I rarely get letters addressed to Dear Gerard. Yet, it happened. It was yesterday. I could not believe my eyes. And it was followed up by my address too. The postman could have read it through its clear-plastic address window. The ‘Dear Gerard’ letter is urging me for a yearly Health Assessment. An Australian Government initiative to keep the elderly at home as long as possible. In my previous post I pointed out the dreadful risks taken when housed in a Private or Government ‘care’ facility. It would give Kurt Wallander unlimited material for spine chilling TV crime busters. The dreaded mid-night nurse approaching with the needle!
The world wide problem of aged-care is finding strange solutions. In The Netherlands some relatives have found solutions for their ageing parents by secreting them away in the Ukraine and Slovenia. Are the Polish salt mines being converted to aged care facilities next? One old Dutchman was even found wandering round a Thai Airport. In the US, the aged are simply being dumped along highways or heaved over the border-fence in Canada. Ungrateful children found out their keenly awaited inheritance had been (wisely) spent, or worse, they now were lumbered with a debt. Grandpa was very fond of the casino.
This Government too will stop at nothing to avoid having to fork out money to care for its long suffering former tax paying elderly citizens. Hence the invitation for the Health Assessment. I went through the same thing last year. I came through with flying colours. I managed to fold a piece of paper, bend over and put it on the floor in front of my feet. Nurse commented on my still supreme mental agility in following an order. I thought, but did not say, I had still far more interesting facilities still in order as well.
The invitation to this Government supported Health Assessment Party this year includes a few more mouth-watering options. The outstanding ones are levels of continence and my fall status. Can you believe it? The assessments of moods and memory will also get judged by the Practise Nurse. From memory, I remember having filled in a form last year that included not wanting to stay alive if it meant artificial feeding or breathing.
I wonder if I could get a bracelet “No resuscitation, please.” An exception might be made if resuscitated by a woman! Would I need an extra bracelet for that option? I would not like a mouth to mouth performed by a bloke. But, who knows? I haven’t yet thoroughly contemplated and reached that option.
But there is still time.