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How Covid exposed the world’s lack of care Instead of pushing the old and disabled out of society, we must find them a home

Does anyone care about the elderly? Credit: Artyom GeodakyanTASS via Getty Images

Does anyone care about the elderly? Credit: Artyom GeodakyanTASS via Getty Images


August 14, 2020   7 mins

Last week, I was in Sweden, investigating whether the nation’s strategy to avoid lockdown during a pandemic has been a success or failure. The highly contentious issue has become ensnared in the global culture wars, although the arguments in favour of their sustainable stance have strengthened recently as spikes and second waves erupt around the planet. Yet one aspect of their approach is beyond debate: that a key reason for their high coronavirus death rates, among the worst in the world, was due to catastrophe in their care sector.

More than two-thirds of the 5,776 deaths in their population of ten million were older people in care settings, the majority in residential homes. There are grim stories of the elderly being given morphine and left to die rather than overload hospital wards, along with more familiar claims of failure to supply protective equipment and underpaid agency staff working across different locations. An official investigation found the deaths concentrated in 40 of Sweden’s 290 municipalities, with 91 homes needing further investigation. “We failed to protect our elderly,” admitted Lena Hallengren, minister for health and social affairs. “That’s really serious and a failure for society as a whole. We have to learn from this.”

A similar tragedy unfolded in Britain. The big difference was that our leaders chucked 25,000 elderly people out of hospitals, sending them into care homes that were sometimes paid to take them in order to clear space in intensive care units. Incredibly, many of these patients were not tested for coronavirus, despite being sent into places packed with the elderly and disabled people most at risk from this disease. Ludicrous Government advice still claimed, until 10 days before lockdown: “It remains very unlikely that people receiving care in a care home or the community will become infected.

Official data revealed that almost 20,000 care home residents in Britain died with confirmed or suspected coronavirus during the peak 10 weeks of pandemic, although excess death figures suggests the real numbers may be even higher. “Years of inattention, funding cuts and delayed reforms have been compounded by the Government’s slow, inconsistent and, at times, negligent approach to giving the sector the support it needed during the pandemic,” commented the Public Accounts Committee two weeks ago in a devastating indictment of failure.

Britain has the second highest number of deaths as a percentage of its nursing home population in Europe. (There are currently about 400,000 people living in 17,000 nursing and residential care homes across England). The worst was Spain, a country that likes to believe the family is at the heart of its society. Soldiers called in to help tackle the crisis found elderly people in care homes abandoned by staff, with corpses lying in beds; prosecutors are investigating whether to launch criminal cases. In Italy, another supposedly family-orientated nation, police launched probes into what were described as ‘massacres’ in huge care homes. Belgium has the world’s highest Covid-19 death rate, with two-thirds of fatalities occurring in nursing homes during its peak weeks of pandemic as the sector was overlooked in the rush to protect hospitals.

The same issues emerged in North America. The first major outbreak in the United States was centred around a Seattle care home run by one of the largest private operators, which was linked to 40 deaths. Now the world’s richest nation has the planet’s highest death toll due to its dire pandemic response, with four in 10 fatalities linked to long-term care facilities. Canada reacted better, resulting in a relatively low per-capita death rate. Yet an official study found 81% of its fatalities were in care homes — the worst rate among 16 wealthy nations examined and twice the average level in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations. “This report confirms what we all suspected: Canada is not taking care of our seniors as it should be,” said prime minister Justin Trudeau.

Much about this new virus remains mysterious but we do know it impacts hardest on older people and those with underlying health conditions. So we must ask tough questions about these deadly failures. Those let down also include people with disabilities, who comprise two-thirds of the British deaths, according to the Office for National Statistics. And do not be fooled into thinking there was anything inevitable about these fatalities, even among the most at risk groups. Countries such as Australia, Austria, The Netherlands and Slovenia implemented more successful prevention measures in care homes, leading to fewer infections and lower death rates in long-term facilities.

