Thursday, 25 February 2010

Human Interest Story

This is a bit off my usual blogometer, but give me patience as I adjust to my new job, please thank you.

At work I'm going to be working on a project involving older people and social inclusion. It is a serious and compelling issue and I'm excited to be a part of it. I've worked with a government programme for older people before, and I was on the front line, speaking to (and hopefully helping) people, so I know how confusing new services and processes can be for this demographic.

I also understand a little about the loneliness that older people can feel as well. I remember reading an article (I will find and link it) about a man who put an ad in the local paper offering to pay £7 an hour for people to go for a pint with his father. It was a sad and touching story, reflective of our modern lives - the adults who are too far away or too busy to care for their parents, the longer periods of retirement as average life expectancies increase with each year that pass, and the need for companionship. The point that the article made was that older people often don't need someone to do something with - there are SAGA holidays and local meetings and other such events where people of similar age group can do activities together. No, it is the moments of doing nothing that are the loneliest. People don't need someone to do something with, they need someone to do nothing with.

It is this weird place that I find myself too. I can spend hours talking to my partner on Skype or on webcam or on the phone, but there are times for conversation and there are times when I'd rather just sit and be in a room with him, silently co-existing. People ask if I miss him. I say I don't miss him when I am busy doing things, it is when I am doing nothing that I would like to be doing nothing with him.

No comments:

Post a Comment