Relative worth

The cost of living – and the twilight years.

Peter Leith is 89 and describes himself as ‘half-deaf and half-blind’, but he has never been one to dwell on his challenges. Relative Worth continues his Aspects of Ageing series of true short stories.


The person who replaces our cracked toilet bowl every few years is paid more than the person who comes in every day to bathe our grandmother who has dementia .

Our 4WD SUV costs an arm and a leg to service every few months. Meanwhile, aged care workers tend to Nanna in the aged care home with her food, water and daily walks in the park.

Sometimes it is really difficult to find the time to visit Grandma. The better aged care homes are usually some distance out of town and everybody is so busy these days.

We all put in to buy her a smartphone, but I think she’s a bit scared of it.

Anyway, her eyesight and arthritis make it difficult for her to use. Quite a waste of money that was.

With all this talk about what goes on in some aged care homes, we are wondering if we should put a camera in Nanna’s room.

What are our older relatives worth?


Relative Worth is a short story in a growing series called Aspects of Ageing. Peter says the anecdotes are based on fact and “reflect the reality that there are many forms of ‘age abuse’.”

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



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    17th Feb 2019
    Recently we had to get an electrician, we had waited 7 months for the local electrician, to no avail, so tried several others. Finally we found one, some 100 klms away, was charged both travelling time and mileage plus an additional $18 for the account to be posted. This was after two visits to pay the bill to their office. Total amount for 55 minutes work was $1,030:16 incl GST. No pensioner discount. Talk about a protected industry!!!!
    17th Feb 2019
    Both the ex's sons are electricians and my son is a plasterer/carpenter.... gotta keep em in the family...

    17th Feb 2019
    Six penneth worth of chemicals once rendered down.... make good soap and more value as Soylent Green...

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