,

    this is a blog of whichcontent is so much unloved by the young and
    older generation in general.
    Let me start with a little result I made first; we are all bearer of
    different passports as a fact that each nationality clears the problem
    with old and disabled people in different way. In a way we could
    find better results for this problem than those are be found in our
    own country!!!?

    No, we have different passports but we all face the same problem,
    what to do with with the old and disabled persons.

    By going through the answer here I noticed; no one of you want to
    become a burden.
    Let me say it clearly if you like it or not; we are all a burden for our
    families, relatives and the staff of an elderly home and there is not
    much different between. It all depends on how much money or
    value they can expect from you after one has gone.

    This blog is not easy to be answered, too many spoken and
    unspoken questions ask for an answer means for me, it will take
    more time for me to come to a résumé. So far for me at this
    mement, regards to all of you, Michael

  7. Rockflower Post author

    Hi von Michael, allow me to tackle your remarks point by point. True none of us ..want.. to be a burden but inevitably we all will be to some degree, at some point. Perhaps it is the last lesson that life will hit us with, to teach us humility , strip away false pride? All we can do is accept it with grace and gratitude.
    Whether it is the state or person , money is the ultimate lubricant to make things easier.I don’t know of any country that has solved the aging population problem, overall it is a mosaic of good and bad everywhere. The ‘problem’ of the elderly is a growing fact so what can we do? Every country is made up of people with different personalities, abilities and incomes. Countries have different economies but we all age in somewhat the same way.We all certainly have different expectations than our great grandparents. Take a look at photos of your grandparents, I’m looking at my grandmother’s picture now,she died aged 56 after breast cancer surgery but she looks more 80 than 56. We don’t think of a 56year old as old now but she did. So that has changed for the good, modern medicine has done a lot but we do need more doctors who specialize in old people. We certainly need more exercise experts that deal with keeping elderly people mobile despite physical handicaps .

    I mentioned earlier how great self drive vehicles will be and they will be.
    Governments are going to be hit with major unemployment once robots get established. Not only will younger people have to share jobs with lower working hours but many jobs will just be taken over by robotics. This will not only hit physical labour type jobs but maybe some lawyers, family doctors, bank clerks, so called white collar workers. What a change, all these people will need a sense of purpose.Perhaps some could be in localized teams to be help elder people, doing small care jobs…… maintenance, grass cutting, shopping. Such work could add up tokens for a state salary.Or work for travel tokens. Oh brave new world, think of something else someone LOL!

    1. Rockflower Post author

      von Michael, you bring up another uncomfortable truth……. that the old are thought of as useless and disposable. That thought is out there. Life is changing we all know that, in 1930 a working man on average did not live much beyond the retirement age of 65yrs. Now in the western world, people live much longer, so much longer that some countries have already made the retirement age higher. The question is being pondered, should we “allow” old people to live to past a 100 and remember we were in a recent blog looking at the statement, that the human who could live to be 1000 is already born!
      It is fact that we already live on a fast becoming overcrowded planet.
      Can we “allow” old people to suck up the earth’s space and resources? Perhaps we have to confront the unthinkable and think about controlling the birth rate. Oh my God! We so don’t want to contemplate this. In history any attempts at this have not been good. Most recently in China, with the one child policy and they have still got over a billion people. Perhaps it would have been over a billion and a half without the policy, who knows? As usual the artists are ahead and already thinking about this, writing books that face this problem (Margaret Atwood’s , The Handmaiden’s Tale).
      The other possibility is that there will be a huge natural disaster, nature has a habit righting population imbalances. There is one tabloid newspaper in UK that seems to bring up such things all the time. Some seem crazy but I think it shows that this fear is in the human subconscious. A hidden planet in our galaxy that is going to smash into us, alien attacks are favourites. Then there are those things that have a base in fact……climate change and food shortage, the reversal of the Gulf Stream. The Yellowstone volcano or some totally new virus that will cut us down to size. None of this nice to think on and having depressed myself, I’m going to go and take my mind off these issues.

    2. kattlan

      Hi. I am new on here as of yesterday. I am not exactly sure how to respond to message you sent me but I got into reading some of your posts. If I was good at writing I could have wrote some of your exact thoughts. You had asked me about my dog. She was a Labradoodle and very recently I had to put her down. Hopefully I will figure out how to get around on here. The first post I ever messed with were bulletin boards and dos. The last messaging I did was with AOL. Thanks for saying hi.

  8. vonMichael

    Hello Rock,
    thank you for your comment on my thoughts- There was an article on the e-Net
    displaying the results of a survey done by an university in GB by virtue of this each
    couple which has produced a child becomes redundant cos it has done their
    actually mission.
    One point seems to be identical in our countries; all the old ones are
    The results of this research expresses in some figures of how much living space,
    food, energy a.s.o. could be saved for the young generation if the society would not have any old people to take care about.
    Regards Michael

  9. starlette

    Tut tut Mr Michael…….are you suggesting that the elderly are all done away with………..actually I have read articles, true or untrue I don’t know……..where people have been helped on their way to the pearly gates……and I am not talking the terminally ill, in that case it would be a blessing……..but not by the Liverpool end of life plan being practised either…that’s barbaric……..and now for a more cheery mood….have a wonderful weekend Michael………xxx

    1. vonMichael

      Good Morning Star,
      I was lookingfor this article but I must have deleted it?? Yes I could have been
      the Liverpool article but I am not sure about it.
      Have a good start into the new wekk, xxxM

  10. Rockflower Post author

    Starlette…I totally agree, the Liverpool pathway is abhorrent. To those of you who may not know what it is……… The aim of this procedure was an attempt to hurry the inevitable death of a terminal patient.The patient was supposed to be accessed by the medical team and they should have to agree that everything possible had been done. The patient was heavily sedated and no fluids given, so death was hastened by dehydration. The team and relatives agreed this was the best for the patient. This practise is now totally discredited because it was found that the whole procedure had become lax, the decision to do this was made by a ticking the box exercise, often without a doctor! or any relative being aware what was going on. In my opinion the staff were guilty of manslaughter.
    I would agree that if a patient is dying and in pain or in extreme discomfort, it is incumbent on medical staff to relieve that the best they can. At times this may involve giving such a patient huge doses of pain killing drugs, such as morphine. These big doses of pain killing drugs may depress breathing or some other body function and in effect hasten death. All this must be done with the knowledge of relatives who only want their loved one to pass peacefully. In my book that is the compassionate thing to do. But you can see how difficult all this is and it so easily becomes a slippery slope. If a patient themselves , fully conscious and aware decides they wish to end their life and they convince at least two doctors and their relatives that this is what they want to do…..that is a different matter. There is difficulty even here because we don’t want anyone to be subtly coerced by staff or relatives to come to that decision. so perhaps the law should be involved too. We do have to sort all this out.

  11. ella.gordon

    I have read yòùr blogs and find some ways of leaving this mortal coil is frightning having been a physicatric nurse could never leave someone to be on their own at the passing of their lifeto be careful in what was said we dont know if they can hèar but for myself i have a belief that my life and death are in the Hands of Jesus but thats my thoughts He will be with me to the end