This pandemic has ruthlessly revealed the failure of some social care systems. Many issues have been depressingly similar, with hospitals given highest priority while care homes and their undervalued, overloaded staff were forgotten in the panic of pandemic. So many aspects of the response — from initial political imperatives through to distribution of advice and protective gear — have highlighted the secondary status of this vital public service, as well as that of the elderly and disabled people who rely on it for their daily needs. It is significant to note that carers are paid on average about one-third less than people who do similar jobs in hospitals across OECD nations; it underscores their societal valuation and fosters the frighteningly high churn rates among staff.

In this country, the health service gets worshipped by politicians and public alike while confusion surrounds fragmented social care — until people suddenly discover they or their loved ones rely on it for survival. The crisis struck after two decades of White Papers, Green Papers and other consultations calling for reform of the sector. Yet real-term spending on social care has fallen over the past decade, despite surging demand, in stark contrast to the additional billions poured into the sacred National Health Service.

Clearly the system needs a huge injection of cash. It is not impossible to find the necessary sums when there is the political will: the ÂŁ20bn spent furloughing British workers over the past two months alone could fund the care system for a year. But simply ploughing in money will never be enough — not least when in Britain, as in other badly-afflicted nations such as Spain, a key part of the problem has been expansion of the sector by debt-funded private equity firms that rake off vast sums, often using tax havens and complex corporate structures. Their financial model relies on economies of scale delivered through larger ‘homes’ — yet the inevitable consequence is that, when disease strikes, there are more deaths in bigger units crammed with citizens at most risk of dying. One recent Scottish study concluded that care home size was “strongly associated with outbreaks”.

This dark tsunami of death exposes systemic corrosion, sometimes dating back decades. So if extra cash were to go into the system, how would we ensure it delivers better services and ends up in the right pockets? Politicians have a poor record at controlling increases in state spending while the voices often heard representing the sector are simply lobbyists for big providers. This is the first big challenge in any reform.

There are, though, more fundamental questions that need to be addressed. Our care system has become essentially custodial: people who need support are warehoused out of sight from the rest of society. Elderly and disabled citizens have been corralled into what the Canadian sociologist Erving Goffman termed ‘total institutions’, designed to reduce risk and facilitate operations for staff at the expense of the freedom and self-respect of the inhabitants.

Goffman, writing some six decades ago, focused on the institutionalisation of mental health patients, something that remains a big problem in Britain with a flawed psychiatric system that relies increasingly on incarceration, restraint and over-medication. More recently, the brilliant physician-writer Atul Gawande has explored the issues concerning treatment of the elderly. He raises concerns over profiteering firms who infantilise their charges while also asking profound questions about the effect of the elevation of our quest for longevity over the quality of life itself.

Today, in the wake of this terrible tragedy, we have a chance to pick up on such threads. We should move beyond the simplistic and rather sterile debate about funding to delve deeper into a floundering system. We need to ask ourselves how we ended up with a system that hides away and often dehumanises the citizens at its core? These are complex concerns. Dementia is a complicated disease to manage, as I saw over several years with my own father who died shortly before lockdown. I am also well aware from my adult daughter of the challenges in providing effective and empowering support for a person with profound disabilities. But as a society, we need to ask ourselves why we so readily commit people to spend years in residential institutions far removed from the warmth and spirit of genuine homes. These issues go to the heart of our shared humanity.

We live in an ageing society in which extraordinary medical advances are keeping people alive longer, but this also leads to more citizens with comorbidities. The Government has responded to the pandemic with crowd-pleasing pledges to build more hospitals and to fix the long-standing problem of families selling homes to fund care. But it is neglecting the more pressing care challenges: sorting provision of decent community services; the drastic need for improved co-ordination between health and social care services; the dwindling support for people in less prosperous parts of the country after the system shifted towards wealthier self-funders. Ultimately, there is a critical need to shift from provision of top-down to bottom-up services that empower users and families rather than bureaucrats, officials and private equity barons. This can only be done by confronting the drift towards warehousing.

