The older generation tend to be more conservative both with a small “c” and a capital “C”. They also tend to turn out to vote more than the younger generation. Unless they are too frail to do so.
What so many of them fought to protect in the Second World War was the right to vote in a democracy and peacefully make a difference to people’s lives. Now in recent elections, that right has been removed from them stealthily by their own politicians. There is little difference between the positions of the three main political parties. They all trot out platitudes about dignity and respect for older people but none of them do anything constructive about it.
In the run up to the last general election two years ago, there was a raging debate about funding of long-term care which only resulted after the election in the coalition kicking the issue into the long grass of the Dilnot report. (Click in the TAG CLOUD on “Dilnot Commission” to see earlier blogs on this subject).
By the time the report was published in July 2011, care funding was in even greater crisis – hospital waiting times were increasing, Social Services were under severe pressure and report after report was damning standards of care of older people in the NHS, residential care homes and domiciliary services.
Meanwhile, the Dilnot report gathers dust on a shelf in Whitehall!
In the May 2012 local elections, little, if anything, was said about the crisis in care. Except the cries from the charity sector for more money, which at a time of austerity, could only fall on deaf ears.
The silence on the issue of social care funding reflects the paralysis in all three political parties. All of them are reluctant to tell the hard truth which is that there simply is not enough Government funding to properly provide good quality social or health care in later life, given the dramatic increase in longevity and the rise in the older population. The majority of elderly people are going to have to pay for their own care by cashing in the value they have accumulated in their homes.
Until this issue is out in the open, older people will continue to hold onto their homes. Equity release products remain tarnished by the poor value reputation of the past and without a decision on the Dilnot report, there is not likely to be an opening up of care insurance solutions.
Sadly, there are no votes in being the bearer of bad news, so the politicians continue to prevaricate.
The crisis in elderly care continues!