Several of us playing ukulele this afternoon at a Nursing Home for the elderly in a nearby village. The particular home has a very good reputation and the inmates seem quite happy - all of them in their eighties or nineties I would guess. They have varying degrees of mobility - some much worse than me, some better. Whenever I go I ask myself the same question. Could I live here?
The answer is always no,but I think that is because I manage well living alone - but it may not always be so.
Here I have the freedom to drive where I wish to drive, to call upon who I wish to call upon, to tootle off for an afternoon, to ring a friend and ask them out for lunch. All that would be denied to me in such circumstances.
The residents enjoyed our sing song. One elderly lady came up to me afterwards, saying how much she had enjoyed it because we had sung all the old songs they knew and they could join in Daisy, Cockles and Mussels, Pack up your Troubles,
all the old favourites.
Coming home friend W and I were talking about getting old and loneliness. I would say that, if you have had a partner at some time in your life, it is more or less impossible when one of you is left alone, to not feel lonely some of the time. What to do? Giving in to it is, I am sure, not the answer. Possibly the way to fight it is to have plenty to do, lots of interests, plenty of friends and maybe some kind of voluntary work if one is fit enough.
All I know for sure is that I have no desire to enter any kind of rest home/nursing home/care home. For as long as I possibly can I wish to remain in my own home, with all my possessions around me, master of my own fate and totally independent.
The day may well come, but I am not there yet.