There is a glimmer of hope in the Government’s recruitment of Camilla Cavendish to help shape their oft-promised plans for social care reform. The former journalist turned political adviser is author of a well-informed book on ageing societies that pointed to smart innovations in other nations. She highlighted the benefits of ideas such as Germany’s MehrgenerationenhĂ€user (multi-generational houses), which provide support for older people alongside facilities for younger generations such as family advice centres and nurseries, and the superb Dutch Buurtzorg model of community nursing based on small local teams delivering care for people in their own homes. Both countries escaped the worst carnage rates among older citizens — as did Denmark, which focuses spending on alternatives to residential institutions such as retirement communities and supported living in flats.

Another person who understands such issues is Doreen Kelly, who has spent 20 years — first in Scotland and now in the south-west of England — getting people out of institutions and into supported living. She runs Beyond Limits, a small firm focused on people with autism, learning disabilities and mental health struggles, and has been alarmed to see the rise of big providers who view care homes as property plays and vulnerable human beings as commodities. “It has become an industry with bigger and bigger places that warehouse people,” she tells me. “But it is difficult to be person-centred when you run large places. The bigger you become, the more you focus on bureaucracy and red tape and accounts rather than delivering personalised care.”

Our default position, she says, is to shut away the old and disabled with other people who are old and disabled, rather than at the heart of communities. This explains why social care can become so forgotten and so dysfunctional in such rich countries — and with such devastating consequences in a pandemic. “There is more to life than being fed, watered and kept warm,” she says. “You can have aspirations in your seventies and eighties but if left in these care homes there is often little to do. We must always place people at the centre of social care systems.” Yet she sees one upside to the Covid crisis since it has sparked a sharp reminder how much we depend on each other. ”And that,” she says “includes everyone.”

The ultimate question, of course, is simple: how much does society really care? Not much in the past, as revealed in such hideous style by this cruel pandemic. So what about in the future?


Ian Birrell is an award-winning foreign reporter and columnist. He is also the founder, with Damon Albarn, of Africa Express.

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perrywidhalm
perrywidhalm
3 years ago

Good essay and I agree with it, although, there is an uncomfortable fact that rarely gets mentioned. Human beings did not evolve to live for so long. Very few people live to 100 years of age without intense medical interventions. As it is, my mother is 99 years old but would not have reached her age without a great deal of medications esp. high blood pressure medicines. At this point in time, all her family and friends have died. She spends her days simply existing … waiting for the end.

ralph bell
ralph bell
3 years ago
Reply to  perrywidhalm

Part of the question about the elderly being neglected in the community and in care home is about family duty and community duty towards all, not just demanding government funding and solutions with no family/community involvement.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  ralph bell

When did this unusual longevity become apparent and why so?

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
3 years ago
Reply to  perrywidhalm

Perhaps we evolved to live as long as we need to produce sufficient children and ensure that they are able to support themselves without our help. But a walk round a well maintained graveyard (which is getting rare) reveals quite a few who lived long lives without significant health care. Based on very limited evidence, my grandparents fortunately seemed to have a healthy life because they could not afford to pay to see a doctor and even when the NHS was available they had little use for it. My maternal grandparents were both 78 when they died and were taken ill quite suddenly and died at home within about two weeks. The coffin was brought to the house and only left for burial. No indignity of a post mortem and no care homes. That is the way we should end our lives, but the dreadful NHS ensures that we suffer as long as possible.

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

Agree in the main, although it should be said the “dreadful” NHS has also saved many people who were able to live a healthy and normal life because of it, instead of dying of infection and curable diseases.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  perrywidhalm

“Death, where is thy sting?”

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  perrywidhalm

I agree, people in care homes are rarely enjoying themselves in that situation, regardless of how good the care or how kind the carers. Medicine should be used to give people the ability to enjoy a more normal life, not to drag out their final days.

Lucy Smex
Lucy Smex
3 years ago

I’ve watched a Facebook video where an email from a care home worker was read out, detailing how residents were essentially murdered, by administering morphine to any of the residents who fell ill, from any cause. No antibiotics were given for any infection, normal medication was withdrawn, there were no GP or district nurse visits, and absolutely no admissions to hospital to anyone who fell ill from any cause, hence the morphine. DNRs were applied to all residents.
I have no idea how widespread this practice might have been, or is still continuing in other care homes.

