Reminder Portraits in homes for the Old
Everyone should have framed photographs of themselves when young or in their prime, that can go with them when they are old, to hospital or nursing home, to be hung above their bed or on their bedside locker.
Then the people who are looking after the aged can always see what the old person used to be like -
a human being just like them -
and be reminded to see that still-young person within the aged body.
That will help them to treat the aged as real people, with dignity and respect - because it is too easy to denigrate what seem like useless relics, and call them 'Now come on Fred', when they would rather be called, 'Mr Ferguson, would you like . .'
The carers will also be reminded by the portraits that one day they too, are likely to be old, and hope for treatment as real people too.
Friends and relations will find it easier to remember them as they used to be - and as they still are, very much, inside - and so relations between them will help to keep the old person in good form. Topics of conversation will come more easily.
Old people will continue to have some visible continuity with what they are, and really still are, even when in an institution bed.
If there is no other, the photograph can be a blown up identification photo, or taken from a group picture.