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TOPIC: Father, 95yr old kept with curtains closed all day

Father, 95yr old kept with curtains closed all day 3 years 1 month ago #77404

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Please refer to the other thread would you - I've got plans for this one though, and the following is shown here as a way of helping forum members appreciate that there was a real individual being kept behind those curtains denied natural light and views over farmland.

Tribute to Ken (some details altered to protect the innocent and those not so innocent):

Ken died on Friday, 3rd June 2016, the same day as
Mohammed Ali/Cassius Clay

Funnily enough there are a few more similarities between these men

Both enjoyed boxing at one time in their lives, though one spectacularly successfully, and the other less so. Ken used to meet with other boys at Bridge farm and do a few rounds of boxing. Kens brother Leonard was perhaps a better comparison with Ali as he too boxed with his hands by his sides.

Both Ken and Ali were known for their cheerfulness and wit. Ali composed his poetry and entertained us all whilst Ken was known for his tremendous laugh out loud and sense of humour which attracted his wife Annie to him.

Both men had large families and loved their children very much, supporting them however they could in good times and bad.

Both men had tempers which were known to flare occasionally.

Both men avoided the army, Ken by being in a reserved occupation of course.

Finally for this attempt at finding similarities both men thought Ali was the greatest!

There were dis-similarities between Ken and Ali of course and here are a few:

One loved speaking in public or in front of cameras, whilst the other avoided public speaking pretty well until his 90th birthday when he amused all present by mentioning his lifelong fight to avoid the taxman!

Ken liked a drink (or an odd one as he told Annie when they were courting - after they were married Annie said he meant “an odd bucketful”). Ali as a Moslem avoided strong drink.

Ken milked cows for a living, starting aged eight when he milked six cows by hand before setting off for Rushing School on foot. It is doubtful Ali ever milked a cow or could have claimed as Ken did that he enjoyed muck carting”!

Ken had many friends as testified by so many of you here today and Ken said rather immodestly how popular he was. This was so true however and Kens brother Ron, who of course died last month, said “yes, wherever I go people told him how much they liked Ken.

Ali said on the Michael Parkinson show that he had few friends and more acquaintances.

Ali wanted to be seen as the greatest whilst Ken used to say his aim in life was to “sit on a low bough and sing a low tune” which amused his nephew Raif. Put another way Kens maxim was be “Mr Nobody with a bob in your pocket”, something he may have picked up from his uncle Alf Hine.

Regarding their marriages the two men were very different (though Ken did say getting married was like stepping into a boxing ring - you could expect a few blows!). Ali had a few marriages whilst Ken only had one love. Ken met Annie when he was eighteen and she was only fifteen. Apparently Annies immediate reaction was to bang here head on the panel behind her - love struck perhaps! They famously courted for seven and a half years, meeting once a week as Ken travelled by bicycle from Barley to Winsome - no mean feat.

It took Ken three years to get invited into Merton farmhouse, Winsome, and even then auntie Ellie had to ask him in. Thereafter things went on better especially when Annie plied him with her custard tart - knowing the way to a mans heart there.

Ken and Annie were looking for a farm for a long time, coming to view Harrow Green farm in Badlington before a man called Dan Slipper visited Bridge farm and mentioned Goose Green farm might be coming free. He knew a man called Will Wiltshire, who came to play a large role in Ken and Annies life later, and he obtained his milk every day from the Grattons at Goose Green farm, renting it from the Badligton Hall estate. A process of negotiation ensued in which Joseph, Kens father took charge, firstly giving a man called Tim Wormhill (or old Tim to distinguish him from his son) two white fivers and asking him to keep them informed as the farm wasn’t up
for let when they first came here. His wage at the time was £2 per week out of which he saved £2000 in order to start farming - so he wasn’t accustomed to wasting his money you could say,Annie saved a similar amount too

The farm was their's when Mrs Gratton told T.Ford, the agents, they would continue farming if Ken and Annie couldn’t have it.

Ali was profligate with his money, but perhaps we’ll end the comparisons there.

Was Ken a great man, a good man or quite what was he?

