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The missing link

Contributor: Szymon Kurjański

Origin/affiliation: Poland

There are healthy people, who – despite advanced age – are operating in society completely fine, taking good care of themselves. And there are people with illnesses, who need to spend their time, temporarily or for longer period, in medical-treatment facilities like hospitals or healing-facilities for the oldest, both operating (in Poland) within public health care system. And what to do with those, who are physically fully fine, capable of preparing themselves meals, dressing up or cleaning their surroundings, but unable to remember to close the door, taking their pills, or getting lost in their neighbourhood? What to do with people, who are to healthy to occupy a bed in hospital or a specialised, neurological clinic? Or when their condition is “just” dementia, with no chances of getting better, so there is no actual reason to keep them in the hospital, where patients are supposed to heal?

There is a missing link in the health care system for people who are not any more active members of society, but still have many years in front of them. What they need is a space where they will feel safe again. Where there always will be someone to talk to, to ask for assistance, or just to check if everything is fine, and remind that today is Saturday, so your kids will come to visit you on Sunday, which is coming tomorrow.

More and more people can remain being great grandparents, and often grand grandparents, even if they don’t find the modern reality comfortable. It is our responsibility to create such spaces, where they will still feel safe and needed. In Poland it is just starting, but I’m sure year after year we will see more small nursing-homes, because such places are the missing link, and they are simply needed.

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