Why aren't the elderly looked after?

  • Please look after the old folks!


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    Introduction.


    Originally, this thread was going to be about me sharing my experiences on looking after my Dad who had dementia and Parkinson's. I looked after him for over 12 years until his death last August (in 2016). Although I'm sure I'll talk about my experiences here too, I've created a separate blog about my time looking after my Dad and I intend to share my experience and knowledge of caring with someone with dementia on that blog. Please check it out here:


    Horizon's Dementia & Care of the Elderly Blog


    The primary purpose of this thread, therefore, is to discus the policy and politics behind the social care system. With people getting older and ever dwindling resources, a major rethink is required on how we look after our elderly people, in my opinion. You may have a different one, please do share it!


    One of the prime reasons for creating this forum was firstly to give me something to do to distract myself after my father's death. Anyone who has looked after someone with dementia 24/7 knows how intensive and all consuming it is and how much of a vacuum is left in your life after they've gone. Secondly, as well as keeping my head above water and trying to stay sane, I wanted to share my experiences, as I've already said, of looking after someone with dementia, hence my blog and to discuss the policy of social care for the future, hence this thread.


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    Updated News and Info (last updated 11th April 2017)


    I will also keep this first post updated with news and info about the politics surrounding the social care system:


    11th April 2017
    More than 900 adult social care workers a day quit their job in England last year, new figures reveal.


    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-39507859
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    8th April 2017
    Who gets social care and who pays for it?


    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-38907054
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    24th February 2017
    10 charts that show what's gone wrong with social care.


    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-39043387
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    15th December 2016
    Councils say it is "hugely disappointing" that the government has not given them extra money to tackle shortfalls in social care funding.


    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-38319342
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    What do you think of the social care system? Fit for purpose, or, in a state of collapse?

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  • Well , this thread is certainly topical after the dogs dinner of a Tory manifesto pledge , we are getting older but seemingly think only homeowners are affected by this ? , we already have council tax payers being shafted with extra council tax which means many people pay absolutely nothing in . The fairest possible way to get the poorest to the richest to pay would be a VAT increase as we all buy stuff everyday and would all be contributing but of course the professional poor would be up in arms on their iPads and iPhones !

  • I've got to update the first page Nigel with all the Conservative manifesto stuff, although who knows what will happen now after these election results and the DUP deal. Plus, this thread will become what I will call a "Super Topic" and I've got to put a lot more details and history of the social care system in the first post too.


    VAT increases are a interesting idea.


    If people can afford ipads, or 4x4s (SUVs) or foreign holidays, a little extra VAT may be the way to fund social care. The idea hadn't even occurred to me.

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  • Maybe we should bring back a "Luxury" rate of VAT on non-essentials like iPads and Chelsea tractors? Who knows this could allow the VAT on domestic fuel to be reduced thus benefitting the poorest of our society.

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

    4312-gwban-gif

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  • Maybe we should bring back a "Luxury" rate of VAT on non-essentials like iPads and Chelsea tractors? Who knows this could allow the VAT on domestic fuel to be reduced thus benefitting the poorest of our society.

    Well that is a 'constructive' comment anyway - naturally, nobody likes to be taxed , but the sensible amongst us realise that taxation is a very important, and essential governmental responsibility........as it is, they continually spend far more than they raise in revenue, and despite the latest annual 'pleased to announce' feature by the resident Chancellor that we have yet 'again reduced the deficit'......which still means that we have indeed, again added to our mammoth national debt of nearly £2 trillion.....which requires the UK to waste more than £1 billion per WEEK in debt servicing costs.............so, when we talk of how good it would be to fund another £8 billion pa into the NHS..........one can appreciate what a dreadful waste we have when our debt servicing cost is around £55 billion per annum!! .....and yes, social care demand and costs are rapidly increasing.... in line with our ageing population.

  • It may be slightly off topic but this morning I was rather horrified when I read this in the Guardian. I'm generally in agreement with most people about 'lock 'em up and throw away the key ' but ....................


    'Buried alive': the old men stuck in Britain’s prisons

    ...........The prison population is getting old. In the last 15 years, the number of prisoners over the age of 60 has tripled. The rate of octogenarians serving time has almost doubled in the last two years, and there are now a dozen inmates in their 90s.


    There’s even one of 101. Incarceration in old age brings its own particular punishments. There are inmates with dementia who don’t know they are in prison, or how they got there. Sick and dying elderly men are taken to hospital in shackles, chained to prison officers. Terminally ill prisoners are kept waiting so long for compassionate release that they die in their cells before they get an answer.


    https://www.theguardian.com/ne…stuck-in-britains-prisons

  • I agree that that this is obscene. One needs to exercise intelligent compassion in all these cases and provide better institutions for these sort of prisoners.