It is enough isn’t it to say he was a good farmer, complemented by his mother Florence for surviving hard times in farming and rearing with Annie their seven children (or as Ken would say when asked how many children he had “only seven” - which usually started those asking laughing. When times were hard in farming townspeople often said “they’d never seen a poor farmer yet” but Ken had the perfect riposte saying “yes, you did have to have some money behind you in order to farm”.

To draw this to a conclusion now, Ken as we’ve said had many friends, many of whom he met at the Nixon Arms in Helford where they created what Ken described as a “school” - a drinking school certainly but also a little community where each advised the other and sorted out all kinds of things - discussions were wide ranging lets say. Latterly Jack Blowes came from the cattle market every week to entertain Ken and his now aging friends (poor Jack died last year but deserves credit for saving Ken a fortune by telling him to sell his milk quota before it became worthless.

Friendships Ken said don’t last for ever but the very large extended family here represented by so many of you does of course. All knew Ken very well and have been a very important source of support for him, not least grandad Sid Goodwin, Annies dad.

Drew Farmer, Kens first son in law had a lot to do with him and when he tragically died so early like Jack Blowes, Ann, Drews mum said he (Drew) had always spoken highly of Ken, and Ken for his part never criticised Drew (or Liver salts as Ken christened him) except to say “he spent his money too fast”.

Other son in laws and daughter in laws came along and Ken told one of them she was a “bigger liar than a cattle dealer” over claims she wasn’t keeping his son out too late!

Ken tried to farm with his son Tex before he went abroad but each time it failed with differing views over farming policy being cited. Another dispute was eventually settled however and at ninety Ken went over to Tex's two farms he then owned (now there's a third I believe). Ken was very impressed as he was taken around every field.

An aside here about Kens driving which wasn’t always a comfortable experience for any passengers. Ken kept looking over the hedges to see what neighbouring farmers were up to, instead of looking at the road.

The last time Ken saw his son Graham was in September 2015 and he beckoned him in immediately he saw him, and he was delighted to see him and said he was as well.

Some neighbours deserve a mention. The Wheelwrights from across the road were very good to both Ken and Annie throughout their lives. The Shrigleys lent Ken tractors and implements as he sought to bring a dilapidated farm back into production. The Jacks and the Taylers helped Ken in so many ways, as did the Seeleys, the Watts and the Dooleys later on (apologies for those left out here). Oh, Matt Babb, a neighbour who worked for Ken as a young man and later took many verbal bashings but it “never bothered him a bit” Ken said.

Lastly the grandchildren came into his life. Ken wouldn’t give in to them of let them win at draughts for example, but all thought highly of him and vice versa, especially Gaynor.

Someone once said Ken had had an easy life! Not many of us would probably have found running a farm, rearing seven children and coping with his families illnesses or marital trouble all that easy - BUT perhaps Ken made it look easy and it is certainly true little ever got him down. Maybe the loss of his and Annies first child and the early death of his best childhood mate were exceptions where emotions spilled over but few people would have ever seen him cry. He was a strong man with a very strong character and we all benefited from his strength and he will be long remembered.

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Last Edit: by grahamg. Reason: To give background

Father, 95yr old kept with curtains closed all day 3 years 1 month ago #77495

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Getting strong responses to this story about 95yr old kept in room without natural light or views over farmland during the last eight months of their life.

Would it be permissible to re-post some of the comments from other forums here?

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Father, 95yr old kept with curtains closed all day 3 years 1 month ago #77528

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If you will accept that everything I'm telling you is entirely accurate for the purposes of this discussion and hopefully everyone can give an unequivocal opinion to the question as to whether keeping someone without natural light and views through the window is abuse?
This is someone who is wheelchair bound and unable to reach the curtains themselves to open them, and that there are no possible good reasons for the curtains to be kept closed (like an aversion to sunlight or whatever).

Response 1.:
"Speaking as a psychologist I would say this treatment definitely qualifies as abuse."

Response 2.:
"I would think more than opinion of forum members here, perhaps talking with an elder law attorney might be helpful."

Response 3.:
"It seems very cruel to me. Maybe keeping the curtains closed was because they didn't want anyone seeing inside?"


Dear all,
Very pleased with positive responses here, and believe you me I have found it very difficult on other forums I've tried to get any kind of definite response (one contributor even asked me whether I'd offered assistance to the carer of the 95yr old person to which I replied sarcastically that they didn't seem to need any help keeping the curtains closed all day!).

