I had to write this piece because it is a subject which is very close to my heart. My great grandmother was housebound for a long time,Scared of going into an old peoples’ home Articles she struggled to cope with every day living and had a very difficult time with things that most take for granted. Getting dressed, going to bed, eating, washing and so on.
She was cheerful and she was positive but that can only last so long when you are suffering like this. When you are housebound that makes things worse because you can get lonely and bored too and if you are not careful you feel like you are unloved and not part of the real world, detached, where you do not exist, just left to rot. So let me explain to you why I am scared of going into an old peoples’ home. You can email an agony aunt right now… here are some choices. There are the psychic agony aunts – i.e. Rosemary Price the web clairvoyant psychic. She is well known and has been helping people for decades internationally. You also have a lady who works as an accurate psychic clairvoyant reader online. And you can ask free agony aunts questions help on a forum full of people who are similar.
My grandmother was housebound for a long time, but a lot of this was really her own doing. She lived in a nice little house, it was perfect – though those who thought about it would say it would have been more sensible for her to get a bungalow instead of a house. She got older, slower, a bit faint, a bit dizzy, a bit uncertain on her feet, so coping with the stairs just made things more difficult than they had to be. She had some falls, one was when she was in the garden, where she just fell onto her face and could not get up, and similar things happened both in and outside her home. She lived on her own with no friends nearby so you can imagine how this was for her. But she was in some ways a strange woman because she had no friends and no family close by and she hardly ever went out even when she was young and fine and able to. As time went on she would end up spending all of her time organising the gardener and cleaner and spending far more time than necessary on reading the paper or doing a crossword or tidying a cupboard or watching television and the days disappeared on that.
Eventually she got dementia and did not know who was who and what was what and just rambled and talked nonsense. This is when I wish she had listened to my advice, I had urged her to go out more, to meet up with people sometimes, to have a purpose in life, but she would not listen. There is the rub. If you scared of going into an old peoples’ home you should listen but only listen to the right people. Not those who encourage you to eat the wrong foods, drink and smoke.
Leading experts on dementia talk about various things that can prevent or slow down dementia and having a purpose in life is one of them. Making sure you mix with others socially is another.
Getting up to read the paper all day hardly counts.
My mother lived a similar life to my grandmother, living in an identical house just down the road to her, hardly ever going out, spending most of her time on television and newspapers. Although she did have penfriends she wrote to regularly. But then she would moan about how expensive the stamps were and how she could not afford to write often and refuse to become more modern and have email friends where she could have had a lot more friends and kept in touch far easier and cheaper. She could even email online and get help from an agony aunt. But her attitude was that she could not be bothered, she would be doing YOU some sort of favour if she did it. It was easier to just watch television non stop. She struggled with shopping now that she has bad legs and even a short walk is slow and difficult for her, so a computer would have been a big help with that too! There are lots of things she could do to make her life easier, but that means listening and changing things, so she will not. She has dementia now and is gradually getting worse.
But I remember one day asking her how was her diet, did she stick to the thing of eating a lot of vegetables and fruit, to help herself. No she said, not interested in all that.
My grandmother is now in a home. Nobody other than my mother visits her because she never bothered to be friendly to neighbours or make friends.
But if someone does visit her she talks nonsense and does not know who they are, so maybe it does not matter.
Yes I am scared of going into an old peoples’ home. But I try to take control to do my best to avoid it rather than just be a passive victim. I do not want to end up like either of them so I do things differently. I have purposes in my life. One is my job, which I love, working for this site, advising people on their problems. Another is my cats, I adore them. Having to feed them and put them out and spend time with them means I give and get love back and have things that I MUST do regularly. I also do a lot of brain teasers regularly, I do not let my brain turn to mush. I am well organised and find the quickest and easiest ways to do things, unlike my mother who would walk painfully and take more than an hour to get to the local shop to buy a pint of milk and then feel very ill for the rest of the day because of it, I make sure I always am well stocked up with food or get some delivered.
Living with a lot of other old or frail people might be a good idea for some but it does not suit me. No way would I want to do it. I have sometimes met up with people who are about my age and found most of them to be quite old fashioned, boring and needy, unable to make a simple decision about a simple thing without asking their doctor or neighbour first.