    There, in a mauve light of drifted lupins,

    They hung in the cupped hands of mountains

    Made of tingling atoms.- Ted Hughes


  • Although I've missed bits of this, there is a debate in parliament on all about social care. I will try and watch the full debate in its entirety on catchup over the next week or so and report back here some of the remarks being said by MPs.


    But as with previous debates, the MPs are running around like headless chickens, so to speak. They haven't got a clue. It's all about the State must look after the elderly, what about families of the elderly folks? Plus, as always, the care workers are pictured as saints. In my direct experience, they are the total opposite.


    Big subject for me! The biggest in fact.

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  • On a similar but slightly different aspect to the problem, today we have this from the Dept. of Silly Ideas.

    Quote

    NHS may rent spare rooms to ease bed crisis

    Patients recovering from surgery could be discharged from hospital to recuperate in private houses nearby as part of an NHS trial that could earn those renting out the rooms up to £1,000 a month.

    The scheme, which is being piloted in Essex, aims to tackle bed shortages and save money but has been criticised by medical professionals and social workers who warn it would give too much responsibility to untrained members of the public.

    ...Hosts would be asked to welcome patients recovering minor procedures, cook three microwave meals a day and offer conversation, according to CareRooms, in a scheme targeting people who do not have a family able to care for them.

    https://www.theguardian.com/so…s-recovering-from-surgery

    Note 'The people who do not have a family to care for them.' Obviously this group will consist of mainly elderly and infirm patients, many of whom may develop further health problems. We all know how anxious hospitals are to discharge patients and there are going to be all sorts of problems with this I think. CRB checks, can we be sure of the character of any 'carers ' who join the scheme? Could patients be exploited by those 'caring ' for them. Would you trust a complete stranger to look after your elderly parent if you were unable to do it?


    I can see the need to stop bed blocking but surely the answer lies in the old system of convalescent homes where trained staff look after patients as they recover.

  • Besides, if anything were to happen to a patient recovering in your home, you could be sued. Making piles of cash out of suing every second fellow human has become part of workless wealth creation. And paying the public to rent out rooms to this is about as dangerous as it can get for the patient.


    Why can't they reform and shape up the existing health system? Why must you put up with inane "solutions" when the fault is the government's for creating a crisis in the health system in the first place.

    There, in a mauve light of drifted lupins,

    They hung in the cupped hands of mountains

    Made of tingling atoms.- Ted Hughes


  • It appears that the UK hasn't got money to look after the elderly, yet can find billions to pay in blackmail/bribes so we can leave the EU.

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • Forgetting to turn on the oven for the Christmas turkey could be a sign of early dementia in a loved one, says the NHS's top dementia expert.

    Prof Alistair Burns said becoming confused in a strange house and forgetting relatives' names may also be early signs of the disease.


    He said it was important to look for changes in normal behaviour in older family members.

    This is so important.


    If you are seeing elderly relatives you haven't seen in a long time, please look out for signs of dementia. It can creep up on someone and not even go noticed...


    If you know of a elderly relative or neighbour on their own this Christmas, please invite them over for at least a Turkey sandwich or something if you can. It maybe a hour or two annoyance for you, but for them it could make a major difference especially in these long, dark days.


    Don't forget the old folks at Christmas:!::!:

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  • Well, I've avoided this thread like the plague as past issues aren't so past anymore..., but I will try and comment on the main stories I see get reported, starting with today's:

    Second patient may have drunk toilet cleaner

    An inquest into the death of a woman who died after drinking cleaning fluid has heard another patient at the same hospital may have drunk toilet cleaner.


    Joan Blaber, 85, from Lewes, died while being treated at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.

    She died on 23 September 2017, six days after drinking Flash cleaner from a water jug on her bedside table.

    Hove Coroner's Court heard it was "highly unlikely" what happened was the result of a mistake.

    I spent a good chunk of Monday in my local A&E now renamed to the Americanised ER and I saw a lot of very ill, fragile elderly people there. They really are very vulnerable and unfortunately while hospital should be a place of care for the old folks, it quite often is the complete opposite.


    I hope the cunts that did this to the old people are found and strung up.:cursing: I think the prime suspect has already been named in that article...

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  • Isn't this a simple case of murder ?, we need more care homes but not if private home owners have to sell the fruits of their toil to pay for it whilst renters get free treatment , i never get the selective taxing of people , WE ALL GET OLD! .