The policy of discharging elderly, sick patients from hospitals across the country, i.e. so-called bedblockers, didn’t just happen here, as we know.
Several US governors mandated the exact same thing, threatening the nursing homes with closure if they didn’t take them in. The death tolls were inevitably high. The likes of Andrew Cuomo, the N.Y. governor, has since tried to blame everyone else, despite being the person who signed the executive order.
There’s a pattern to this. Can’t think what it is….

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
3 years ago

Covid has exposed the lack of care, but I doubt it will change anything. In my view it is all part of the continued trend down the socialist path to serfdom and a totalitarian state. We are giving up our freedoms, personal responsibility and family life for increasing state dependency. We no longer want to care for our children because work rather than family takes priority. Children are farmed out to care where the brainwashing starts. It continues in schools and universities where they are taught what to think, not how to think. This happens because parents don’t take any responsibility for passing on their values to their children.

At the other end of life, children have given up caring for their parents and have delegated that responsibility to the state. In both cases somebody else is expected to pick up the bill for the state support. Perry Widhalm, makes the point about life being extended with drugs and poor quality of life. This is what state health care has done, and I suspect one of the drivers is the need to keep big pharma in profit. The NHS is obsessed with extending life and as a result even if children wanted to care for their parents, the conditions they have, together with health and safety regulations, make it difficult for care to take place in a family setting. Many children seem to expect the state to care for their parents so that they can inherit their parents wealth.

The most disgraceful aspect of recent months is that neither the government or the NHS cared about the elderly and their actions caused many premature deaths. Neither will be held to account for their actions.

Covid19 has reveal in many countries that the deaths are mainly from people in poor health and the message is our health services are not working. In the UK we have the NHS which is not fit for purpose. But this is essentially because it is a socialist system. The sooner it is privatised the better and we will then be forced to make our own choices and we will have to accept that if we do not live a health life then we will pay an economic price, but now bad health is acceptable because the state pays for people to live an unhealthy life. This is the message from Covid19.

Katy Randle
Katy Randle
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

I disagree with your conclusion. There is an argument to be had about individual responsibility for certain health conditions – I would be happy to be charged for being picked up drunk, for example, or for indulging in overly risky sports. However, I do believe that illness can strike us all, regardless of our individual precautions, and I can’t see how having to pay through the nose for having, say, cancer, is going to help matters.

wikingerNBG
wikingerNBG
3 years ago
Reply to  Katy Randle

” I would be happy to be charged for being picked up drunk”

Yeah sure “i would be happy to pay more taxes”. Hey you can make just payments to the government. You can just send your healthcare provider money after having a binge. You can just give them the money already. So don’t give anyone this woulda coulda happy to garbage its 2020 and not some bush area liberal cocktail party where you can virtue signal what you would do in hypothetical scenario X so just coof up the money and be quite.

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  wikingerNBG

The “healthcare provider” aka the NHS has no provision for accepting extra “binge” payments.

wikingerNBG
wikingerNBG
3 years ago
Reply to  Giulia Khawaja

You can just send them money. Do it now. Just send them your money that you think you would be happy to pay more in mandatory payments. I’am not interested in your pathetic excuses all made just to find a reason why i have to pay for your shit.

wikingerNBG
wikingerNBG
3 years ago
Reply to  Giulia Khawaja

Call them and ask them where you can send them money and they give you an account number. Do it now and don’t bother me with your lazy and pathetic excuses for being a pretentious hole.

Ian Wigg
Ian Wigg
3 years ago
Reply to  wikingerNBG

Annoyed he’s treading on your patch?

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

Correct!
It was the creation of that Communist Toad, Nye “vermin” Bevan, perhaps the most revolting member of the post war Attlee Government.

