Today I want to write about the life of an old age couple and who does the cleaning.
I turned 85 last September and Peter turned 85 a few days ago. Peter has multiple health problems. However the good thing is that so far he can still live at home. To me it seems like an enormous blessing that Peter and I can both live together at home. We enjoy every minute of it for we know that sooner or later all this is going to change; so we might just as well make the most of it while it lasts.
So, who does the cleaning? I would like to think, that we share it. With the sharing this works now only some of the time. Our strength is rather limited. So we cannot be too particular about certain cleaning jobs that should be done.
Some of our children sometimes act as though we do not have enough money to spend on ourselves. But so far this has not been the problem, not at all. On the contrary, we still have some savings and are usually able to save a bit more money on a weekly or monthly basis. Despite quite a bit of spending for medical items and consultations with specialists (General Practitioner consultations are mostly without any charge!), we feel medical expenses do not send us broke. Ambulance and hospital stays are for free! So, just how lucky are we? For some people in other countries this must seem like Australia is a dream country. I must say, we know we are extremely lucky.
And I must say, we are extremely lucky that we can still look after ourselves at home. With advancing age there are of course more and more dfifficulties in doing this. I for instance have advanced recently to using a ‘walker’. This light frame with wheels is extremely useful for when I feel very weak and rather than just using my walking stick to support me, I have this walker which makes it easier to move along! I believe my daughters think I have never done a lot of cleaning but now with advanced age it really is getting more and more difficult. Still, with Peter usually being able to do rather more than his share, we have sort of managed so far. Of course we could pay for some subsidised help. But this kind of help is very difficult to get in our area, unless it is an emergency. Anyhow, we have been put on a waiting list for subsidised help. We feel we are not in a position to pay for a lot of hourly help the way hourly work is paid for in Australia. That goes too for the rates that we would have to pay for gardening. So our backyard, where a lot of gardening should be done, gets extremely neglected!
Since we cannot pay for a lot of outside help, we should really be living in a somewhat more suitable place for old age pensioners. There are lots of reasons why it is rather difficult to move to a place like this unless it is an aged care home. And we would rather like to stay away from aged care homes. Even the very expensive ones tend to have staff shortages, and we could not afford a very expensive one anyway.
Both Peter’s father as well as my father did not live to a very old age. So age care was not an issue. Both our mothers though did live into their eighties. How were they cared for? Well, my mother paid her granddaughter to come in on a regular basis and do some work for her, and Peter’s mother paid one of her daughters to do some work for her. Both mothers lived in a very small apartment when they were at an advanced age.