    Please remember that at the next election Mrs May , it made you look a complete cretin at the last election and people thanked you for it at the ballot box.

  • I think it is murder and it seems clear who the prime suspect is.


    If you have any other disease, the NHS takes up the costs, if you have dementia, you pay the costs. And if you have or had, more than one person with the condition, it cripples your finances.


    As you say Nigel, those that don't own their own homes, pay nothing. But that's hardly anything to complain about, as the care they get for free is substandard anyway.

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  • I understand the issue of looking after the elderly in prison. However that doesn't mean that old age is a reason to escape justice. As someone effected by the crimes of an inmate now over 70 and whose sentence will see him locked up till at least 85 my hope is that he is as miserable as can possibly be in there and with the best of luck will die before he gets a chance of release.


    My views on caring for the elderly in general mirror that of most on here. As it being an issue that society is struggling to afford I feel its only right more onus is placed on families too many of which fail to care for elderly relatives as much as they should.

  • It can be extremely difficult these days, given that both the man and woman are expected to work, and I had a very good career and was the main earner. We lived a few miles from my hubbies parents (he was an only child) so we were the only ones who could help. I had dogs, horses, chickens and cats (and a husband) to care for, plus full time work.


    When my hubbies Mum was alone and became unable to care for herself so well, as she was on two crutches and had ongoing problems with leg ulcers that wouldn't heal, we decided between us that we could manage best if she came to live with us, as we were in a bungalow and could cope with the care of all from home. We got everything prepared and then she changed her mind. So we arranged a stair lift for her home, and although she initially agreed, she refused that too. In the end it nearly broke our marriage, as my husband had to stay each night at her home, while I cared for the animals at home, and I got the occasional visit to collect meals that could be heated at her home or I dashed over there with meals.


    Fortunately, she had a very good neighbour who popped in to check on her while we were at work, but she found my mother-in-law dead at the top of the stairs. She had a fall, and/or a heart attack. We don't know which way round they happened, but the feeling of guilt were terrible, that we could maybe have avoided it had we been there. I was with both my parents when they died, and found that a big help in coming to terms with their death, knowing they were not alone.


    Those who take on full time care sacrifice their own lives for the benefit of others, and are wholly unappreciated.

  • My views on caring for the elderly in general mirror that of most on here. As it being an issue that society is struggling to afford I feel its only right more onus is placed on families too many of which fail to care for elderly relatives as much as they should.

    Fully, fully agree.


    This is something I will talk a lot more about it in the future, as it was one of the reasons I set up this site (see my blog) but I had expected to talk about my experiences from a historical point of view and that quickly tuned out not to be the case...


    From my own direct experiences from within my family and from what I gather from others, there is a attitude of "out of site, out of mind," when it comes to the elderly and especially if they have dementia. Nobody is interested, especially the relatives of the elderly and that's those who have them. Many elderly people have no one.


    Take babies for example. No one expects the State to look after someone's baby, yet when it comes to elderly people, there is this "we have our own lives and the old need to be put away," like rubbish from within many families who have elderly relatives. It needs to stop.

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  • It can be extremely difficult these days, given that both the man and woman are expected to work, and I had a very good career and was the main earner. We lived a few miles from my hubbies parents (he was an only child) so we were the only ones who could help. I had dogs, horses, chickens and cats (and a husband) to care for, plus full time work.

    In part, the problem of elderly care can be helped by better communication. Families have to start talking to each other and when people get old, they need to assume responsibility for themselves first, by trying to work out what their health is like now and what is may be like in the future and plan accordingly. Not so easy.


    Secondly, children of the elderly need to talk to their parents about what will happen when the parents can no longer look after themselves, again not so easy.


    Most of us will all get old and like everything else in life, it is something that needs to be planned for, but as you say, circumstances may make caring for a elderly relative very difficult. Things can change quickly (don't i know it...) and it maybe impossible for a elderly relative to avoid being put into care. Something, in my opinion, which is worse than death, having visited several so called "care" homes.


    When my hubbies Mum was alone and became unable to care for herself so well, as she was on two crutches and had ongoing problems with leg ulcers that wouldn't heal, we decided between us that we could manage best if she came to live with us, as we were in a bungalow and could cope with the care of all from home. We got everything prepared and then she changed her mind. So we arranged a stair lift for her home, and although she initially agreed, she refused that too. In the end it nearly broke our marriage, as my husband had to stay each night at her home, while I cared for the animals at home, and I got the occasional visit to collect meals that could be heated at her home or I dashed over there with meals.


