Loneliness - It all comes down to money - ultimately
When my Mother was still alive and in her middle 80's she showed me a brochure of a Care Home where people could take week long holidays as well as living there full time and I had to admit, it looked a truly lovely place with all sorts of activities and events planned each day to keep the elderly entertained, keep their cognitive abilities functioning and keep them in the here and now and not drifting off with the fairies.
Many Care Homes we saw kept the people doped up all day on downers to keep them controllable. They were not allowed to wallow in bed all day and were made to get up and get dressed - which is good - but then sat them in the Lounge in front of the telly ALL DAY with the volume on LOUD - as most were deaf whereas my Mother was not and the volume was uncomfortable for her - and the care offered was pretty basic and there was no entertainment at all.
Many are their own worst enemies as when something is planned, an event, a lunch, a day trip - ' Oh I cannot afford £5 for a day out with lunch - Oh I am busy that day - Oh that would be lovely but not today near, maybe tomorrow ' - when tomorrow is NOT WHAT WE ARE OFFERING.
One of my Grandmothers was in a home decades age and complained she never went out, so I offered to take her out the next day for tea and a drive - and she refused. SO STOP COMPLAINING - as she sat in the same chair every day - watching the same TV screen every day - speaking to no one in a home full of other old biddies - and all she could do was complain rather than make something out of what she had - and it seems with many, they complain and expect others to do it all for them and then complain when they do.
You absolutely cannot fucking win.
So I looked into this amazing Care Home that offered so much and my Mother would have loved to move in there and even have a couple of weeks holiday there, but at £1,800 per week - and this is 15 years ago, it was beyond her budget, beyond mine and even combined with my brother was beyond our budgets, and she stayed where she was.
The Assisted Living flat she was in had a warden who came in in the mornings but other than a phone call each morning to see how all the residents were - the warden was invisible and with almost no events and no mutually beneficial ' get together' of the residents, who - like my Mother - were lonely while surrounded by other elderly lonely people all in their small shoe box studio flat and all - lonely. At the time my brother and I felt bad about not being able to afford to send her to this wonderful venue we knew she would love, but as she hardly put herself out to befriend the people in the place she was in - and what events they did have she rarely attended - and I did feel so very sad for her but it was partly her own doing. When an event is planned, the excuses why not to attend never cease to amaze, - so stop complaining there is nothing to do.
Old age can be lonely and old age can find many isolated and alone and being a gay man with no X Wife and kids around, means many are destined to loneliness as friends die off around us or simply cannot be bothered to do much any more or - like my Mother - wanted / expected everyone to go to her - visit her - play her game - never reciprocating and offering anything back, she wanted to be centre stage and even resented her grandkids as they took attention away from her. Sad - as so many love their grandkids and find great joy in them but some, like my Mother, resented being old, resented being ignored, resented anyone taking the attention away from them and resented life in general. This hardly makes them fun to visit with and then complain that no one ever comes over - no one visits - and like my Mother, she never listened when we tried to explain how her manner put people off and always threw it back on to us that it was never her responsibility - never her fault - and in a way - she was right, as she had always been ' the star' - centre stage - the fashion model, the famous singer - the one men all wanted to be around and where women - ha ha - oh she didn't like other women as they were competition and even in old age, other women could tell she didn't like them and so stayed away, adding to her loneliness.
My Mother died 10 years ago now aged 89 and I still remember - I still feel - I still wish and I still hope that there will be those who will offer something more - MORE - for gay men in the autumn years of their life so isolation and loneliness do not have to be your constant companion. But all this depends on the elderly.
It all depends on YOU.
I have advertised and offered so much for the elderly gay community and what do we get in return.
I advertise for a cleaner / handy man - offering SUPERB PAY and conditions of friendship and company and an ability to join us here - while not living here and being a local, and in a town FULL of elderly gay men - NOT ONE ANSWER.
