The dining room

So I visited my Dad yesterday, he’s in a aged care home about 15km across town. It’s a nice place, high quality care, good staff etc. I usually visit once a week, sometime I drive other times I ride my bike. When I ride I do tend to feel a bit out of place wandering the corridors in my lycra.

Dad is getting on a bit, he recently turned 90. Up until a year ago he was living on his own at his home, but one fall to many and some other significant health issues lead him into aged care.

I love visiting Dad but it’s hard. He just seems so frail now, even compared to a year ago. I joined him for dinner in the dining room. Probably about 5 tables of residents, 20 or so in all. It’s a strange experience, most just sit in silence, eating and knocking back a plethora of medications.

Dads move to aged care coincided with the period I found myself with a choice of continuing to work, or not. Experiences like the dining room help me make my decision to spend my time as I choose and add to my determination to stay fit and active. Before visiting Dad yesterday I played golf with my son, and before that, drove my daughter to Uni (college). Retirement allows me to spend and value time with family.

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Posted on May 24, 2012, in retirement and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. It seems like those dining rooms should be so much more fun, doesn’t it? I think back to my college cafeteria days and how I’d spend hours at those big, long tables hanging out, chatting with my friends. (Well procrastinating on studying.) But I loved the social life around dinner.

    I’m hoping when I get to the home–I’ll be the life of the party. Do you think it’s always those silent dinners where no one talks to each other? How sad.

    Both my grandparents lived to 90 (my grandma died 6 weeks after my grandpa.) They lived independently, in their home until they died. They were farmers, so they came from a long life of daily exercise. I think that helped. Hoping the biking and hiking and the good genes keeps me in my own home for a long, long time!

  2. Im afraid its a long way from a college dining room. I recall our had slabs of butter and vegemite stuff to the ceiling. If you asked someone to pass the jam you need to be a good catch.
    The silent dinners seemed to be the norm, not sure why. A few chatty social residents but most not so much.
    Actually hard writing this. My Dad passed away early July, also aged 90. He went peacefully.
    Re activity, visiting a nursing home is very good motivator for getting ‘out the door’. A love the older patrons I see at the gym and the older riders on the rode. So good.

  3. I’m in a similar situation as you, I retired earlier than many expect and my Dad has also been moved into an assisted living complex.
    As you said in another post it’s interesting to observe others reactions when you tell them you are retired, perhaps not as much for me as I’m 56 but still neat to see puzzlement on their faces.
    Enjoy your time, we never really know how much we have do we?
    Cheers,
    Dwayne
    pa thanks for “like”ing my post “Coffee, with a Capital C”

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