The Elderly in Nursing Homes v Criminals in Prison

A friend sent me a “joke” Grumpies of the World Unite, but far from making me laugh it made me extremely angry because the words hit home and made me pause to reflect. The more I read about care or lack of care and respect for the elderly, the less enthusiastic I am for my Mum to leave the comfort of her own home  to be cared for in a nursing home or “granny Farm” as they are sometimes referred to.  My friend was a nurse in one of these “establishments” and the stories she recounted concerning the standard of care and compassion, shown by some of the staff, were extremely upsetting. The elderly, poor souls, have paid taxes all their lives and what are they reduced to in their winter years as they are robbed of their savings, dignity and independence? Is this what we have to look forward to in God’s Waiting room?

Grumpies of the World Unite

Let’s put the pensioners in jail and the criminals in a nursing home.

This way the pensioners would have access to showers, hobbies and walks.

They’d receive unlimited free prescriptions, dental and medical treatment, wheel chairs etc and they’d receive money instead of paying it out.

They would have constant video monitoring, so they could be helped instantly, if they fell, or needed assistance.

Bedding would be washed twice a week, and all clothing would be ironed and returned to them.

A guard would check on them every 20 minutes and bring their meals and snacks to their cell.

They would have family visits in a suite built for that purpose.

They would have access to a library, weight room, spiritual counselling, pool and education.

Simple clothing, shoes, slippers, PJ’s and legal aid would be free, on request.

Private, secure rooms for all, with an exercise outdoor yard, with gardens.

Each senior could have a PC a TV radio and daily phone calls.
There would be a board of directors to hear complaints, and the guards would have a code of conduct that would be strictly adhered to.

The criminals would get cold food, be left all alone and unsupervised. Lights off at 8pm, and showers once a week. Live in a tiny room and pay £600.00 per week for the privilege and have no hope of ever getting out.

Think about the above words…

What are the rights of the elderly and what is going to happen to our ageing population?  I hear a lot of noise about the “Human Rights” of criminals and those who are awaiting trial, but what of the Human Rights of the elderly? Who is looking out for their rights?

This post is dedicated to my Mum.

The photo was attached to another joke email. Picture credit: Penny Parker

Advertisements

76 responses to “The Elderly in Nursing Homes v Criminals in Prison

  1. That’s terrible..it’s true..what about the rights of the elderly..I agree completely..someone needs to speak up about what happens in these homes..
    A very thought-provoking post..

    Like

  2. My parents sent me that story. They live in assisted living, my father is spry but is 90 years old and he just responds much slower to the world. My mother is 86 years old with many ailments and unfortunately is rarely happy. She is very unhappy that she is old and has many medications to take. I am sad for her but over the years I found I can’t make it better for her although I have tried. I hope I am learning from their experiences.

    Like

    • Hi Patty, thanks for sharing your story. Your Mum sounds like mine 🙂 I keep telling my kids. As long as I have a little patch of earth, my computer and my books…just don’t stick me in a home to let me vegetate!

      Like

  3. You make some excellent points. Sad but true. I hope your mom never has to experience a bad nursing home. Surely there are some good ones out there?

    Like

    • Hi CM, the nursing homes seem to be pretty hit and miss. Yes, I think we found one last year but it was out of her area which meant she would have to meet ALL costs and these were way out of her price range. 😦 Even then her facilites on the second floor were pretty basic with no ensuite bathroom.

      Like

  4. Chubby Chatterbox

    I agree with originalapplejunkie: Our seniors deserve so much better. Your post reminds me of Jonathan Swift’s “Modest Proposa”l about Irish children. He used satire to get Parliment to give aid to starving children, so maybe your post can do some good for our elderly.

    Like

    • Hi Chubby, no one in government are listening to the needs of the elderly.
      The government are making older people work longer before they can retire although they know there are no jobs. I now have to wait an extra 18 months before I can claim my state pension. There is no money so say in the kitty to pay pensions but they can send money to India who have their own Space program and have just ordered a fleet of fighter jets from France.

      Like

  5. P – I have been dealing with this very issue for two years. My parents live in an assisted living building. For several months in 2010, my father had to be in an alzeimers secure facility until we could get medications stabilized for his agitation and paranoia and my mother could recover from shoulder replacement surgery. It was a nightmare! We couldn’t wait to get him out of there. We were able to move him back in with my mother in January, 2011. The assisted living facility is better than the facility where my father stayed, but the cost is unbelievable. I won’t have the retirement income my father has to be be able to pay for something like that when I’m their age. It’s really very scary.

