Social care confusion

I have argued in this blog for years that the only way to release significantnt resources to pay for good quality social for older people is to unlock the equity many older people have in their houses and then expect all those who can, to pay for there own care.

The problem is that there are many barriers that stop this from happening and it will probably take a crisis to clear them away.

the problem is :-

  • When the NHS was established nobody expected longevity to increase as much as it has, nor did they anticipate the epidemic of dementia in these extended years.
  • Older people and their relatives have been led to believe that all health care should be free, even though this has never actually been the case.
  • Dementia, in particular, has always been an area of deliberate obfuscation, because firstly of the difficulty of diagnosing it; secondly, the relatively high cost of lengthy stays in residential care; and thirdly, the perhaps the understandable reluctance of the NHS to accept it as a health problem, which has passed the responsibility for caring for people with dementia to either their relatives, often an elderly spouse, or handed it over to Social Services.

The fact that the older elderly population will double in the next 10 years means that ” the crisis” is upon us now, as the pressures of these issues escalate.      These changing demographics demand an answer, even if compassion does does not.

The Government was already slowly edging toward the issues with a promised report in the autumn.    Now this has been overtaken by the forthcoming snap general election and a hastily cobbled together manifesto.     In an opportunistic, bold and maybe foolhardy move, Theresa May included a proposal to address the social care funding shortfall by shifting more of the burden on to older people, by including the value of their house in the means test evaluation, but allowing them to defer the payment in their lifetime.

I believe this is the right thing to do, but the hasty announcement has mas made its implementation doubly difficult.      Opposition parties have cynically seized on the idea and deemed it a death tax.    The media have not helped with shallow analysis and simplistic headlines. Leaving the population as a whole ill-informed and ill disposed to the proposal.

 Not a great start to reforming social care !

This entry was posted in ELDERLY UK POLICY, Residential Care. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Social care confusion

  1. davidwfreeman237 says:

    THE comments as always rational, and with ‘Emotions’ for a CONSIDERED RESPONSE” BY all concerned., and that includes us citizens of the UK? I ask do we vote with our feet or our Head? We all have a vote including us oldies.
    Connected to Us Oldies, and the forthcoming election and the NHS, and these pages by John on ‘Grumbles and Smiles’ is or was highlighted in the readers Letter section [some 5 letters or so] in the editors ‘Letters to the DAILY MAIL Saturday 27 May 2017 was the ”CHOICE” we may wish to make, with respect to ”DIGITAS Clinic” {end of life}, and that between the individual at the latter stages of life, and ‘their maker”-with the assistance and their attending doctor (NHS) at the end of life, when the quality of life is not so promising, in terms of survival.
    Here as John has pointed out many times before, it is a decision which is completely personal between doctor and patient, and not a decision which I endorse SHOULD BE AN ELECTION ISSUE, or a general rule for society, which may be misinterpreted, and abused, by many? and not the actual person [between themselves and their maker].
    We had or have had Harold Shipman, which is enough to send shivers down ones spine! However, I do wish the medical profession and society would have the rule for ‘Sanctity of life and to preserve it at all costs, but then again have the ability to trust the medical attending doctors to alleviate pain in critical cases of or when the individual patient at the end of life has no quality of life.
    Even here my argument is mixed and on reread confused, I trust I make sense and one can see the decisions I may wish to make in the future, but by me PERSONALLY, and not by SOCIETY and for or too the BENEFITS OF SOCIETY.
    We are not as oldies a crop to be raped, pillaged, and harvested? We all have a soul!!

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