top of page

Comparing Death, Aged Care & National Systems: Coming Full Circle.

I’m heading back to Europe now after my last in a series of sabbaticals here in Cairns. End of life care for my mother has been a journey – they say we should talk more about death and dying. And people are uncomfortable with The Topic. I find it more disturbing that people don’t discuss the situation with aged care, the services and the actual Old People’s Homes as we used to call them.

The system in Australia is quite different to that in the UK, the DACH region, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Italy and France. I have visited, lived in or contemplated moving to these countries. Aged care standards and the social services were deciding factors in settling down, staying or leaving them.

Without going into detail here, I would prefer not to get old in Australia or the UK, sad though it is as I am most familiar with these cultures. I have spent half my life in Germany where the services and “social safety net” are secure and dependable. Certainty and Planungssicherheit are a key part of the Germanic mentality. Germans (I am one as much as I am an Aussie) love the idea of controlling your destiny in terms of minimising uncertainty. Another way of looking at it is mitigating contingencies. Planning (Planung) security/certainty (Sicherheit). Not a bad goal to have as a nation!

My donation of ca 100 books in German to the German, Austrian and Swiss Club could be seen as giving back to my German origins in Australia. Coming full circle if you will. I also had around a dozen boxes of books that I had transported back and forth across the oceans – mostly flight luggage - from Germany, Switzerland and the UK to Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns. It was time that they had a final resting place.

I figured that the encyclopaedias of German literature, history and music ought to be given a bibliographic home so The German Club in Cairns was as good as any. Better as a community library, my books were going to be put to good use and encourage the learning of the German language. Especially the antiquarian language books of my migrant Vater who was a teacher of Maths and Deutsch for decades here in the tropics. Ending the full circle is satisfying.

18 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page