My father has recently moved into a rest home in Wanganui, probably one of the best from what I hear. Some initial observations…
- Privacy is not great – rooms do not lock and many of the doors are just left open.
- There are quite a few people just waiting to die, equally there are a number who embrace their new surroundings and live life to the fullest. Those waiting to die resemble the walking dead (not meant unkindly but that was my first reaction)
- Mobility is not great… to be expected. I suspect my father would win a 100m dash even at 90 years old.
- Carrot and cabbage smells pervade. I assume these vegetables are a core part of the diet. (YUK – But you get used to it.)
- Its a bit like kindergarten for old people. The older they are the more they revert. They even play primary school games such as hangman as part of organised entertainment. (Great by the way.)
- Theft still happens! I purchased my father a brand new Kathmandu jacket… stolen with 10 days. He hides his cigarettes because people steal them.
- You can only bring a few things to a rest home and the interest in material belongings is virtually nil. But having access to $money does help, especially if you have to pay in part or full to be a resident.
- Very little technology used by residents… its just too much effort to use a laptop for many older people.
- I could image older people being placed in a rest home with only once a year visits by family. Keeps the guilty conscience at bay… but not much fun for the resident.
- The care givers have a pretty demanding job (old people can be VERY demanding at times).
Can’t say I would ever want to be a resident or caregiver.