THIS week I am responding to a number of letters I have had about loneliness.
Most have been from older Aussies who are at a time in their lives where either physical or mental health has led them to be in assisted care situations. The remainder are widows/widowers who now live alone.
The biggest and most pressing issue or concern seems to be the lack of visits, phone calls, letters or indeed just care these people feel they are getting from family members.
I also understand that we are time poor, or think we are. But let me break it down for you. It can take a total of five minutes to pick up the phone and have a chat with an older family member, who would love the call to break the monotony of the day. It takes about the same amount of time to pick up a card or postcard, scrawl a message and post.
I understand that visits are a little more onerous. There is also the discomfort of seeing your parent/grandparent in health decline, which also brings home to us the frailty of life. BUT these are the people who bought us into this world. These are the people who in many cases went without so you could have what you now probably take for granted. It’s about respect and care.
Being time poor is just a weak excuse. We all have a spare five minutes.
Put it on your weekly or monthly list and make sure it is marked off.
Regret is an awful thing, don’t be the one standing by the casket wishing you had made a little more effort.