Elsewhere I received this fair question: "Was any explanation given as to why they didn't open the curtains?"

To answer it I tried two ways, firstly by telling everyone what I believe was the real reason the curtains were closed and that is it was done to stop the old person beckoning their son in to see them - shocking as it may sound that is simply the truth I believe.
Secondly, as to any reasons forthcoming from those responsible - not easy to answer because even some of the professionals involved refused to take the issue seriously, or believe it was happening (not hard to check one way or the other you would have to admit). Those professionals who didn't dispute it was happening, or at least one of them, said the owner of the house could have curtains closed if they wished, and when asked about whether the views of the 95yr old person mattered they said "they can express themselves on the subject if they wish to" (however, other professionals admitted in their reports they were unable to engage the old person in conversation at this stage).
If it had been possible to get the carer/carers to admit the curtains were closed (some visitors were shown in after the curtains were briefly opened to conceal what was going on for example), then I believe the carers would say they were protecting the 95yr old from seeing their son "in case they had a heart attack!" They made similar comments on the last occasion there was a brief meeting with the son, even though a witness who was fortunately present, recorded a statement making it clear how delighted the old person was to see their son.
Won't say too much more as my campaign is really directed at helping others who might find themselves in this position. I appreciate shalimar's views in particular and if you don't mind me asking are there other "experts" or anyone knows of with knowledge in this aspect of care for the elderly in the forum or known to forum members? I'd be very keen to know how to contact them.

Response 4.:
"Why did the elderly person have to "beckon his son in" to see him? If the son was outside, why didn't he come in to see his dad/mom without being "beckoned in"?

I'm sorry, but I'm not understanding this at all. Was this person in a nursing home, being cared for by an aide in his home or being cared for by relatives in their home?

Fair question indeed.

To some extent this sentence from the above post answers it doesn't it:-
If it had been possible to get the carer/carers to admit the curtains were closed (some visitors were shown in after the curtains were briefly opened to conceal what was going on for example), then I believe the carers would say they were protecting the 95yr old from seeing their son "in case they had a heart attack!"

I could go into a lot of detail for you but I'm right in saying that for the purposes of a discussion which could apply to any old person being kept with curtains closed all day it isn't really necessary is it. However, if it helps you understand the "background" to what happened over the curtains, the old person concerned was whisked away from their home of almost seventy years with more than half the family knowing nothing about it (and health professionals, such as the GP equally ignorant). Then on the persons 95th birthday, of all days, those whisking him away had the person visit a psychiatrist in order to establish their fitness to write a new will (- I could tell you more about the psychiatrists "findings of facts"but lets say they call into question his whole report). Lastly, for the detail which might assist your understanding of what was going on, various long term friends of the old person concerned were denied access to them too, and the old person was not allowed to enjoy the fresh air and again views over the fields outside the property, not just for the last eight months of their life but for almost eighteen months. Added to the motive for doing all this, trying to ensure the old person could not show goodwill towards their son was/is central to justifying the change to the will, removing the son who had been the primary beneficiary. Does this satisfy you and assist your understanding?

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Father, 95yr old kept with curtains closed all day 3 years 1 month ago #77563

  • Yoda
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Hi

I'm sorry to hear about all of this.

Is there something we can help with or is there something you would like to discuss with our members?
The following user(s) said Thank You: grahamg

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DAD.info Moderator

I have several years experience supporting parents in family proceedings as a McKenzie Friend. I am, however, not a lawyer or barrister and my responses are based on my own opinions or experiences of the family court.

Father, 95yr old kept with curtains closed all day 3 years 1 month ago #77580

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Thank you Yoda,
I find it helpful that people on forums such as this one take on interest and appreciate the fact very much, even those giving me a bit of grief in one way or another on other forums (doubting what you're saying or whatever, because they keep the thread going don't they or up the order).

Ultimately, some kind of "expert" opinion about the effects on an old person of keeping curtains closed all day really would satisfy me, and prove useful I believe because I can refer to such opinion whilst trying to generate a story in the local press.
Thanks again, and sorry it took so long to reply,
Graham

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