A second thought for others

A second thought for others

21 December 2011

WITH the hustle and bustle of Christmas in full swing it is easy to forget that some people may no longer be able to take part in as much of the festivities as they would wish. In a thoughtful reminder of the value of the older generation to society, Newcastle community healthcare worker, PAMELA McMASTER, encourages people to remember the elderly and their contribution to modern day society.


AS life moves at such high speeds in this day and age, it’s easy to forget the older generation, the generation that made the world we live in, that made our many freedoms possible. However, in my job I see and hear the lives of this special group of people.

The first client of the day smiles at me as I walk through her front door; we make comments about the weather and how we’re never happy with it and then we laugh. My client suffers with a lot of pain from her arthritis — she can barely walk, but she tries. She’s of a generation that knew what tough times were, although to her, they were not tough times, just everyday life. Riding her bicycle to work every day in bitterly cold weather, working 12 hour days in a busy hotel and riding her bicycle back home again.

I help her get washed and dressed and make her breakfast. Her sole companion is her dog. She loves that dog so much — he is now her only company. Her family have grown and moved away from home; though still in touch, she lives alone.

We talk about Christmas. She misses being able to get out and buy presents for her family — someone else must to do that for her now. Though getting on in years and in pain on a daily basis, she is still determined to be as independent as she can. She moves from room to room, slowly but steadily, pain in every step, but she won’t let it beat her.

She thanks me for the work I have done for her that morning, always grateful and polite. As we say our goodbyes, she is anxious to know when she will see me again. I tell her, and then set off to my next call.

We take our life and our freedom of movement for granted. We jump into our car and head to the shops to buy our own groceries, or Christmas presents. We go out and see our friends at our leisure or enjoy a stroll down the street without a second thought for these special people. People whose lives were much more difficult than ours will ever be.

Life today is sometimes like a rat race, moving on at a speedy pace. Just try though, at some time this Christmas, to think of our older generation. Remember that although the body is unable, the mind is willing. Whilst they are sitting, watching the world go by, they would love to be going along with it.