Care of frail elderly
The weekend newspapers included reports here in UK that older people with £35,000 to £50,000 saved for a rainy day would be out of luck if they needed residential care later. The prize for being honest savers was the State would rob you of the hard earned money to pay for care and when the money ran out the State would continue to pay. For the hard living spenders, they will get residential care, if required, for free from the start.
Is this fair? In my opinion this makes a mockery of saving ethos.
To add insult to injury, care at home is failing our older citizens. It is scandalous that contracts for home care budget for 15-20 minutes per client for washing, toileting and dressing then a meal. These people are often frail, usually vulnerable. Our pets are often looked after better!
Part of the problem is the zeal people have destroyed residential institutions. With the rising elderly population of whom nearly 10% will need support there are not enough residential places. So Local Authorities are purchasing care at home packages. These packages are ridiculously designed in many cases. Failing to budget for the travelling time of carers is negligent. All the travel time would be caring time if the carers were based in large institutions. In days gone by these institutions were community hospitals and care homes.
Our vulnerable elderly are not helped by well meaning people who trumpet end of life choices for all. It is soul destroying to see people convinced they have a right to die at the place of their choosing. It can cause terrible upset for relatives who are left behind. Failure to fund adequate home care is part of the problem. In the current climate vulnerable elderly are stuck between Scylla of doing right thing and preserving some if not all of hard earned money for the next generation and Charybdis of getting properly cared for while exhausting all the hard earned savings.