At the beginning of this month I wrote a blog about the news not being new but just repeating itself. I could have dug deeper and concluded the the main reason news repeats itself is the nothing gets done and the same problems in the headlines persist though inactivity, indecision, procrastination and sometimes wanton disregard.
Nothing demonstrates the better than dementia. I have been writing about it ever since I started this blog in 2010. (You can see all my earlier posts by clicking on ,”Dementia “ in the Topics List) There are estimated to be 350,000,000 sufferers worldwide. This number is set to increase exponentially as populations age. Yet there is relatively little spent on research into the disease and health and social services are sinking under the weight of the problem.
In the UK no-one will face up to the issue and successive Governments have backed away from doing any thing that might offend the voters. They key issue being not how older people with dementia should be cared for but who pays. Currently most of them are left to fend for themselves or be cared for by relatives, which means in most cases they pay for themselves or get no help at all. When this self-help system breaks down in a crisis, the State reluctantly steps in but only within tightly constrained budget limits.
None of this is news, it has been repeated in headlines year on year.
My solution to the issue is not new either. I have been writing about it for years —- politicians need to be honest and say that none of us has saved enough to pay for the high cost of care for those who need it. The only fair way of covering the cost is some form of insurance paid for by the state or by old people themselves.
In 2002 I managed to go to 10 Downing Street and present a case to one of the Prime Ministers advisers for an insurance based system supported by Government guarantees. I also argued for a government backed approach to provide better value for equity release schemes. Sadly both ideas largely fell on deaf ears.
Andrew Dilnot’s report commissioned to look into long term care also set out with similar intentions. Again it’s recommentations were watered down and eventually dropped completely.
Now it is in the hands of most older people who own their homes to look after themselves and not expect support from the State.