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No country for old men

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


John Report 12 Jun 2008 11:14

After 50 years I still have my OH - God help either of us if one of us should go.. But I would like to think that we would still remain in this once great country, for ever.........

☺Carol in Dulwich☺

☺Carol in Dulwich☺ Report 12 Jun 2008 10:24



lilybids Report 11 Jun 2008 20:30

yes Ann makes sense my children said same thing,wonder how you get through the days some times
every little thing you do reminds you,its very hard ,
oh loved country western music,one favourite was Your my Friend when i hear that cry buckets, Funny how you cry on your own.


AnnCardiff Report 11 Jun 2008 20:17

it's a bit of a bummer isn't it Lily but I think to myself, and it might sound daft, I'm glad he went first, one of us had to, because I would hate for him to be feeling like I feel now - make sense? It's very early days for you yet though Lily, nearly six for me and in some ways it does get marginally better, but I expect like me he is never out of your mind - been driving in my car today listening to CDs - Nat King Cole ones always make me weep - but I save it for when I'm in my car on my own - don't want to embarrass other people, cos they do get embarrassed if you break down in front of them and then you feel even worse cos you've upset someone else!!!!


lilybids Report 11 Jun 2008 17:51

Sally thanks xx

Sally Moonchild

Sally Moonchild Report 11 Jun 2008 17:42




lilybids Report 11 Jun 2008 17:40

yes Sally every time i go to family gathering its just not the same i know my children love me very much ,i still feel lost and lonely,the worst thing for any one is going home to empty house,its the same for what ever sex you are 50 odd years is a very long time to be with some one you love but i guess the female sex do cope better than men.

Sally Moonchild

Sally Moonchild Report 11 Jun 2008 17:22

Oh Belair, that is soooo sad......what a way to end up, having to pay for someone to talk to.....

OH has a friend who he goes for a drink with of a Sunday lunchtime, and this chap sometimes doesn't talk with anyone from one Sunday to the next.......he has a son with a family, but they don't pay him any attention..... he gets invites to all our family gatherings, but its not the same, is it.....

........and daffyduck, I well remember my Dad saying the very same thing, they had been married 5l years and thought that life was so unkind as to leave people without their partners in old age........even in amongst the family who loved him so very dearly, you could almost see him wishing that Mum was with him....

☺Carol in Dulwich☺

☺Carol in Dulwich☺ Report 11 Jun 2008 11:11

Despite the fact that there are billions of people in this world, there are tons of lonely people living all over the planet. People can be in a crowd of people and still be lonely. There are people that you see every single day that consider themselves to be in the category of ?lonely people’. Forced smiles and fake laughs may cover up the fact that someone may be struggling or hurting. Most people hate to admit that something is wrong. They want to look poised and capable. The harsh facts are that lonely people are everywhere.

One of the best places to find lonely people is in a nursing home. Walk into a one sometime and look at the weary and aged faces that might be staring at you. Some of them were put there by families and are ignored. Others have no families at all and spend their time sitting in a chair staring out the window. They aren’t truly alive in their hearts, they simply exist because they are supposed to. It is absolutely heartbreaking knowing how many lonely people you can find in a nursing home. Despite the games and activities that the homes might encourage or organize, it can’t take away loneliness.

If you ask some of the individuals who would describe themselves as falling into the lonely people category, they give varying reasons. Some of them have no family members and go home to an empty house every night, others are going through a divorce or separation. Other lonely people claim that they have no friends and spend all of their free time completely alone. There isn’t one specific reason for loneliness. It happens to everyone. Even individuals who seem to have lots of friends and relatives and appear incredibly happy may be very lonely.

You can help some of the lonely people in the world feel a bit less lonely. Visit some residents at a nursing home or volunteer. Some of the residents may be overjoyed at visits from a complete stranger just to have someone to talk to. Reach out to make a new friend. You never know how much of a difference you may end up making in someone’s world.


AnnCardiff Report 11 Jun 2008 10:56

It really is so sad, but is it particular to just the male population? I was widowed nearly six years ago after 43 years of a happy marriage and since then have felt very much a spare part - you don't fit in anywhere - everything comes in twos - people and food!!!