After offering so many different events for the elderly, it does disappoint and you feel let down by a community who all claim they need, want, desire something - and then when you offer it - and as a NOT FOR PROFIT VENUE - they expect more - MORE - if not free, at a price that is just impossible to offer and despite the fact we are a NOT FOR PROFIT VENUE, we do expect you to ALL pay your way and help keep us open and when you expect it all for free, it lets you down, it lets your community of old people down, it lets the whole community down as then we stop offering, we concentrate on events and people who DO PAY and WHO DO NOT QUIBBLE and who help keep us afloat financially as s BUSINESS - and remember, I have not ben paid a wage in 21 years and WILL NOT give more more more for free if people are not willing to at least meet us half way.
LIVING AT HAMILTON HALL
Some people tell me this should be FREE and I won't go into detail here as to why they assume that or whom should pay and more to the point, WHY they assume I should pay for a complete stranger to live, eat and enjoy a life and all for free and all on someone else's tab - MINE ... and the answer is - NO - YOU PAY - and if you desperately want to stay and cannot afford it then have a chat with me and see what I can offer. One guy - We had a long chat about his needing / wanting a 3 month winter break with us but where funds were low and he could only afford half the cost - and I suggested he could help around the hotel and make up the difference with some housework etc... and OH MY GOD - You would have thought I asked him to cut his cock and balls off, he was HORRIFIED and VERY unwilling to accept that and VERY unwilling to offer any input to help with the costs and he REALLY DID EXPECT IT ALL FOR FREE and when asked why he thought I would offer that to a complete stranger, he turned into Donald Trump - OUTRAGED I asked him questions about his personal finances - OUTRAGED I was not bowing down and accepting him at his word - OUTRAGED I could treat a man of his age ( 72 ) in such a manner and 'Don't you know who I am ??? - which always makes me laugh as clearly - HE DIDN'T KNOW WHO I WAS OR WHO HE WAS DEALING WITH or he might have thought differently before opening his gob.
Foolish Foolish old man and it is fools like him that ruin it for others.
I asked him who he thought should pay the difference in the costs to what he could afford and he jjst kept saying ' They should pay it ' and when asked ' Who are THEY ?' - He just kept saying ' THEY '- and I had to bark LOUDLY - 'WHO THE FUCK IS THEY ' and he eventually said ' the venue ' - to which I responded that he meant ME, as it was my venue - was he expecting me to contribute £600 a month towards a complete stranger - and all he kept saying was he saw no reason why he should pay anything at all let alone the 50% he stated he could afford., and I had to laugh.
As you can imagine, he was told where and what he could do with his self centered expectations and I told him he could 'sling his hook' and bugger off and yet sadly he absolutely couldn't get it, even saying he thought he should be offered a part ownership in the property if he decided to actually move in and these mental fuck-ups I can well do without.
Can you believe that ? :-
It reminds me of my Mother. Bless her and bless all the elderly who want but cannot afford. Sadly, while I may own Hamilton Hall, it does cost an absolute fortune to run and anyone assuming my electric is free and how there are no bills or running costs or - come to that - staff to pay - LET ALONE - hundreds of hours spent working hard by myself for no wage at all, guests living here have to pay and while I feel sorry for those who cannot afford, we do offer all sorts of special offers and if stuck financially, have a word with me and do not give me attitude or abuse as that won't work, be nice and see what we can agree together. I remember my old Mother and just wish we could have done more for her financially, and I am NOT about to pay for a complete stranger when I couldn't do it for my own Mum.
If you cannot afford to stay we DO need evidence and WILL ask questions and MAY ask you to help out a bit - and if you want a MASSIVE DISCOUNT as you cannot afford, then you make it up in other ways - PERIOD. No big deal. No hassle. Or go somewhere else and see how much the Hilton gives as discounts and remember, Hamilton Hall is MEN ONLY & CLOTHING OPTIONAL - and as there are no other such venues available, the choice is yours.
I put my heart and soul out there for Hamilton Hall and we are here to have some fun, some laughs and as a wonderful place to live and share with each other as equals.