Thursday, March 20, 2014

Upside-down bucket list

Somewhere, possibly, there's an administration officer of a retirement village making use of a senior housing software program which will enable him or her to decide how much it will cost to house me in the year 2000 and whatever, and whether I'm going to be worth it to them to take in and care for.

There have been a few things in my life that I've said I really don't want to do, an kind of upside-down bucket list. One of them I talk about in my prostate book, which hopefully will be appearing by May/June this year; you'll have to wait and buy the book to find out what that was, because somehow it managed to take itself off my upside-down bucket list and put itself on my bucket list, where it didn't belong.

One of the other things is I don't want to do is go into a retirement home. I've had some experience of these: my wife worked in one for a number of years, and I've seen people who seemed lively and full of beans go into them and wind up sitting in a chair ground down by the general depression of the place.

Yes, I know that's not how they're advertised. But like it or not, retirement homes are the one of the last stages before departing the earth entirely, and if none of get out of this life alive, then a retirement home is where that not-getting-out starts for many.

Yes, they advertise swimming pools, with jaunty silver-haired people diving and rollicking about; they show the same silver-haired people enjoying the privacy of their own home or the social club atmosphere of the communal area. They show the extensive library, the gym, the whatever else is fashionable.

They don't show the hospital area, or the constant roll call of missing faces - turnover is high in retirement homes.

I realise I may not have a choice about going into one of these places - or worse, into a rest home. Circumstances may decide things for me. Perhaps if I take it off my upside-down bucket list and put it on my bucket list, fate will get fooled and let me depart in my own bed in my own home.

Time will tell.

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