Dear Gerard; your Annual Health Assessment is due


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.

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6 Responses to “Dear Gerard; your Annual Health Assessment is due”

  1. jennypellett Says:

    What’s wrong with Mr Oosterman? I can’t bear being addressed in such a familiar way by a stranger, let alone a computer generated round robin. If I get one of those phone calls which starts “Hello Jennifer, how are you today? ” I immediately hang up. Grr…😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Jenny.
      One gets a bit more on edge and perhaps overly sensitive at the slightest hint of compensating by others when getting old(er).
      I would not mind on a personal level.If someone gets up in a busy train, that’s fine by me. It hasn’t happened yet, but that might be because I don’t often catch public transport. The Opal card has yet to reveal itself to us.
      My age group is getting so large now and it’s reflected in literature pasted on the walls of medical centres. An arrangement of all sorts of ailments drawing our attention. From haemorrhoids, diarrhoea, incontinence, constipation, head-lice, athlete’s foot, warts, boils. Not a single item gets missed.
      It’s not easy, but we all get there in the end. No one escapes and that is of a great consolation.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    You could tell them to contact some of your loyal readers to make the assessment We could assure them that your brain at least was in top rate condition. Get the fireworks ready to fire off when they give you a thumbs up!

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Dear Kayti. 😉
      I might get to subtract seven starting from a hundred downwards like last year. I haven’t reached the stage of falling over yet, unless it includes falling into bed after a couple.
      So my fall stage should be ok. I am going to make an appointment today. Hope I get a firm but fair Care Nurse.
      I’ll let you all know how I went.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. sedwith Says:

    We can all sit back and enjoy the patronising platitudes of the ones who have yet to learn dignity and humility….I think the trick is to engended in ourselves that little ‘giggle to self’ executed so well when the Delai Lama is asked a curly question that naively expects a simple answer. Just remember ‘giggle to self’ but not too loud they might think you have dementia! Oh to grow wiser and less arrogant, they may get there too someday.😉


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