    Like

    • Hi grandawn, thank you for sharing your story and your parents are lucky to be together again. I don’t have a clue what’s going to happen to my Mum, but wherever she goes she is not going to be happy. I feel so helpless and angry as she does not have much money. I hate the way England rewards it’s elderly generation and I constantly read about the “burden” on the state. They were not such a burden when the same people fought for their country or contributed tax all their life. grrrrrr

      Like

  6. A very thought-provoking post Carole, and you are right – prisoners get more care and comfort than the elderly who end up in Nursing Homes. It’s all wrong.
    My mother has been in a Nursing Home since she had a stroke 7 years ago, and sometimes I am appalled by what goes on in there. The fees are extortionate for what she gets – a tiny room and meals. My brothers and I weren’t informed that she hadn’t been eating until she was so ill, she was taken to hospital. She’s been there for the past week, but is deteriorating fast; we are not sure if she will make it to her 92nd birthday next week. The Home should have informed us immediately about the problem. It’s like shutting the gate after the horse has bolted. At this moment I wish I lived in England so I could be with her.
    This plight that our elderly folks have to go through needs to be vastly improved. Prisoners have their rights taken care of, but who is looking out for the Human Rights of the elderly?

    Like

  7. To be fair my mother spent her last 2 years in a nursing home. Although it was not perfect she was treated reasonably well. The care she received in hospital was a different story!

    Like

  8. With living overseas, one of the concerns my family has is what will happen to me when I get old. To be honest it is one of the reasons I live in the Dominican Republic. Here there are no nursing homes or old age facilities – well only a couple. There is no question that you live with your family. With the children and their families and they look after you. And if you have no children then with the family of brothers or sisters. And the oldest person is the head of the household and has total respect. So no nursing home for me, I will rule the roost in whoever’s house I am. Maybe the idea of having your parents living with you should come back in the UK?

    Like

    • Hi Lindsay, the thought of you ruling the roost in your latter years made me smile. I think the families in the UK are far more work orientated and not close. My Dad’s Mum lived with us when I was young… but things were a lot different then and society has changed.

      Like

  9. Damn straight! And I can relate to this at a personal level. My lother in law slipped and fell and after a brief spell in hopsital in Oporto was ‘sent’ to a nursing home. From all acoounts this is very much how the saet up is.
    And unfortunately she passed away a short while later.
    Shocking.
    Be more humane in some case to offer old folk a sunny wall, a blindfold and a smoke.
    What’s really scary is that everyone becomes elderly and then what sort of futire are we facing.
    based on my mother in law’s experience I’ll choose the smoke and the wall.

    Like

    • Hi Arkenaten,
      It makes me so sad to read abou your MIL, and stories like this strenghthens my resolve to leave my Mum where she is! I think I’m with you on the blindfold and the smoke. I don’t want to end my years being a burden on anyone, yet alone the state and being imprisoned in one of the “uncare” facilities

      Like

    • Hi EC,I did not realise you could rebolg either as I’d always used the press this feature on my other blogs. I spotted rebolg and thought I wonder what this button does (as you do) and hey presto.Happy Easter!

      Like

  10. In the Latin countries I think most families still look after the elderly parents (as long as there is someone at home and the parent isn´t too sickly), but it´s really sad to get old and need care, the cost of the care is exorbitant, and most facilities do not have adequately trained personnel, and the elderly are very much left sitting in big rooms, with a blank look on their faces watching tv the whole day!
    I had an elderly uncle who had to be put into care, and it saddened me to go and visit him and all I could see were dozens of people sitting around a Tv on the wall, looking very sad and lost…

    Like

  11. The more involved family is in the care . . . the better the care extended.

    Like

    • Trouble is NAncy, the family is spread in different countries now, which makes it more difficult. My mother chose to move away from our family and near my sister who is moving/moved to Spain. At least my sons would have visited her. Now she is out on a limb, poor soul.

      Like

  12. I agree with you Pip. This list makes one stop to really think about how backwards our society really is. It’s sad. Thanks for sharing this.

    Like

    • Hi EC, this joke along with observing the care my father received in hospital, and a recent TV review of nursing homes by Gerry Robinson made me think. BTW nursing homes are big business and they are called “Granny Farms”

      Like

  13. A friend sent me this in an email about a year ago and whilst I saw the funny side it also made me think how sucky it must be for so many elderly folk and also what I don’t have to look forward to when I reach that age. Makes me think that maybe when I get to retirement age I should rob a bank or hold a bunch of people to ranson, well, do any crime short of causing harm in order to get locked up anywhere other than a hell hole.

    Prison has to be better than spending your days at the staring window and paying for staff to beat you up on a regular basis.

