Thursday, 28 July 2011

Speckly-Woo, Scooby-Doo, and the Slippery Slope

An elderly neighbour (88 yrs) has given up his flat this week. He's moved to a residential home where, hopefully, he'll be in receipt of 24hr care. When I drove by today, his windows were all open and there were shadowy figures moving about in his empty living room.

Until he moved, he had a carer who visited twice each day, neighbours who called in regularly and a postman who stopped every morning for a cuppa. His devoted daughter lives only a stone's throw away and from his chair at the window, he waved to, and received waves from, pretty much everyone who passed by.

The main reason behind his decision to go into care? He was frightened of dying alone. In spite of the fact that he was never without company for very long, the worry that his time might come between visits or during the night, was too much for him to bear.

Three more of our closest neighbours are in their 80s, live alone and independently. They march on, keeping as active and involved as their ailments will allow.

At the opposite end of the scale, Speckly Woo came up with this charming group portrait of the cartoon cast from Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. In case you're not familiar with these animated sleuths, they are, left to right: The Villain, Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, Daphne, Velma, Freddie.

Of course, these characters won't be going into care any time soon. They haven't shown any visible signs of ageing, in over 40 years!


  1. It's a thorny problem of the modern age - and whilst it's sad that your neighbour has given up some independence, I admire him for getting to grips with the issue and making a clear decision for himself. I hope he'll settle happily in his new home. And a postman who has time for a cuppa - wonderful!

  2. It's sad day when elderly have to (or feel that they have to) give up their homes and go into care. My husband's uncle went into care aged 95 after a serious illness, now not far off 97 and well again, he wonders if he rushed it.
    Wonderful artwork above and my daughter was a great fan of Scooby-Doo, so many years ago.

  3. The notion of dying alone is so very sad. On a lighter note, your little Woo is brilliant.

  4. I have nothing but respect for your neighbor's ability to make such a challenging decision for himself. As for the wonderfully talented Speckly Woo, you know I have the deepest admiration for her!


  5. I love the Scooby Doo picture (and I love Scooby Doo - always have). Good on your neighbour for knowing when to move on - I will be the first to put my hand up when I get to an age when I can't look after myself adequately - plus you get to play cards with the other people in the home ;) I wouldn't care if I was alone or not, on dying - we are all alone in the end, essentially.

  6. At least he got to make the decision.

    Speckly Woo's talent just keeps growing.

  7. '...shadowy figures moving about in his living room.' It wasn't Scooby-Doo and co., was it?

  8. Such a tough choice but at least he decided. So many elderly people end up in a home when they don't want to be there.

    Loved Speckly Woo's drawing!

  9. (when "The Time Comes") Living In A Home With A Wrinkly Villain+ Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, Daphne, Velma & Freddie would be kinda fun!

  10. From the point of view of a cartoon character, it is the world that changes, not the character. Mickey Mouse is still young and Dennis The Menace is hardly a teenager. And I am 24.

  11. I thought the same as Christopher - you're messing with our heads M! I don't feel qualified to comment on your neighbour...

    ...but I did have a dog called Scooby once (the Dooby Doo was optional. The Dooby Doo is always optional.)


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