Old Age

 

I decided to do this series of paintings because in my father's later years all though still living at home, with the help and support from my immediate family and friends I became his carer, he became the son and I the parent.
 
Right up to his death at the age of 92, he would come into the studio every day. He would make the tea for the girls, chat with them, shout at them and generally have a good laugh with them. 

He loved it.

 
He would, of course, be inappropriate, annoying, loud (he was deaf) and would often fart loudly whilst the staff we on the phone.

But above all, he was funny and loving and I miss him dearly.

 

It made me consider our attitude to Age in the West, there are no old people's homes in Asia or Africa where age is respected and seen as a source of wisdom and older people are looked after by the extended family.

Bill Whittaker

 

If you spend an hour talking to someone who’s twice as old as you, you will probably hear something hilarious, clever, wonderful and probably extraordinary.  

 

Kevin home alone

 

Kevin sits alone in his front room.  A clock ticks loudly in the background. Everything beckons to a lost partner. Her knickknacks, the holiday souvenirs. He has a heart condition and swollen ankles, but that's not what killing him, he is old and alone. 

 

 

Jack the lad

 

In the UK, we fend off our old people, by passing them over to NHS, or nursing homes. We use money to seclude ourselves from them Money is not the answer, respect, love and companionship are. We visit them once a week if they're lucky.

 

 

 

 

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Out of Sight out of Mind

 

We refuse to participate with the old, to include them our lives. We send them off to a nursing home where they are out of sight and out of mind.

Peggy, sad and precious

 

Alzheimer's is a death sentence or as Peggy puts it "You know I’ve got that terrible illness, what's its name." She is still lucid enough for the time spent with her to be funny and precious.

Dad

 

 

Looking after an ailing parent is incredibly sad and rewarding at the same time, where I became the the parent and he the child. The simple truth was I adored him. Throughout my life have respected him, admired him and been grateful for his love.

© nigel whittaker