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.