Today my de-cluttering quest led me to a tidy looking blue ring binder file on the top shelf of the study alcove. An easy place to be forgotten.
The only clue was the label — “Blogs”. It was a relic of my early blogging days, when I used to collect newspaper cuttings to use as prompts for new blogs. If I didn’t act on them straight away, I would put them in this blog file. All neatly categorised into different sections, which corresponded with my blog topics list. Each article was dated, referenced and then filed in a see-through wallet.
Where this system fell down was that I never went back to it. So today. The file is officially ‘clutter’ , —– only six years after its inception !
Here is a retrospective look at some of the collected, six-year-old headlines and how things have changed or not changed since :-
- NURSING HOMES “Southern Cross and Four Seasons nursing home groups both in financial trouble” —- I wrote extensively about this at the time ( you can see my posts by clicking on Southern Cross in the Tag Cloud). Since then the groups have been split up. Many other residential and nursing homes have closed and a lot more are just struggling along. The Government has cut funding for social care and introduced a higher minimum wage. All of which seems to add pressure to the situation. Only in the last few days a large number of hospitals’ emergency services are at crisis point, according to headline reports in the press.
- PENSIONS Lots of press articles about the inadequacy of pensioners’ savings. (You can see all my posts about pensions by clicking on PENSIONS in the TAG CLOUD). So what has been the Government’s response in the following six years ? They destroyed final salary pension schemes by removing tax exemptions for pension providers and then they moved back the State retirement age towards seventy to lower the cost of pensions. At the same time, the deterioration in the economy has meant that annuity rates plummeted and interest rates on savings accounts are now down to almost zero ! How very helpful that is to pensioners who have saved all their lives in a pension scheme to cover the cost of their retirement!
- N.H.S. Frequent headlines about poor quality nursing care for older people, not enough doctors, bed-blocking older people because of nowhere to move on to and too many highly paid NHS managers. (You can see all my posts on these issues by clicking on NHS in the TOPICS list). Nothing much has changed since then, although there has been a significant increase in the number of retired people, particularly the over 80’s. The result is that both the NHS and Social Services are stretched to breaking point.
What can I learn from this experience ?
- If you don’t do it today you probably won’t do it at all !
- Governments are pretty ineffective at dealing with the growing and increasingly frail population of older people. At the same time they are paralysed into inaction for fear of losing the votes of older people.
- Older people are increasingly regarded as CLUTTER by politicians but they dare not say so.
Has anybody got any good ideas on how to resolve this situation, so that older people are NOT regarded as clutter ?