    Like

  14. Incredibly sad, the elderly seem to have no voice in our society nowadays…

    Like

  15. This made methink…I must start being nicer to my kids!

    Like

  16. After reading the post, i thought i seen it before. I posted one the same a year ago 🙂 but it was for our Government to read.

    http://dribblingpensioner.wordpress.com/2011/04/23/britains-debt-fixed-part-2/#more-280

    Like

  17. So right! I just saw on the news the other day that government officials here in Spain had observed that the elderly were not taking advantage of the many facilities available to them, and that many are cared for at home by relatives, but after hearing all the horror stories about these sorts of homes, it’s no wonder.

    Like

  18. So right! I recently saw on the news that government officals here in Spain had observed that the elderly were not taking full advantage of the facilities available to them, and that many are cared for at home by relatives, but after hearing the horror stories about many of these sorts of homes, it’s no wonder.

    Like

  19. It is sad that there is stll no democratic battle for more care and justice in this respect. When will our society be okay ?

    Like

    • Hi Modellanti and welcome 🙂 While the powers that people allow cares homes to be run as businesses…”Granny Farms” corners will always be cut to make a profit 😦 Society has lost sight of what’s important…

      Like

  20. What a coincidence! Last week I blogged about the shabby treatment of a blind, elderly lady that I befriended. The nursing home declined to give her a drinking straw on her death bed, saying that she had to provide them herself…

    Like

  21. A thought-provoking and astute comparison. I feel the same way about nursing homes for the elderly as I do about day-care for small children. No-one will ever care for them in the same way as those who love them. To anyone else, their motivation is a paycheck – there’s a world of difference.
    Asians have the right idea, when your parents are unable to look after themselves anymore, that is your chance to thank them for the love, care and patience they showered on you as a child.
    That said, I do believe you get what you deserve. There are many parents who DIDN’T do their best for their children. Perhaps they populate the nursing homes of today…

    Like

    • Hi Aisha, granny farms are big business in the UK now. I feel sorry for parents who need to put their children into day-care so they can work. It must be SO difficult and even heartbreaking.

      Asians certainly have the right idea and they reap what they sow 🙂

      Like

  22. It saddens me that the elderly don’t get compassionate care in nursing homes. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to keep their elderly parents out of nursing homes. Children may not be able to care for an elderly, ill parent, especially if that parent needs 24 hour assistance. They may not have a big enough house for their parent to live with them. They may need the money they earn from working to pay for their necessities and therefore can’t quit work to care for their parent or have money to put them in an excellent private facility. But it would be idea if everyone could be like the Asians. Our society is very different, as most elderly don’t want to be dependent on their children and would chose a nursing home rather than be a burden. I think that attitude varies from culture to culture. But, in this case, I think the Asians have it right.

    Like

    • Hi Shell,
      The Asians do seem to have it right but do all the women work? It is certainly true sometimes it is not always possible to care for an elderly relative for one reason or another which makes it all the more heartbreaking. It is OK if they are independent and just need the odd helping hand or company, but when they need constant care then that is VERY different and not always possible.

      I don’t want to get old and infirm and be a burden on anyone.

      Like

    • The problems we are facing more and more have a lot to do with the urbanisation. I am reading some books about it and all the sociologists point out that it is a main problem. There is congestion on the roads. People get nervous from the life in big cities and the government fails to respond. Some people are still waiting for a new Marx. We have a lot of thinking to do before the problems will be solved. In the meantime we are robbed from our future. Let the people help each other.

      Like

  23. Why is it the elderly everywhere get a raw deal and criminals are looked after. I think it should be the other way around.

    Like

  24. i totally agree with you, the Elderly have no wrights in nursing Places yes the staff should be watched I worked for a home for 28 years and I know what you are saying, Families really need to step in and care for there loved ones and not think that Nursing homes is the answer to the lives, they raised you and cared for you so do something for them !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Like

    • Hi Mariza, like my friend I bet you have some horror stories to share about the care offered by some staff in nursing homes. Unfortunately, as for some people giving up work to look after elderly parents or moving back to their homeland, sometimes it is just not practical or even possible. That is why I want my Mum to stay in her little flat as long as possible. She has carers 2/3 times daily plus her meals all brought in. For her this makes her very happy as she is surrounded by her museum of memories and she has an element of freedom. In truth My sister moved her down to her part of England to look after her, now my sister is spending more and more time in Spain. My Mum never wanted to move near me or my family although she had the opportunity on a couple of occassions, and always moved to be close to my sister or her brother. She never really cared about me and I always played second fiddle to my sister. When I needed my Mum she was not there. It’s a great shame but there you have it.

      Like

  25. My late grandmother was very lucky as she lived with my parents and was cared for by them with love – it was very hard work as she was very disabled, When they took a week or two off once a year she went into the best home they could afford but she hated it and was always so depressed before and after. Here in Spain homes for the elderly are rare (at least in rural Andalucia), all the extended family mucks in and the family elders are respected and loved for what they have done over the years. It´s heartbreaking that so many (in the UK at least from my personal experience) older folk are just forgotten.

