Kerre McIvor

Kerre McIvor is a Herald on Sunday columnist

Kerre McIvor: I'll keep climbing if it keeps me away from the rest home

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Kerre McIvor on her ascent of Mt Kilimanjaro for World Vision.
Kerre McIvor on her ascent of Mt Kilimanjaro for World Vision.

When people have expressed concern about me climbing Kilimanjaro, going hot-air ballooning or even running marathons, my response has been the same.

I thank them very much for their concern, and then I tell them I would rather die on the side of a mountain or while involved in an activity that brings me much joy, than die in my own urine in a rest home.

The thought of being old and frail and dependent on the kindness of underpaid strangers fills me with horror.

A Consumer NZ report this week that found most rest homes are failing to meet core standards has done nothing to allay my fears.

It's all very well and good for the Aged Care Association to complain that the standards aren't basic floor-level standards - they are a very high ceiling that is nigh impossible to attain.

But when I'm old, that's exactly what I want. A very high level of care and concern as I wait my turn to die.

Rest homes are God's waiting room - the last stop before you leave the planet. No one knows what sort of old age they will have, but the only way to really enjoy your twilight years is if you're healthy and wealthy, in that order.

So good on Consumer NZ for keeping a close watch on rest homes - and the well being of some of the most vulnerable people in the country.

I just hope to hell I'm not going to be one of them one day.

- Herald on Sunday

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