another aimless blog

yes, another blog to add to the millions out there already – but why not.

a home among the gum trees August 15, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — panthergirl @ 12:55 am
Tags: ,

I decided I'd go and do some volunteer work at the aged care home near me. There are about 40 people that live there and you are basically there until you die. There are also five people come in each day for respite care.

So I went yesterday for the first time and although I really enjoyed it, I came home and said to my daughters – pleeeease, you must never put me in one of those places. Just put me in the garage and feed me. I'll be good.

I think the problem is that there are just not enough aged care workers to provide enough one on one care. So thats what I'm doing. I spent some time on the computer with a lovely lady and helped her with her emails. Trouble was someone had changed her homepage from google and she couldn't work out how to get back there. She told me she asked one of the workers and she said – they come along and go tap, tap, tap and get her there but don't show her how to do it herself. So I showed her and she was so pleased.

Then I read the local paper to a lady who is almost blind, I umpired a game of shuffleboard (they get very competitive) and I helped serve lunch. I took a lady in a wheelchair back to her room and had a chat, then I went around and just talked to a couple of people. I can't be alone in a room with them yet, in case I put a pillow over their faces I guess, but when my police check comes through I can be alone with them and then I can do stuff like paint their nails and give them a hand massage.

I spoke to a lady who has only been there for three weeks and she told me she never thought she'd end up in a place like that. I don't think any of us do.

I can never imagine my parents in a aged care facility. It seems so unlike them. I know my father will fight it until the very end and I just know my mother would hate it.

But I'll be buggered if they're coming to live here.

Maybe they'd like a trip to the US .

I find that I have a lot of tolerance for elderly people who aren't my father.



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18 Responses to “a home among the gum trees”

  1. kris Says:

    I feel the same way Cat. The way we shove our elderly parents into facilities is really fucking sick, (in my opinion). My paternal grandmother was put into one when she wasn't able to care for herself independently. It was really quite sad seeing as how she had 7 children. Seven and not one of them took her in!

  2. Lorri Says:

    It sure is a difficult decision to make. One I haven't had to do, and wouldn't look forward to doing. The thing is, if you are unable for whatever reason to offer a 24hr care for an elderly person – be it a parent or whatever… then they do need help 24hrs from someone/somewhere else. My mother is in a granny flat at the back of our house and has been for 8 years now…!! It's sometimes very frustrating as she doesn't seem to regard our privacy even when we have asked for it… sigh. Mum is only 71 but is already starting to lose her memory badly – I notice it each day. I am also dealing with my own health issues (my body is physically older than hers!!) and also run a business with my daughter. If there comes a time where Mum needs constant care – then I think I will have to look at one of the 'homes' we dread so much 😦

  3. Emjay Says:

    Who are you??? What have you done with Cat???; LOL. My taxi driver said this morning: "I don't like America, when you get old they send you to a special house!" It sounded funny but it is not really.

  4. cat Says:

    yes, when I was looking at doing "something" I thought well everyone seems to be racing off to help kids and teenagers but no one really gives a stuff about old people. Just put them away and forget about them seems to be the attitude. And they have some really funny stories to tell as well.

  5. cat Says:

    The people who run this one I go to are fantastic. They really care and respect the people they are caring for. But, there just aren't enough workers there. And then there are the oldies who don't want to be involved in group activities and they just seem to sit a lot. One woman told me time passes very slowly. And it just seems sad, I know most of us end up in places like this but you have this life, then suddenly its gone.

  6. cat Says:

    lol – I've been brainwashed. I have no idea where the whole idea came from. Don't worry, I am very nice to them, I don't yell at them like I do at Dad.

  7. Good for you, Cat. My kids and I have been thinking of doing something as my kids keen to 'adopt a grandfather' as they no longer have any of their own. Not sure what the rules on kids volunteering are these days though, ie, my daughter and I previously tried to volunteer to walk dogs at the Lost Dogs Home but were told that they can no longer accept volunteers under the age of 18yo (presumably due to insurance).
    My grandfather managed to stay at home until he was about 96yo. It was a lot of worry for everyone else though as he kept doing things like climbing up on the roof to fix tiles (and getting stuck) etc etc. He hated the idea of answering to anyone in any kind fo old people's accommodation.
    My nana currently in one and the staff really do seem to treat the residents like they are children, eg, calling them by their first names, scolding them etc. Would shit me to tears if I was old and infirm (but quite 'with it' otherwise) too.

  8. cat Says:

    The manager told me they are always very excited to get volunteers. Im doing it because I'm thinking about doing the aged care certificate and getting out of bloody boring office work.
    Re the kids – they do something through the schools here. Kids go and visit – not a whole tribe of them, but a few at a time and just chat to the oldies. At the high school here now you can do the aged care certificate as part of the HSC, so thats good, as they really need more workers.

  9. Sounds good. My friend has made a career in geriactric care and she really likes it. My daughter previously went with her class to play recorder to the residents at an old people's home – not sure if that would ahve been a treat or torture for them though! I have often thought there could be good synergies between schools and aged care facilties, eg, lots of kids at my kids school have noone to listen to them read (eg, because the parents don't speak English or because they are one of 13 kids – yes, its true!). That might be something that some of the more mentally agile oldies could help with. Even just having someone for one anotehr to talk to would be good for both the kids and the oldies, I think.

  10. cat Says:

    lol – recorder playing. I'm sure your daughter is a fantastic player, but I hope I never end up in a place where listening to children play recorders is considered a treat!!

  11. My thoughts exactly! :-O

  12. Snowy Says:

    Hmm, I'll bet they change their opinion of you when they are confronted with that cold wet sponge. The thought of it still gives me nightmares.

  13. cat Says:

    lol – I guess I'll have to wait until I pass the police check until I can get into the good fun stuff like that.

  14. ChicagoProud Says:

    I love that picture!

  15. cat Says:

    when I grow up I want to be just like her!

  16. A trip to US – good one – better ask the sister first!
    You are imagining your parents as they are now. When you have to care for them 24×7 and they can't toilet, and they can't feed themselves and can't remember who you are…it is a totally different story. The hard part is finding a vacancy that suits….not easy. Been down that road – nature and time takes it out of your hands.

  17. cat Says:

    I won't be caring for them at all!! let alone 24/7. I'll probably just poison them and be done with it. Well maybe not Mum. But my father has already come dangerously close. They are pretty much both disabled now but still manage through sheer pig headedness to stay at home. They would really love the US.

  18. Emjay Says:

    Luckily, I do not think they would survive the very long, horribly arduous, trip!!

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