It is lovely to see Mum starting to write regularly again and that in itself is significant. Last year, when she had had her accident and was living for several months with me, she had a lot more time on her hands but I could never really persuade her to do very much writing or drawing. She just immersed herself in her books. She was worried about the future – we all were.
Now she is happy in her new Assisted Living accommodation and making more friends and seeing more people than she has done for a very long time, she has the sparkle back in her eye. And this goes with taking a greater interest in life in general and pursuing her various interests and hobbies. Well there’s a surprise! … So look out for some more of her pithy blogs. 😉
Seeing the whole person and how things need to join up and offer quality of life rather than just medical fixing, is a key theme of my talk tomorrow on the opening day of the NHS National Confederation Annual Conference, where I am very honoured to be speaking.
So what was Mum writing about so furiously (in more senses than one!)?
“You know that talk you said you’re giving in Liverpool [on urgent care for older people]. Well I have some thoughts of my own…”
I looked at the opening title of Mum’s blog: “Sunk without trace”. My heart sank too – I wondered what an earth she had been writing about. The poignancy of the war-time analogy and, as I read it, the fact that that generation of stoical wartime survivors feel neglected made me feel very uncomfortable – and I hope it does you too.
So I invite you to hear from than a 93-year-old, desperately trying to enjoy life and stay HERE (as mum wryly calls her new living situation) and OUT of hospital…
Sunk without trace
This is not a new question of course, but it seems that funding is being cut again. Many old people living alone and dependent on carers and nurses coming in every day, or maybe just some days, rely on them for some contact with the outside world and life. Again it all comes down to money and funds are needed.
I am very lucky and living now in an Assisted Living Home (NOT a Care Home). I came in here after an accident made it impossible for me to go on living on my own in my own house. But it is not cheap and probably beyond the means of a lot of people.
This is a lovely place where the residents are interesting to talk to and are good at organising their own amusements such as Scrabble, a quiz, a film night and the occasional tea party. All this keeps the mind active.
Carers [Mum means paid carers] cannot do this of course. They hardly have time to talk at all. Just in and out. There is also less and less contact with the Doctor these days as things have been palmed off on to the practice nurse or someone else. These people are always in a hurry and watching their computer screens.
Hospitals often send people home too soon and if they are kept in they don’t always get looked after as they should be. Then inevitably they come back in, creating a vicious circle.
This latest cutback makes one wonder if anyone really cares about the over-70s – who will obviously be increasing in numbers – or if they think it is an easy way of disposing of them without argument.
Please post any comments – it would be great if you can help Mum understand the power of blogging and that these posts do not just disappear into the ether… 😉