Personal Views

Is it worth it?

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: (Published 02 December 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:1511
  1. S M Benbow, consultant psychiatrist for the elderly
  1. Manchester

    I visited Harold about three weeks after his discharge. I suppose I was anxious about him, like everyone else. When I arrived the door to his flat was unlocked. After knocking, I let myself in. He was sitting watching television. “Your door was unlocked,” I commented. “Yes, I knew you were coming.” That abolished one anxiety. He described to me some interesting programmes he had seen over the previous few days and, with a smile, turned the volume down so that we could talk. I asked if he was missing the hospital, and he gave another smile, “No.” Did he like his new flat? His answer was to take me on a comprehensive tour, starting with the kitchen.

    He opened all the drawers and cupboards. “These are my knives and forks, this is my potato …

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