Huffington Post

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Social Care, in the balance – or have the scales tipped?

“I’ll Huff and I’ll puff and I’ll close care homes and agencies down,” … said the big bad wolf to the social care sector.

The question is, who is the care sector’s big bad wolf? I loathe the word “industry”. The care of our elderly shouldn’t be a conveyor-belt monitoring until it is time for the Crematorium.   Is the wolf purely central Government, for failing to allocate sufficient funding, when the sector is at crisis point. Does some of the blame lie with the greedy fat cats, milking the elderly in exchange for “care”?

Is it business people merely profiteering from their elderly residents, and then woefully failing them? I had always thought you get what you pay for –not always the case and when I had evidence of this, my heart truly sank. If you can’t buy the best care, then the whole system is rotten to the core?

Is the big bad wolf the official regulator for not stepping in enough to prevent the continuing abuse and neglect reported to them on a daily basis? I personally believe the C.Q.C want the best for our elderly but once thanks to central Government, are cash strapped to be as effective as possible.

“Take off your political hat “I was once told when I met a care home owner whose fantastic establishment had been awarded “Outstanding” by the Care Quality Commission. Of course, I have a political hat, and I may be forced to eat it one day. Two vital words in my earlier sentence, “Quality” and “Care”. It should be the norm, not the exception when it comes to our elderly.

Yes, they are “our elderly”. They fought the Wars, funded Enuerum Bevan’s dream for care from “Cradle to Grave”, and worked in the mines and shipyards. They manufactured in factories and worked hard to make this country what it is. Sadly, the decline in quality of care is not isolated; it’s following a pattern.

There are many shining examples of outstanding care and hundreds of care workers passionately dedicated to their elderly charges. They give of themselves despite long hours, poor pay and little recognition to care for those we can or choose not to care for ourselves. Why then do the media, myself included, focus predominantly on the negative?

Why?

No -one elderly deserves to be failed, in his or her last years. Not even one elderly person.

That’s why!

No-one elderly should be hungry; with significant weight loss in care homes because there’s insufficient time to feed them, especially when the home is paid for one to one care.

Because no-one elderly should have toilet “accidents” because there is no one to help them to the bathroom on time.

No-one elderly should be denied kindness, stimulation, attention, respect, and dignity.

These are human rights at the most basic level, not unexpected pleasures to be discovered in only the very best care homes.

Campaigns for CCTV to be installed in all care homes, is it right or wrong? The question is privacy, and dignity versus safety? Shouldn’t all our elderly feel safe in their home, whether it’s a residential one or their own.

It’s a damning indictment of our society that I should even be writing this, and we call the U.K. a developed Nation.

In my short time observing this sector closely as a lay writer, I have realized that successive Governments have known this crisis in care was going to happen and passed the social care parcel.

Now the music has stopped and there is no surprise inside those thin paper layers are only serious concerns, failings, at human costs that

that must be addressed. Now, before more cuts to funding as more suffering. This is essential for us to continue to be seen as a developed Nation when it comes to caring for our elderly. Good care workers are leaving to be followed by those who see it as a job for a jobs’ sake.

Social media has opened the eyes of the world to what is happening to our elderly in the U.K. care sector and many across the globe are horrified and shocked.

Much of the failing can attribute to a lack of funding but there is a deeper

Social media has opened the eyes of the world to what is happening to our elderly in the U.K. care sector and many across the globe are horrified and shocked.

Much of the failing can attribute to a lack of funding but there is a deeper more endemic problem, a systemic attitude towards our elderly. How many people choose care of our elderly a career? Very few, and those that do, do so because it is deeply woven into their caring hearts.

Our army of millions of unpaid caregivers are forgotten, disrespected and ultimately exhausted. Morale is at an all-time low.

We should we really care for the elderly but they are seen as a burden. No longer productive, useful members of society, draining the NHS with their constant needs, clogging up hospital beds, with nowhere for them to go. We don’t give the elderly the respect and thanks they deserve, but we should at least care.

Do you know why? Just because we should, and not enough do!

 

This is my first article for the Huffington Post.Submitted 12-12-16

 

 

Caron

Award-winning blogger and care columnist for Devon Life magazine, Caron also campaigns for recognition of the needs elderly people and their carers. Designer and creator of the award-winning Dementia Assistance Cards which are free to all, and helping thousands of people globally Caron is passionate and committed to making a difference

2 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for the compliment. I don’t know if they have published it yet.

  2. Brilliant to see you writing for Huffington post – and your first article is spot on. You rightly point out what people often seem to miss, Caring is everyone’s responsibility.

    Not to mean everyone has the capacity to take action all the time or that everyone has the ability to care well. Of course it’s OK to focus on other responsibilities, and no one needs guilty about what they cannot do themselves. What’s not OK is to harden the heart, look the other way or bury heads in the sand when things are going wrong and our elderly living lives less than they deserve.

    It’s important to take an interest in caring for the elderly. Encourage the elderly to have help when it’s needed and let them know they are not a burden and to get behind initiatives that show what’s right and how to age well.

    The brilliant thing is, there are plenty of people who can care. The even more brilliant thing is at certain times in life, the very best thing people can do for themselves is to care for others.

    Our mission at Seniors Helping Seniors is facilitate it all. Life can be brilliant and fulfilling when people are able to care properly. We like to describe it as fit and able older people with a little time on their hands help other less able older people. Even for a few hours a week. It can make so much difference.

    We have found the way to make this simple life affirming fact happen reliably, safely and no one is a burdened. It really does tick all the boxes.

    The key to Seniors Helping Seniors is the way we support carers. We enable the right people to offer their services safely and conveniently and we make sure the families and organisations supporting the elderly have peace of mind. They can relax in the knowledge that their loved ones are getting the best help.

    The organisation is growing in England and in 2017 more Seniors Helping Seniors organisations will open up across the country so more people can benefit.

    We felt setting up Seniors Helping Seniors in UK was something we had to do and we welcome anyone who feels they’d like to consider doing the same in their area to contact us. It is hard work and it takes commitment from the right people but turns out doing good can be respectfully lucrative. If local councils take our lead, the benefits can be available for all, but as Caron’s Huffington Post says, it only works when caring comes first

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