Ann X

☺Carol in Dulwich☺

☺Carol in Dulwich☺ Report 11 Jun 2008 10:40

Psychologist Linda Blair argues that older men, who were likely to be the major or only breadwinners for their family, are often diminished by retirement. The phone stops ringing for them. The skills that made them valuable in the workplace are redundant at home and they have few skills to sustain them in the event of bereavement or divorce. "Men of that generation weren't taught self-care skills," she says. "They don't know how to use the microwave or do the vacuuming. But if they're taught in old age because their wife has died or because of divorce, then it's hard to make those skills stick.

"Most of them die of neglect because they don't learn. One in five people over the age of 80 get confused. And by 'confused' I don't mean dementia - that's a different thing. What I mean is that they start to forget, and what they forget most of all is what they learned recently. So if men are taught self-care skills late in life they are more likely to forget them than women. For women, they've been washing and cleaning for ever so they don't forget how to do them."

I put this thought to 85-year-old widower Derek Dobbs, a former labourer and cemetery worker who lives in a bungalow in Lower Tuffley, near Gloucester. "That's exactly what happens. It's horrible, actually. It's frightening. I put my purse down when I change my trousers and I can't find my purse. I keep losing my glasses and then find them in the morning on my head. But my memories of being demobbed, getting a suit and hat and £70, they're all there.

"And my memories of my wife are crystal clear too. It'll be 10 years this Christmas that she died - only three months before our golden wedding, too." What has it been like since her death? "I've been managing. I used to get around in an old banger, but I had to give that up. I've had glaucoma, you see. I've had three operations on my prostate. I take five different kinds of pills every day. But I'm still alive."

Dobbs says he relies on a woman for whom his wife used to be a cleaner to drive him to hospital and doctor's appointments, and to pick up bits of shopping for him. "She's called Miss Eileen Goodwin, and she's as good as gold. She always comes round at 3pm on the dot. We don't have much in common - she was a private schoolteacher and I'm a common working git. I'm sorry but that's the truth. She likes the royals and I don't. She always reads me poems, but I can't stand bloody poetry. But she's very important to me. I depend on her to take me everywhere and I'm very grateful to her. She's the other half of my life in a way."

Dobbs says he has a son, but for a variety of reasons he rarely visits his father. "And I have two grandchildren, but it's hard for them - they've got their kids and jobs, and they don't live nearby."

Does he find it hard to make friends? "When I go to get my pension on my disabled buggy - or scooter, as I call it - I'll speak to everybody who looks like they'll speak back. Some people treat you like dirt. But there are some nice people who will have a little chat for five or 10 minutes." Dobbs says he has also come to rely on Help the Aged's Befriending Service. "It's a daily telephone call and they tell me about which pills to take and have a chat. I always look forward to it."

☺Carol in Dulwich☺

☺Carol in Dulwich☺ Report 11 Jun 2008 10:35

Earlier this year, an advertisement appeared in a Hampshire post office. Lonely widower Jack Hammond, 88, was looking for a drinking partner. The successful applicant would be a man who would be prepared to accompany Hammond, a retired doctor and wartime radar technician, to the Compass Inn several nights a week for discussions about current affairs and military history. The right man would receive £7 an hour plus expenses for his services.

Hammond's son, Mike, who placed the ad, said that his dad had recently moved into a care home where there was only one other man. Unfortunately, he had nothing in common with his fellow male resident and he felt awkward asking women at the home out for a drink. "He was an extremely social person before moving into the care home and I want to give him some of his old life back," said Mike, who spends two evenings a week with his dad.

Happily, Hammond now has two drinking pals who share their duties on a job-share basis - Trevor Pugh, a 78-year-old retired kitchen fitter, who accepted £7 an hour to boost his pension, but would take no expenses, and Henry Rosenvinge, 58, a retired doctor who would take no payment.

Has it really come to this - that some elderly gentlemen are so lonely that they have to advertise for company? According a new survey, half a million men over 60 lead lonely lives with no friend and no contact from their families. But why should there be a gender split? Both men and women, after all, suffer bereavement, divorce and the deaths of friends. The former Daily Mirror women's editor Felicity Green, in a remark that really gets to the heart of what it means to lose a long-term spouse late in life, said: "I have plenty of people to do something with - I just have no one to do nothing with."

☺Carol in Dulwich☺

☺Carol in Dulwich☺ Report 11 Jun 2008 10:35

The number of men over 60 living alone in Britain has topped one million for the first time - and this Father's Day, many will have no contact at all with their families. But how did older men come to be so neglected? And why do women fare much better in retirement?