Saturday, 2 July 2011


“Older, we must move, and stay, and move again, to keep our life-giving ties alive, for this movement is our fountain of age. And there's a freedom in realizing this, a new freedom to move or stay, new necessities and possibilities of choice.” - Betty Friedan

It was a busy Saturday today with many things that got done around the house, as well as a visit to our friend in the nursing home. She was very glad to see us and to give her a treat we took her out to lunch. She enjoyed that very much and during our meal she had some flashes of insight and surprised us with a few comments that revealed her past acuity of mind. However, at the same time it was sad to see her obvious decline and mostly witness her increasingly dementing state.

The nursing home itself was big and bright and clean with many staff around. However, there was not one happy face that we saw amongst its residents. One could see despair, sadness anger, forbearance, resignation or typically apathy drawn on the faces of the discarded elderly. Passing through the main lounge area, there was a collection of old people sitting and doing nothing except staring vacantly ahead. The television playing annoyingly and irrelevantly hardly registered on their minds and the highlight of the day for many of them would be a meal, perhaps. We were the only visitors there and as we took our friend out there were some glances of envy, not a single smile.

As if to redress the slightly bitter taste left in our mouth with the nursing home visit, we went out to dinner tonight, eating Chinese again at the Crown Casino restaurant, “Silks”. The food and service was good, but a little overpriced for what one receives. Nevertheless it was a good night out and it was surprising to see how many people were out and about in the City, the Casino and all the restaurants, cafés and bars.

For Music Saturday, here is Jascha Heifetz playing a “Melodie” from “Orfeo ed Euridice” by Christoph Willibald von Gluck (transcribed by Heifetz). The accompanist is Emanuel Bay.


  1. It always amazes me to think of you all in winter while we experience the first blasts of summer heat. Lovely photo of the seasons and ponderous thoughts over life's cycles. Cheers

  2. My young granddaughter Katie(18)has worked for a year, in an assisted living/nursing home, on her path to become a nurse. She sees the loneliness in some of their eyes, herself. With Katie's cheery persona and constant smile and chatter, many of the residents have become attached and ask for her, treating her almost like a granddaughter themselves. The facility is wonderful one though, recently they transported 20 to the Cincinnati Museum Center's OMNIMAX Theater, Katie accompanied them on their fun adventure. I like to think Katie has added to their lives and they to hers.

  3. For the last two years, we have visited, inspected and analysed every old age home south of the Yarra for close relatives. It is necessary of course, but heartbreaking nonetheless :(

    Leonard Cohen wrote: "I've seen the future, brother: it is murder". I don't want this for myself.

  4. One phrase stuck with me as I read this poignant post, Nicholas: The "discarded elderly". In many cases, I am sure this is true, many elderly people are put into these care facilities and are forgotten about. However, I know several people where having an aged relative in one of these homes is the only practical solution to longterm care issues. They visit regularly and dearly love their relatives. It's just that they cannot provide the level of care required themselves...

  5. How sad Nic......
    It's terrible when your elderly have to be taken care of that way. It's unfortunate but oftentimes they need special care that they cant get at home.....