    Fortunately, she had a very good neighbour who popped in to check on her while we were at work, but she found my mother-in-law dead at the top of the stairs. She had a fall, and/or a heart attack. We don't know which way round they happened, but the feeling of guilt were terrible, that we could maybe have avoided it had we been there. I was with both my parents when they died, and found that a big help in coming to terms with their death, knowing they were not alone.

    What a sad ending, I'm sorry Fidget. Did she have dementia? At least you were with your parents and tried your best with your mother in law. If she didn't want to go, what's to be done... Unfortunately, dementia or not, they can be very difficult and awkward and will not accept help. She should've accepted that stair lift, it would've saved her life in all probability.

    Those who take on full time care sacrifice their own lives for the benefit of others, and are wholly unappreciated.

    Yes. I know exactly how that feels as that's my life now and has been for the last 15 years.

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  • I haven't dug out the story yet, but on Newsnight last night, the government is going to hand over powers to care home bosses to force mentally incapable people in care homes, if they are unable to look after themselves like people with dementia.


    I don't know the ins and outs of it, but what I heard (a snippet of the report) sounded very alarming.

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  • What a sad ending, I'm sorry Fidget. Did she have dementia? At least you were with your parents and tried your best with your mother in law. If she didn't want to go, what's to be done... Unfortunately, dementia or not, they can be very difficult and awkward and will not accept help. She should've accepted that stair lift, it would've saved her life in all probability.

    No, she didn't have dementia, but she did have a bad case of stubborness. This was caused by her wanting independence in her own home but she sadly wasn't capable of independent living. Independence would have been fine and admirable if she hadn't needed so much care, but it was additional difficulties for us that could have been avoided if she had moved into our house. She could have lived 'with us' or kept her own privacy and council in her own room, which had room for her TV and some of her own furniture, etc.

  • It's why I made the remark about communication within families, but it's easier said than done. It's very difficult for a adult child to demand that a parent comply with their request. A very tough situation and no doubt replicated all over the country. In my area, many people have built large extensions on their sides of their houses for "granny flats" for this exact reason.


    The report on Newsnight last night was about forcing people into care if they're mentally incapable. What if they're just stubborn, but need some form of care, but refuse it?

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  • Its probably one of the most difficult areas of which to solve and not one thats going to get better as the mortality rate rises. I completely understand how difficult it can be caring for an elderly loved one. Especially when in full time work which is likely the job that ensures your immediate family are cared for.

  • This is one of my concerns, as I get older, and maybe is why I can now understand how my mother-in-law felt. I think I would rather pop my clogs than be mentally incapable, or be totally dependent upon others.


    I am a real fidget ... I would go out of my mind if I didn't have something to do, and watching TV does not count as 'something to do'.

  • I looked after my father and mother for over ten years, my father had cancer the system kicked in and he was looked after relatively well compared to my mother.


    She had many TIA (strokes) vascular dementia over ten years, she died on the 26th December 2018 with me holding her hand.


    For me my mother’s death was a relief from the prison we found ourselves in both financial, physically & emotionally.


    This is the raw truth, I’m done with dementia and anything to do with it, i have no feelings towards it.


    Over the 10 years we’ve paid out over £426,000.00 in care home fees alone, only because I lived and breathed the care act and social services adult care policies did we not loose any more money, as for NHS continuing health care she was fast tracked in the November “end of life” but they tried to Refuse her that, so I fought back again so she got a whole 6 weeks of paid care before she died.


    We are now free and happy once again.

  • Sorry about your mum, Revo.:(


    As you say, those with cancer get care. My neighbour died last year and she got fully funded care, but dementia sufferers get nothing if they own their own homes. Under the current system, you have to have the "right" kind of disease.


    As to your other comments, yes. This is my life and has been for over 15 years. My prison is a comfortable one, but a prison it still is. Although I've not paid out for care, I do it myself, there is the "little" matter of 15 years of lost income...


    I'll come back to this subject a lot more in the future, although like you, perhaps once I'm done with dementia, that may be it and I never talk about it, or think about it again.

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  • Yes, indeed. I almost lost my mum before Christmas and "something" will happen at some point soon. There's nothing that can be done about it. As you say, dementia is what it is and speaking of which, I need to stop talking here and go back to work.

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  • These are in a way the forgotten effects of better health are and increased mortality. Its always looked on as a good thing people are living longer without focusing on the quality of that life rather than the number of years.

  • But, we would all want to be healthy up until the point of death, but that rarely happens for most people. I agree that modern life has helped to extend life, but when those poor years do come, what option do we have other than to decline?


    Nobody wants dementia or other ill health in our latter years, but until there is a legal option of euthanasia, it's a fate that awaits most of us.

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