    Like

    • Hi Chica,
      My grandmother was also looked after by my parents and I can remember as a young child I loved playing games with her. My parents converted part of the house so she could come and go as she pleased and was totally independent. Grandparents have more time and patience than parents unfortunately with us this is just not possible, and she lives in a tiny flat near my sister who now spends quite a long time in Spain. HAving said that my sister moved my Mum down to Devon to be with her, but now he is going to Spain. My Mum and sister were always very close but now….

      I just don’t want to get old and be a burden or for people to have to make decisions of what to do with me. It is the society in which we live now. People do not stay in the family home , have the space but move on, downsize or ship out completely to escape the UK.

      Like

      • My grandparents also lived in a part of the house with my parents – it´s unusual nowadays. I hope, like you, that when we get old we are not a burden to others but maybe the world will be full of people like us all wanting the same things and something will have to change…for the better.

        Like

  26. My only consolation is that we are an aging population in Australia and so have a bit of politial clout as there are going to be so many of us. Mind you, we never get to reture the rate it is going, so I’m not sure what is going to happen.

    It is very sad.

    Like

    • Hey Robyn, you will only have clout if you fight for it. In the UK there are a lot of pensioners struggling and the government continue to tax them to the hilt and even increased the retirement age. I’ve lost the plot now as to whether it’s 66 or 67 and they are even talking about it being 70. there should be a zimmer frame revolt!

      Like

      • Basically, after a certain age here (not sure of the cut-off year of birth) you HAVE to be a self-funded retiree. I am old enough that I will still be entitled to the pension – depending of course on John’s entitlements – but my children certainly will not be – and I mean my oldest Australian children, not the current crop.

        Like

  27. Sad… the elderly suffer enouh without all the criminal behavior.

    Like

  28. Here in India, things are not that bad for the elderly. In fact, till a generation ago, the joint family system was still very much in vogue and there was always someone to take care of them even if their own children were not staying with them. Nowadays , nuclear families are more the norm . But still by and large , elderly parents stay with one of the sons(in most cases) .Sometimes of course, relationships do turn foul with proximity.Things are changing here too with the children moving out to different places because of career compulsions and so on and Old Age homes are coming up. One wishes that this was not so. My own mother continues to stay in the house she has always lived in. My younger sister and her family stays with her. The rest of us siblings live elsewhere , but all of us pitch in to take care of her and spend time with her whenever we can. I feel parents do deserve that care and respect.

    Like

  29. Hi dreamingthruthetwilight and welcome!
    It is a great shame society has moved on and the family focus has changed with the demands of modern life. When I think of India I always think of her as a family orientated country. Change is not always for the better.

    Like

  30. It’s amazing how much debate this post has sparked but it is so sad. The expense of looking after the elderly will continue to rise and in these times of increasing debt and austerity measures our fate looks sealed. It’s hard enough to save for the now let alone the future.

    Like

  31. Pingback: The Forgotten Ones… | Piglet in Portugal

  32. Pingback: The Forgotten Ones… | The Blog Farm - A Growing Blog Community

  33. Pingback: Old Dudes Rule! | Piglet in Portugal

  34. Hi, my name is Jessica and I’m from Brazil.
    I’m 17 but since I was born I used to spend the whole day with my grandma, she´s the most lovely person I have ever met! This year has been the most difficult one to get through… Grandma has been sick since june, and we’ve already tried all kinds of treatment and she’s not getting better. Sometimes she doesn’t reminds me but I’ll always be there for here. She used to live alone and as I want to get into the medical school I’ve been studying a lot, I couldn’t be at her house everyday. From July to October my family paid two nurses to take care of her but we got to know that they didn’t treat her well and that they were robbing her things, since then, she started to live with me and my family but unfortunately she got really sick and it’s been 2 months that she’s been at the hospital… I miss her so much, every night I pray and I ask God to bring her home to me… And then I see how much people forget about the rights of the elderly, why don’t people respect them? I totally agree with your post…

    Like

    • Hi Jessica and welcome to my blog. the care of the elderly is appalling in the UK. Trouble is houses are small and often families do not have enough room with a growing family to care for elderly relatives at hme. Worse are the so called nursing homes. You grandma is lucky to ahve you and hope she returns safely home soon.

      Boas Festas e Feliz Natal 🙂

      Like

  35. Pingback: Doing “Time” in a Long-Term Care Facility | UNA Local 115

  36. Awesome! Tremendously informative blog post. I’m saving your web-site at this moment. Thx!

    Like

Please share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s