Fatuous claims are not limited to political mud-slinging and demeaning tabloid showbiz sections, a letter from Waltham Forest alerted me too. My ten-paces from home childhood library was abruptly closed not six months ago. During a short tenure in a property guardian scheme the private owners have informed the residents of our town the very much ‘of its time’ building will become sheltered residency. That’s right: the building not large enough to house literature beyond teenage fiction, wistful romances and 75% of a single encycolapeadia volume will be shoe horned in with 31 one AND two bedroom properties.

I do not not personally bear any anathema to the elderly, but do feel indignant regarding the continual dissecting of the state to private investors. Tossing up options at supporting the infirm and enabling the reflex carving of state owned property, this line parallel parked my decision: ‘the residence will boast a laundry room, which can act as an area where residents can interact, promoting well-being.’

I detect a slight pre-emptive defence in that galling declaration. While technically rational, it’s wretch-inducing in its reductive nature. The elderly, apparently, do not need common room, exercise activities or to lose five bedrooms for recreational space. They need an awkward jostling around a tumble dryer and an audience for their scoffing at the washer to dryer ratio.

Once again purely speaking for myself, well-being surely requires more interaction than two launders passing in the night. Is this indicative of how lonesome and unstimulated we are resigned for the elderly to be? Possibly. Is it testament to how little stretching space is regarded in relation to profit margins? Precisely.


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