Social Care Class Action on Bingo

Amid all the recent concern about the shortage of funding for older people needing care, “Social care ” hit the headlines today from a rather unusual source.   This is The Times front page headline for the 10 May :-

” Stop splitting up elderly couples “

It is a report of a speech given at the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services Annual Conference in Stafford.  The speech was given by Sir James Munby, President of the family division of the High Court.   The judge in full flight rebuked his audience for not keeping elderly couples together, when one has to move into residential care.     Warming to his subject, and no doubt acutely aware of his approaching retirement, here are some of his choice words :-

  • “Separating elderly couples against their wishes must stop”
  • “Officials should give higher priority to happiness and spend less time complying with procedures and safety rules”
  • “Separting couples……… was absolutely shocking and a profound indictment of our society”

Strong stuff from a top High Court Judge.    It is a wonder he didn’t lock up half of his audience there and then !     He is right in much of what he had to say, but of course it has been going on for years.   Residential Care has always separated older couples.  No partner, if they didn’t need care themselves, would move into a care home.  So it’s not at all surprising that couples are split up, but it’s certainly not a compassionate way of looking after couples who would prefer to stay together in the final years of their lives.   Extra care housing was designed to deal with precisely this eventuality, but unfortunately there is far too little of it, so it is not an option for the majority of older people.

It is hard to blame Social Services, because they are driven by the financial constraints of Central Government, which has led them to cut back on domiciliary care, which does allow people to stay together in their own homes.   Compassion has for long been replaced by expediency.

The Judge also had some choice insights into life in residential care :-

  • ” Forcing older people to take part in group social activities, such as line-dancing and bingo nights could leave them miserable “
  • ” you are actually putting someone in a regime which may not allow them to smoke, or a regime where for their own good they may be heavily persuaded to indulge in the kind of collective jollification which they would have loathed at home “

The Judge is motoring now, because these comments apply to all people who move into residential care, not just couples.     He is creating an argument for older residential care residents  bringing thousands of cases to court for “forceable line-dancing” or “compulsive bingo playing” or “wrongful collective jollification”.

Court should be fun when the cases come about and older people will have the support of all those legally-aided no-win-no-fee lawyers 😀.  What a day out that will be, much more interesting than bingo or line-dancing.

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5 Responses to Social Care Class Action on Bingo

    • davidwfreeman237 says:

      hello george, with respect, what is this LINK. Please a praycey about the subject matter. If you have found it informative. I am wary of signs one submits personal information too, with out a rationale of what the site/link is trying to achieve. Who are the groups and whom are they?
      Thank you, for your consideration

  1. davidwfreeman237 says:

    Bitter sweet the alleged comments by the High Court Judge? Question was the Judge, your honour of either the male or female gender? I just wonder and again ask the questions:
    Do we all in a retirement village shout out aloud ‘House”! when the grim reaper calls? or
    Do we shout” line!” when we attend the line dancing class/ or
    Do we visit the local ‘quack’! when we feel ill with laughter from our fellow residents as we enjoy a joke or two?
    I just wonder are we articles to be put on a high shelf, and when the next person joins us the person on the end fall off into the garbage can?
    Life is what one makes it, and being now in my senior years, I enjoy the company of all, and my family, and especially Molly (my wife) memories are so precious, and while I enjoy 5 minutes now and again of utter peace and quiet, I am very thankful for the feelings of companionship, from other oldies (single and couples), they help me feel wanted, and again just a human being sharing life’s daily and old time experiences. There are times when I admire the younger generation:However having got this far in life there are many unspoken experiences, which I have experienced, and watching, listening to the local politicians I become a ‘wheelright’ [an old craft], where the saying goes what goes round comes around? and boy does it!.
    One day Molly and I maybe parted by life’s rich pattern, and the call of ‘father time’, but I trust until then, we are left to annoy one another, not forgetting our fellow village residents and friends of ours and the retirement village.
    By the way, bingo is for the oldies? I play whist and crib for peanuts, just as I did at home with Mum and Dad, and then to celebrate, Molly and I may go to one of the organised dances, with caberet and jig, and dance the night away,[ or sing many a song- old or new] to a live group, when I am ‘knackered’ I go to the gym the morning after and request the gym manager, with the well being nurse, and ask/request, : ”How do I put myself together, so I can enjoy another week or month similar to the one I have just experienced .
    The mind accepts the challenges, with the body one has to be more careful: except the jaw, while one can chat ”the hind legs off the proverbial donkey”

    • john graham says:

      I take it that means you will not be sueing ExtraCare for involving you and Molly in ” forceable line-dancing”. Although “crib for peanuts” could be construed as ” illegal gambling 😀

      • davidwfreeman237 says:

        Ah dear you old wind bag, your my washing on the line, with my smalls on show, you can see all the stains? Who am I sueing, NO Not Extra Care, they were and are the Picture palace of my day (Odeon, Guaumont, the flea pit-The Gem! Yeadon), where dreams of a quick ‘grope’was all the rage, and a real dream was on the celluliod, now I am too old to grope, but I am living my dream to the full!! More more please.. I do not have the time or care to sue Extracare, I am just dancing around the handbogs on the dance floor.

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