Age is the problem
When you are too young you are a problem to your parents
When you are too old you are a problem to your children
The problem is, that without putting too fine a point on it…..
Our ability to communicate effectively and…..
…..our ability to control our No 1s and 2s
In other words, when we stop knowing whether any particular
day of the week ends in a ‘Y’ or not…..
…..and when we cease to understand the function of a toilet
We go back to being kids
We start to need twenty four hour attention
Now in modern Britain we have an on hand ready made solution
The care home
Every village has one
Every town has dozens
As soon as said parent of ours looks like they are getting
ready for the ‘departure lounge’…..
…..we quickly get them to transfer their property to our
…..Cross our fingers that time spent in said ‘departure
lounge’ is at least seven years (to avoid inheritance tax)
…..Then let someone else do the bum wiping and the tax
payer pay for it
Perfect ! ! ! ! !
In La Dolce Vita it is a tad different
It’s not cool to stick mum or dad in a care home
The idea there is somewhat transactional, if not simply
Your parents look after you and then you look after your parents
Simples ! ! ! ! ! (Jay, ‘The Inbetweeners’, 2008-2010)
Down south, that is, south of Rome, this still holds true
Up north, that is, north of Rome, this holds largely true
In Italy, if you fast track your ageing loved one to a care
…..it is not definitely not COOL ! ! ! ! !
Down south you would bring disgrace on yourself and your family
Up north a different dynamic has emerged because so many
women work, either for professional reasons or simply through
So if no one is home to look after the ‘nonni’ (the hyper wrinklies)
…..and they can’t look after themselves…..
…..then they are (reluctantly) stuck in a care home
Below Rome it is still very different…..
Down south a married daughter would even move back home to live
with her parents in order to look after them…..
…..notwithstanding nipping to the marital home every now and
then for a bit of ‘How’s your father’ with the understanding
In short, if you are going to get old and you are unlucky enough
to revert to being a child again (and one of these two is
Then try and do it in Italy…..
…..and more particularly…..
…..try and do it down south
And if you are not this fortunate then just hope you don’t end up
on Panorama as a result of secret filming by an undercover
journalist as a victim of abuse by care workers !
You have been warned ! ! ! ! !