I see, on review, that I wrote the following words well over a year ago. Today, more than ever, I am trying to believe it!
‘Aged Care’ and ‘Ageing’ are not just words….they are processes that can be daunting and stressful…but not without some hope for us who are involved……we can recover our dignity and find lots of happier aspects!
Yes, the theory of ‘recovery’ is absolutely correct but applying, indeed believing it, is nigh on impossible for me right at this moment, today. It’s cold and dark and raining – and that’s how I am. Having spent a couple of hours with my wife, Dorothy, in her care home today I needed to sit down and dry the ‘rain’ from my eyes and, somehow, express my thoughts. Mainly to get them out of my mind, and partly because writing about them might strike a chord with one of my readers and, hopefully, help us both regain some of the cheerfulness that has totally slipped away these last few days….
Finding dignity is not a problem, it’s finding the hope and happiness that’s daunting and stressful. Being there today with Dorothy and not being able to enjoy each other’s company let alone any discussion, was, let’s face it, a disaster. It didn’t help either of us but, ironically, I think it did help one or two of her fellow residents who recognise me as a frequent visitor. It might even have helped a couple of the attending staff; heaven knows they deserve any distracting help they can get! Dorothy seems, these days, to have withdrawn further into herself, often sitting in a sleep-state, reluctant to stand and walk with me and even then, won’t lift her head and walks in a stooped position. She is also susceptible to stumbling so I always walk hand in hand. Sometimes one of the other residents walks along with us and we all try to have a conversation, usually unproductive; but I guess any interaction is better than seclusion and mental isolation.
Because of the coronavirus restrictions we can’t go for a drive or walk in a park which, a few short months ago, was a treat we both enjoyed. Because Dorothy doesn’t walk upright and sprightly now, I wonder how we’ll go with such walks if they ever become possible again……..See? There I go again, all negative and sad! Well, that’s the way it is – and, like some of my readers are probably agreeing, that is not a good place to be.
Here and now, I’m going to break out of this tiny world of self-pity and declare some positivity, because today’s epistle has been all doom and gloom – I’m sorry about that – let’s get over it….and remind ourselves that nobody wants to be with a miserable old bloke, so cheer up Bill (and whoever), go and make yourself a nice hot cuppa tea, heat up your pre-prepared meal, maybe have a sherry later and watch a nice happy travel or sitcom on the telly tonight. Take your little sleeping pill, warm up the bed with the electric blanket and sleep this misery out of your system, ready to start afresh tomorrow, out of the dumps, back to living and finding joy in a new day and keep on looking for those ‘happier aspects’!