As I remember back to when I was young, ‘Old Age’ didn’t seem to be a problem. Every other family had a parent, or even two living with them, and this for that time was an accepted norm. There was certainly no need for Retirement Homes, or Rest Homes, which today have been turned into a major industry. Mostly Granny or Grandpa were parked close to the stove, and were part of the extended family. A few Churches and Hospital Boards recognised a very small problem back then for those who didn’t have any family support. And they came up with Assisted Living Homes, or Eventide homes, or whatever you wish to call them. They were generally attached to a General Hospital, as were the Homes for Nursing Staff.


The situation which today seems to have started from a small beginning, has grown today into big business. It’s now even recognised as a serious investment prospect, and large Retirement Homes complexes are now listed on the stock Exchange. Entrepreneurs have pushed aside the earlier concept of a Non Profit operation, into a blue Chip Investment, and making money for their investors. Retirement Homes today and their growth is equalled to that of ‘Motels’ which are another recent innovation. There were none of these around sixty years ago either. They are a recent phenomena too, built to cater for the travelling Public, who today have more leisure time through living longer, and are much more mobile these days. It’s something that seems to have taken place after World War II. In days before the War, there were only Boarding houses, as well Licensed Hotels, to take care of travellers. But the truth was people didn’t travel much back then. Or if you did, often you were given a bed in a friend’s home.


People today are not being very cooperative and ‘popping off’ after their three score and ten years, or even earlier as they used to. Today with better nutrition and Medical care. Also with most of the heavy manual work being taken over by machines, we are living to eighty and ninety years of age, and still reasonably active.


Even on the Home Front today’s housewife has an easy life compared to what our parents did in the past. Drudgery for the housewife has gone, and most homes now have washing machines, vacuums, electric stoves, micro wave cookers and many other labour saving devices. With all the free time these machines have brought into the lives of our young, they should have loads of free time and be happy. Not so, the young seem to be busier than ever, Far too busy to allocate time to care for the Old aged or infirm, or volunteer for anything. Should today’s housewife wish, she can even buy most meals already prepared, and all they needs to do, is unwrap it, and heat.


And what kind of care do these Homes provide, pushing aside all their Glossy prospectuses of care provided? Well, it not a lot of different to other public service providers such as Banks. Your main contact and is sometimes with the lowest paid Nursing Aid, or a Teller. And the kind of service is dispensed, is directly related to their work load.


I know now from close inspection of the Service and care that’s provided, that should I be unfortunate enough to be struck down by a Stroke or heart attack. I would want no medical intervention what so ever, and I be allowed to be consigned to my maker with the minimum of fuss. To be consigned to Rest Home and cared for in my twilight would not be my choice at all. As I see it, it’s a form of institutional torture.




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