Thursday, 7 July 2016

Mr Whistley and his Wayward Wireless

RADIO: Helping the Elderly 'Stay Tuned' since 1947

Elderly love their radios
this could be YOU in 20 years time, Dollie

Really, it's of little surprise that many of my Beloveds enjoy listening to the radio. What with deteriorating vision or being that they are frail or unwell with mobility often compromised, they find themselves in their later years, no longer able to indulge in traditional media pleasures the rest of us hipsters take for granted.  

Vices such as watching television, reading a good book or wallowing for half a day with toast n coffee over the Sunday paper is simply no longer feasible.  

Popping on the 'wireless' therefore makes perfect sense!

Not that they are missing much, surely?  It seems telly these days is unrelenting with it's bombardment of rubbish 'reality' shows targeted solely towards the younger more impressionable audience, thereby leaving bewildered older adults unable to relate and feeling overwhelmed at such bad taste and absence of depth. 

(Big Brother, The Batchelor and that heinous 'House Wives' series leap to mind here)

Instead, having a nice string of the Golden Oldies crooning away on the radiogram in the front room works beautifully to lift sullen moods and put some zing into a lonely Pensioner's day.  Memories of happy, more sprightly-er times are jogged by meaningful tunes, as well as offering the much needed 'company' my clients might now be lacking.

Hearing Vera Lynn always reminds me of my Edith and the times we used to sit in the back of the truck on our way to the dance at the town hall. Drinking home-made cider we'd nicked from my dad's basement... we felt sooo naughty”

“...but naughty in a good way, Dollie!”

Talkback radio too, is ideal for supporting a socially secluded Senior through periods of loneliness and the despairing need for human interaction. They get to stay fully up to speed with the latest news and affairs of the nation (usually in the middle of the night when they can't sleep) plus share opinions and views with like-minded people of the same ilk.

Similarly, for some of my older gents who adore  (and can't live without) their Sport.  Sadly though, thanks to 'old people' medical conditions, they are no longer capable of physically enduring long hours attending a footy game or cricket match in person.

“The logistics alone would just about kill me, Dollie!” to quote dear old 89 year old Bert with his 'gammy leg and dicky knees'.

Instead he attaches himself to his little black trannie (circa 1972) via a pair of well-used nicotine-stained earplugs and lies back in his armchair to bellow at “that frigging umpire” until he nods off with the excitement of it all.

Earplugs or headphones are superbly handy for many of the hearing-impaired elders I visit at their homes.  (They're also a godsend for the spouse who otherwise gets stuck tolerating the din!)

"Jeee-zuz, wife's gotten pregnant from less contact than that!"

Radios help Older People lonliness
If I turn that nob THIS way....
and then twist this nob THAT way....

However... as marvellous and New-Age as all that is, I have other elderly clients who can't manage their broadcast transmissions to save themselves! 

And it doesn't matter how ridiculously enormous the knobs on their radios are, or how basic the design or how simple the technology is to operate... THEY WILL STILL FIND A WAY TO STUFF UP THE SETTINGS!

Today for example, I arrived at 87 year old Bill Whistley's home and as I walked up the path, I was hit with that adorable melody 'Sweet Child of Mine' booming off the Richter scale and making the crockery in Bill's glass cabinet rattle.

Oh, I've tried fiddling with it, Dollie... but since I started my new pills I've lost the feeling in my hands a bit. Can't seem to land it on anything except THAT racket.”

Poor ol' Bill.  In all the fluster, he'd dealt with ear-splitting Axel Rose the only way he knew how - by shutting all the doors and stowing himself away in his spare room.  It never occurred to him to end all the wickedness by switching his radio off at the wall!

And Bill is not alone:

"My house is so quiet during the daytime... it's just nice to have something break the silence.  Mind you, be good if it were something I could whistle to"
(You mean you CAN'T whistle to Spiderbaits' toe-tapping version of 'Black Betty'?)

"To be honest, Dollie... I'm deaf as a post so ANY noise is good"
(Just static was 'playing' in this lovely lady's living room)

Oh the dam thing has a mind of its own. I set it on a nice bit of Sinatra but the next day it's somehow flicked itself over and I'm left with that lot screeching at me!”
(Alice Cooper, anyone?)

Oh is it, Dollie? I hadn't noticed... I thought I was listening to Roger Whittaker!"
('Eye of the Tiger'... good for what ails ya)

My son will be here later, I thought I'd leave it for him to sort out. Didn't want to meddle in case I broke something. Plus it means I get to see him more often”
(Led Zeppelin at brekky time for a 'Whole Lotta Love')

What's FM then? I thought it said 'AM' and 'PM'. So I've been switching the dial once I've had me lunch, over to the 'PM' for the afternoon session. Wondered why the tunes suddenly got a bit rowdy!”
(Let's just hope he doesn't actually end up "Burning Down the House')

It's been begging for a fight all morning... I'd turn the dam contraption off if I knew how!”
(Yes, 'Sexual Healing' - always good for a bit of rough'n'tumble)

Bloody things been making that din since I dropped it down the back of the bed/in the sink/onto the cat!”
(Who DIDN'T get their kids to sleep with that lovely 'Smoke on the Water' lullaby?)

Let's face it, as someone clever once said:  "Radio:  It's like TV, only the pictures are better”.

Which explains, in relation to my Beloveds intent on keeping their minds stimulated as they age, why I seem to be always adjusting their knobs!



  1. Where have you BEEN Dollie, welcome back
    Regards, Eric

  2. How sweet of you to miss me, Eric! I've been working hard doing extra shifts to help people out of late - my cherished blog has had to take a back seat unfortunately.
    Been collecting up lots of stories to share with you though, so hang on to your hats AND ENJOY THE RIDE!!!
    Dollie xxx