Thursday, 10 May 2012

Lest We Forget

            Many elderly people who use care services are, generally, over the age of 80 and they have lived through a great deal in life.

            My Nan, for example, turned 90 this year. She not only lived through the Second World War, she gave birth to my father in 1943 in Bermondsey, London.

Can anyone, nowadays, imagine what it would be like to bring up an infant under what was, effectively, the German Bomber flight path to the Capital?

My Nan now has advanced Parkinson’s disease and relies on carers coming to her Warden-Assisted home to get her up and put her to bed. She can do very little in between times.

            My Nan is, of course, not alone there are millions of elderly people relying on carers, either paid or unpaid, to help them live their daily lives and to them it must seem nonsense when we talk of austerity. Austerity is, surely, living through rationing and experiencing such delights as powdered egg (I’ll be honest and say the thought of it makes me cringe). Austerity is living part of your daily life in bomb shelters in the fear of losing your home or your life.

            The same generation has lived through economic good and bad times since then, from ‘never having it so good’ in the 60’s through the three day week and electricity blackouts of the 70’s and all else up till now. Surely having been through all of that they should be able to enjoy economic stability at the end of their lives and know that their care provision is not impacted by the banking/government created recession that we are in today.

            Why should those who have been through and seen so much bear the brunt of failed policies and economic mismanagement?

            Social Care is an important part of our society yet it seems those in Westminster fail to see the impact it has on those who need social care services, their families and those who provide care services. Social Care is about peoples’ lives not about political expediency, social care should be about providing the best possible services not just those that are financially viable.

            When David Cameron stood outside Downing Street as he took office he said. “I want to make sure that my Government always looks after the elderly, the frail, the poorest in our country”. Two years on and they are still waiting

            Every year politicians stand at the Cenotaph and, quite rightly, honour those who have fallen in conflict yet they also need to honour those who survived and provide the best possible support and care services, let’s not impose under-funded services on those who deserve better.