Saturday, November 15, 2008

The hard decision

When old people are portrayed in the media as cantankerous and grumpy, their anti-social behavious is usually offset by an admiration for having "attitude". And if it's a movie, that old person probably ends up passing on great wisdom to the younger person who previously resented them.

But what if an old person is cantankerous, grumpy, utterly negative, paranoid, unappreciative, demanding, suspicious, and miserable - and refuses to redeem themselves Hollywood-style? What if that person is your aging parent and you can see that in the near future you're going to have to make that choice?

Old folk's homes with Chinese-speaking staff and/or residents are pretty damned rare in these parts.

10 comments:

donnasoowho said...

LOL I so thought you were talking about Prince Charles to start off with :-). I should tell you the rest home where my Granny lives (read, old cantankerous chinese lady), which isn't the one where my aunt (who speaks Chinese) works...

donnasoowho said...

btw, have you read a book ... by Amy Tan. I think something about Bonesetting? It's about an American/Asian woman putting her elderly parent into a resthome. I just about laughed my ass off when I read it. Especially the bit where they trick her into going into the home by telling here there is a toxic waste leak in her house.

Violet said...

yes I have that book. That rest home was bloody expensive wasn't it? And I don't see my mum actually believing such an outrageous lie.
Yes, you definitely name the rest home where your granny lives AND the one where your aunt works. That is, if they are anywhere in the lower North Island...

donnasoowho said...

I think that my dad's family did something similar to my granny (tricked her into moving out 'temporarily' while they 'fixed things' in her house), although apparently now she's kind of cottoned on that she's not going home. Apparently she keeps on packing up her stuff in boxes and putting it by the door in the nursing home. I don't actually know which one she's at... but you might actually have heard of her cause she's kind of famous - she likes to paint ballerina pictures and knit tea cosies and make paper mache hens (she's had a few art exhibitions).

Violet said...

Yeah I've heard of her - of her ballerina paintings anyway. I didn't know about her papier mache and tea cosies though.

Pollyanna_H said...

It looks like the Alexandra home in Newtown has some Cantonese speakers? -

http://www.eldernet.co.nz/Facilities/Rest_Home_Care/Alexandra_Home/Service/DisplayService/FaStID/2692

It might be the only vaguely local one though. Hard, hard decisions.

PBS said...

That's why I couldn't live with my Mom and now she's in an assisted living situation. We're all FAR happier with things now!

Violet said...

pollyanna_h: yeah I saw that. It's not too far away actually. What a pity it's the only one I could find that had any Cantonese speaking people there. i guess elderly Chinese are still tending to be looked after by long-suffering offspring.

pbs: I totally believe you!

donnasoowho said...

Maybe the tea cosies are for family only.... I also have a fine collection of wooly hats (that look suspiciously like tea cosies). I think that someone is at the Rita Angus in Kilbirnie? But not sure if granny/aunt. They're at different ones (for obvious reasons).

Violet said...

donnasoowho: I know the Rita Angus. It looks like a prison from the outside, though the foyer is very hotel-like.