Sunday, June 23, 2024

More consideration needed for the old

DISCLAIMER: Letters to the editor are very welcome, but please note that these reflect the views of the individual writer, not those of Grey Power.

I have always been one of the world’s greatest optimists, but I have to admit it’s getting harder and harder to stay that way. I have got to 86 years old without the need for any digital doodahs.

I left school at 15 without any qualifications except an abundance of common sense. I have still managed to own and freehold my home and brought up three children and several grandchildren and have never been out of work.

I’ve never owed money and only bought what I needed and not what I wanted (a subtle difference). I’ve never had goods on HP, I always saved up and bought “whatever” when I had saved the amount needed. I often found that by the time I’d saved enough I’d changed my mind and didn’t need it anyway!

I lived in London during the war and was evacuated away with my sister to the country for the last two years of the war. I loved it, it was in the country by the sea.

Although I was young, those years were invaluable. They taught me to look after what I had, no matter how old, as there wouldn’t be another one when that one wore out. It taught me to make do and mend, and mend and mend.

How little can you manage on when you [know] here is no more? Even feeling pride in making do and knowing old is better than none.

But the thing really getting me down is the lack of thought and consideration for the elderly now.

We’ve lost cheques, which was a real retrograde step. It was so easy to pay bills and post them – done. Now it’s a logistic nightmare trying to pay some bills as they have different payment methods.

The next one (to go) with no consultation or consideration for the client is landlines – the only system that works in a major outage of power.
A few years ago our (the prime minister) said Telecom would never be allowed to do away with landlines as it was the only way in an emergency that people in a lot of areas in New Zealand can be communicated with for an assortment of reasons. No broadband to signal tower, no facility or ability, but landlines still work in a major power failure.

When the memory goes, one button looks much like another button and trying to remember is the hardest thing of all.

The older you get, the harder it is to remember how to work these (new) devices and with 25% of the population (plus) with or getting dementia they need things that are easier and familiar, not harder.

I enjoy Grey Power Magazine and must thank all of those members in the community who pursue these causes for the benefit of us all.

Val Gray

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