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Caring for those less able.

I am often asked in supermarkets by little old ladies if I can reach something on a high shelf for them, and I always get chatting for a few minutes - and they are often delighted to share a couple of minutes chat with me.


Another time recently, I was out in my local park with my dog and this elderly women was having difficulty putting a sock on her foot, and I stopped and offered assistance and she was delighted and - to be honest - while I can talk for England, - Dear God she shut me up with her chatter, to which I sat and listened and joined in for about 20 minutes. She told me all about the old peoples home she was in and how it was a Christian venue but she wasn't Christian and she shared her beliefs with me that were more up my street anyway, and not so the Christian church. She was amazing and really interesting.

You see, these people are - in all probabilities - lonely - and desperate not just to be heard, but to be seen - and not invisible. Just because someone is old and maybe frail does not mean they have not lived, and dreamed, and had families and careers and a life worth living. I agree, some are miserable old bastards resentful at missing out on life and they only have themselves to blame - only themselves to hold responsible - , but those people who still celebrate life - still smile and see the best in their day, as hard as that can be sometimes.. and believe me, it is a moment to moment decision for you and you alone to make ... ' Am I going to have a great day or a shitty day - the choice is all mine....'

As in all things in life, the responsibility is YOURS AND YOURS ALONE. If you want to be lonely, you will be. If you want friends, then its your responsibility to go out there and make them.

I found this piece below ' on line' and it fitted in perfectly with what I was saying above.

See what you think.


Twice this week, I have watched an elderly individual, fade into the busy life in which we all live. One man just needed Panadol for his wife but the shop assistant simply said it’s in ‘6’. But he struggled to navigate the supermarket and as I watched him go in the wrong direction, I left all my groceries and took him where he needed to go. Today, I watched an elderly man struggle in the heat, who had obviously had a fall with a huge scrape and blood on his leg. He walked past people in the cafe, while he slowly made his way to his car. Not one person stopped. Or looked. Or acknowledged him.

I took him to his car and checked he was ok. He told me he had a fall and wasn’t sure how the air con worked in his car so he just didn’t use it. I sat with him, until his air con kicked in and heard him talk about the old frail body that he is in, that fails him now, every single day.

When you see an elderly person walking down the street, searching in the supermarket or struggling to their car, take a minute out of your busy schedule and ask them if they need a hand. Think about your grand parents and your parents and how pissed you would be if someone didn’t stop to help them. But more, think of them as you.

Once upon a time they were you. They were busy, they had work, they had children, they were able.... Today, they are just in an older body that is not going as fast as it used to and this busy life is confusing.

They deserve our utmost respect and consideration. One day it will be you, it will be us. I wish more people gave a sh*t about them and acknowledged them for their admirable existence and geez I hope someday, not that far away, someone does it for me.


JB Continues:-

It comes to all of us eventually and I have seen many people with crowds of friends when young, end up desperately lonely as they get old and for what - their bad attitude, taking advantage , not putting back, expecting everything to go their way - and many people are their own worst enemy and being true to that helps.

NOW: Hamilton Hall is exactly right for you. Friendly - Intimate - Non Judgemental - and believe me, I have heard your story a thousand times and it is much the same each time. We all have a story and I take the time to listen to yours and - don't get me wrong - I will speak harshly if you are getting in your own way ;


Guest staying complaining of bad legs as a lorry driver who gets no exercise, is 60, has a blood clot in his leg and is doing absolutely nothing about it - and is waiting ( months and months ) for the doctor to tell him what to do.

I told him he needed to exercise and not wait for some doctor to tell him. Blood clots in the leg are serious and he needs to exercise and I do not need to hear hours of complaining about his lot in life and his bad legs when he does nothing to remedy the problem, in even the smallest of ways, and if that's the case, I am saddened for him. However - feeling sorry for yourself is not going to get the right kind of attention at all and people will just ignore you. Looking after your health ( mental and physical ) is paramount and while doctors help, at 60 years of age if you haven't learned what is good or bad for your body and your health, and what diet is good for you and what exercise - then what have you been doing for the last 60 years ?

Look after yourself and look after elderly friends and relatives as it is no fun getting older and as the body lets us down, it is up to us to make the best we can.

HERE IS A POEM BELOW I LEARNED DECADES AGO, Found in the pocket of an elderly patient in a Brighton Hospital back in the 1970's. It speaks volumes.


What do you see, nurses, what do you see? Are you thinking, when you look at me — A crabby old woman, not very wise, Uncertain of habit, with far-away eyes, Who dribbles her food and makes no reply, When you say in a loud voice — “I do wish you’d try.”

Who seems not to notice the things that you do, And forever is losing a stocking or shoe, Who unresisting or not, lets you do as you will, With bathing and feeding, the long day to fill. Is that what you’re thinking, is that what you see? Then open your eyes, nurse, you’re looking at ME… I’ll tell you who I am, as I sit here so still; As I rise at your bidding, as I eat at your will.

I’m a small child of ten with a father and mother, Brothers and sisters, who love one another, A young girl of sixteen with wings on her feet. Dreaming that soon now a lover she’ll meet; A bride soon at twenty — my heart gives a leap, Remembering the vows that I promised to keep; At twenty-five now I have young of my own, Who need me to build a secure, happy home; A woman of thirty, my young now grow fast, Bound to each other with ties that should last; At forty, my young sons have grown and are gone, But my man’s beside me to see I don’t mourn; At fifty once more babies play ’round my knee, Again we know children, my loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me, my husband is dead, I look at the future, I shudder with dread, For my young are all rearing young of their own, And I think of the years and the love that I’ve known; I’m an old woman now and nature is cruel — ‘Tis her jest to make old age look like a fool.

The body is crumbled, grace and vigor depart, There is now a stone where once I had a heart, But inside this old carcass a young girl still dwells, And now and again my battered heart swells.

I remember the joys, I remember the pain, And I’m loving and living life over again, I think of the years, all too few — gone too fast, And accept the stark fact that nothing can last — So I open your eyes, nurses, open and see, Not a crabby old woman, look closer, nurses — see ME !


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