Ageing 6

Did X tell you he’s had tennis elbow? Sawing, I think. He had a cortisone shot which nearly drove him up the wall but it cleared it quickly until undoing a coffee jar set it off again. I think it’s made him realise there’s a lot of heavy work that won’t get easier here – sad.

dangerous coffee jar

Old Mrs X who’s now at a nursing home at $10 a day [obviously a big cost at the time!] came over for the birthday partly. Poor old duck bursts into tears on the slightest thing and her daughter-in-law gets so cross with her. I think she’d far rather die and the latter keeps saying ‘she’s revoltingly well’ – poor dear. When I’m incapable of looking after myself I trust I will be allowed to retire quickly and gracefully.

Life here becomes more and more of a horror story – about 90% of the inmates senile and the rest have given up interest in much other than their health and the food. Lucky old X jumped ship in good time to avoid all this.

Did I ask you before if you ever knew the X family – the old man is here and was a great friend of your uncle years ago. Alas, he’s awfully nice, but has lost most his memory.

I keep remembering that one friend’s mother started a sheep farm when she was 50, and was still going to sheep breeders conferences when she was in her 80s (and when her friends were moving into nursing homes). She is now in a home, and I think her memory has gone. However she would be over 90 now.

One of the things that I think of is that I don’t have any children, and who will look after me like X has her father? I do have nephews and a niece who would probably do the legal things for me when and if necessary. But it does look like a lonely sort of time as an old person if you are housebound or less active than you were in younger days. I keep hoping that as I am a baby boomer and there will be lots of us, there may be other old and lonely single people to keep me company.

Last year she had a stroke. Went in a hospital and then in a rehabilitation programme in an elderly home. But it did not work out. Her balance was gone and her dementia gets worse. Now after almost a year she had another small stroke, and it is difficult to talk with her. We believe this is almost the end. She is 88 and it is all right for her and for us that the end is coming.

Everything seems to disappear! I am now in the nursing home. I will get in touch – please don’t forget me.