END OF YEAR – END OF LIFE

The end of the year and I need to take stock but there is so much to write about. Every time I get dispirited by the lack of traffic on this site compared to my film blog, a comment is posted from the other side of the world thanking me for it.

There is so much to write about and so few people around me interested in sharing my readings that I must carry on and today I will just signpost my readings as an aide memoir and give links to others interested in ageing.

Personal : a friend has moved from a small rehabilitation unit to sheltered accommodation. Unfortunately her care needs have been badly assessed and she is struggling to manage. This could be remedied by a different care package but members of her family are away for the holiday season and she is further away for her friends – old themselves to visit in this busy time.

http://bit.ly/EndLoneliness : A million people in the Uk haven’t spoken to anyone for a month. Nearly 400,000 people aged 65 or over are worried about being lonely this Christmas.

Our research also shows that there are 2.5 million older people who are not looking forward to Christmas with nearly 650,000 saying it’s because the festive season brings back too many memories of those who have passed away.
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director of Age UK, said: ‘No one should feel lonely at any time of the year. The festive season is usually a time for celebration with loved ones and these figures come as a timely reminder of the scale of the issue.
‘People’s social networks often shrink due to life-changing events such as retirement and bereavement which can increase the risk of feeling lonely.
‘Voluntary sector services like Age UK’s have never been more important because funding cuts are forcing many of the local services that help older people stay connected, such as lunch clubs, to scale down or close.’
Find out how you can help us fight loneliness here:

Grandmothers:  http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/new-evidence-that-grandmothers-were-crucial-for-human-evolution-88972191/?no-ist

Care Homes and drugs: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/12/09/368539057/this-nursing-home-calms-troubling-behavior-without-risky-drugs?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=202609

Joan Bakewell: What a change of the perception of ones own ageing in 6 years. In my film blog’s post of April 2011 I wrote: I feel angry when Joan Bakewell (reported in The Voice of Older People publication, 2009) states “I don’t want to wear sensible skirts, I don’t want to look like an old frump. I mix with active people, so I don’t want to look like I have come from a pensioner’s meeting. My life is somewhere else, my skirts and dresses hover around the knee” . 

http://www.radiotimes.com/episode/c9tmsg/suppose-i-lose-it : In this broadcast Bakewell describes her problems with memory and talks about her friend’s (Prunella Scales) dementia.

Finally it is Atul Gowande in his Reith Lectures that is giving me hope about attitudes to dependent old people. In my previous post I wrote: What we need is creative thinking and a way to combat the false choice given to old people in need of care. The false choice between living alone at home or being neglected and abused in care homes.

A friend offered me his book Being Mortal. More than the lectures this book addresses the issues about end of life that us 80+ need to face. I feel that Gowande understands these and he clarifies for me what was nebulous in my thinking.

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “END OF YEAR – END OF LIFE

  1. I think “Being Mortal” is brilliant . I gave it to my daughter and said to her that since I am likely to be frail sometime (most of us will be), she could think of the book as a kind of advance directive, as it describes the kind of help needed to live a good life till the end. Rest homes are out, and nor do I expect to live with one of my kids.

  2. It is great to share this book with other people. What I find bizarre is that I know that very few of my friends would like to read it. I am so grateful for the internet. Best wishes . Rina

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