The things you see – and fear

Peter Leith is not one to mince words. He believes there is much to fix in the world and, at 90, continues to advocate for those less able to do so. Today he puts the focus on aged care.


They have lived in the same country town all their lives. He is considerably older. Once their kids had grown up and left home, they sold the garage. He ‘potters around’ fixing old cars at home. She went to work, as a personal carer, in the small, local aged care home.

Over the years, she has steadfastly refused promotion to a supervisory or ‘front-office’ position.  She much prefers, as she puts it, “to work hands on with the residents”.

What distresses Bonnie most is working with the residents who are incontinent – not so much those who have dementia or Alzheimer’s and do not know when they dirty themselves, but those who do know, but cannot control their bowels or bladder.

As Bonnie says: “They feel so guilty and ashamed at what we were all taught to regard as ‘baby behaviour’.” She then goes on to add: “And I wonder whether it will ever happen to Tim, or me, and that is a big worry.”

Do you have a story or an observation for Peter? Send it to [email protected] and put ‘Sunday’ in the subject line.

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