Letters to the Editor: New Year, Old Problems

Tony’s New Year resolutions are influenced by the realities of growing old and yet tinged with unexpected optimism.

Funny isn’t it how procrastination can fill so much time? It’s been 25 years since my wife and I plunged into the foggy learning experience of care homes and their offerings of relief mixed up with overwhelming depression. We first became entrapped when our own widowed parents reached stages when neither we nor they could cope with the demands of their age begotten infirmities. 

It was quickly realised that our understanding of the “system” and how it operated was more than slightly lacking; fast learning, self reliance and assertiveness became essential tools to probe into this new world. Fortunately, we navigated the path, but with a constant feeling of inadequacy and guilt on our part, for some of the reluctantly accepted results. 

When the time arrived and we had passed through that oft mentioned valley, our lives resumed and we adopted the ostrich view, enabling us to defer using our experience to make sound plans for our own time of support need. Naturally, we would “grow not old”, or at least we could pretend it would be so. 

Hence procrastination triumphed, until a New Year beckoned through the mist of the London Eye Fireworks, accompanied by a very substantial increase in our Travel Insurance quote. What could “they” know that we did not? 

Anyway, as though the grim reaper had arrived at the New Year celebrations party, to play a family game of “Confess your New Year Resolution,” I have opted to follow the advice seen in another blog about “Making Plans.” 

Wife has returned to muttering “miserable old git” and similar, which I will assume is an ongoing term of endearment, but may be her response to my changed on line browsing activity. At least the personalised offers of Google may change from mature dating (or worse) to stair lifts, care homes and incontinence aids. 

It has rapidly become clear that little has changed over the past quarter century in any way that makes the future prospects seem much better than our parents’ adequate but far from perfect, experiences. 

Why, oh why, cannot the final down-winding be accomplished in a manner and place that would be welcomed rather than reluctantly accepted or worse? 

Perhaps there has been an excess of imbibition (if such a word could exist) of the New Year’s drams but some glimmers of hope have appeared from the Boris bumblings of a new beginning. A cross party effort is to be made to implement changes required and realistically, these cannot be laid at the feet, or hung round the neck, of any one party. We are all involved and as the Piper will need to be paid, we all have a responsibility to face up to the changes that will be needed to our spending/saving/tax plans. 

How about this forum moving into the debate that will arise, and which will certainly affect its members? Perhaps our members and readers would welcome opportunities to participate. You can tell us what you think on our Facebook Page, or by emailing us via info@calderdaleforum50plus.com