Chris Milburn
Chris Milburn
3 years ago

I work in NH’s. Not sure what other countries are like. But in the ones I work in here in Canada, the great majority of patients have no QOL, and their day consists mainly of suffering. I have met exactly zero people thus far, who are in decent health, who look at these folks and say “when I am like that I would like to live as long as possible”. In fact, most people say “never let me live like that – please!”. (I’m very conflicted on the issue of doctor assisted suicide personally, and see both sides of the argument). Certainly the idea that every death in LTC is a “tragedy” is a ridiculous starting point for any conversation of this sort.
My mom (80, 5 years into bone marrow cancer, still living independently although somewhat disabled) calls the NH that she goes to play music in “the departure lounge of life”. She does not want to die yet, but nor does she want to live as long as possible if she is so unwell as to need care in a NH.
Until we can get away from this hyperbolic/melodramatic “every death from COVID is a tragedy” narrative, we won’t have reasonable discussions and won’t find the balance between lockdown and opening up.

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
3 years ago

This pandemic also affirms what many have thought: that often the elderly are not valued in our society. We put our parents or grandparents into one of these institutions because we can’t deal with them (and sometimes for very good reasons) but then often they get forgotten. Now that many people do live to a ripe old age isn’t always a good thing. Many exist and that isn’t living.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth W

We should rename our Care Homes
“Oubliettes” immediately.

There are three advantages, it’s what they are, few will understand the word, and last but not least, we can ‘blame’ the French.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

There is definitely no way out except in a coffin.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth W

One reason we cannot deal with them is that the NHS ensures that many of us end our lives in misery. I do not know one elderly person who want to end their life in a care home. I only hope I have the courage to take my own life before this happens to me.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

May I advise Rule .303 Sir!

Sean Arthur Joyce
Sean Arthur Joyce
3 years ago

Here in Canada we are often touted for our exemplary response to COVID but in fact we too have grossly failed our seniors. My elderly mother and father still live independently in their own home but are 100 km. from the nearest hospital. My mother has a chronic lung and heart condition and prior to the lockdown was seen once weekly by a community paramedic to check up on her. During lockdown, the British Columbia government ordered community paramedics not to enter anyone’s home under any circumstances, abandoning shut-in patients like my mother for the full three months of lockdown. Only if you called 911 emergency would you get help. How many Canadian seniors living at home with chronic conditions died as a result of this neglect?

sara0
sara0
3 years ago

Irrespective of whether you need ‘care’ and whether you can afford it…….who the hell is going to do this job?

I never wanted to, most people reading and commenting on this site don’t want to.

Whenever I listen to the radio, at the end of each summer, it is all about whether one’s beloved child got ‘the grades’ to go to Uni. I have yet to hear, EVER, of anyone’s ambition to wanting to be overworked and unpaid in the low status ‘care’ industry. In other words there really is no answer to this issue.

My son is a care worker…..he has been for nearly 30 years. He eventually left the ‘state’ system – that allows private companies to service the system – because the guys behind the desks issuing directives and earning good money telling those at the coalface how to manage their jobs. The guys behind the desks having never wiped someone’s bottom to put it bluntly.

My son went freelance and is a lot happier BUT it is still a low status job and most will never want to do it. And we must stop stealing the poor of other countries to come and look after our elderly and infirm; these folk have had to leave their own families, often in the care of grandparents back home.

The whole thing is a total nightmare and unless we want to care for our own ‘loved ones’ there is not a hope in hell of turning this ship around. As an old person myself, I just pray I keep healthy and independent and sane”Š”Š”Šfor I do not relish the future in a vulnerable state, I really really don’t.

My son Davy is one of the one’s who really cares; as he says, most care workers aren’t ‘cruel’ it is just the relentless neglect the client (as they are now called) receives.

For example Davy worked for many years in a ‘care in the community house’; the ‘clients’ were once in those gigantic asylums that families abandoned their profoundly disabled and learning difficulty relations into.

Davy would go to work and the ‘clients’ were always thrilled to see him because he’d take them OUT – to the pub, the park or a museum; he’d take them two at a time, pushing a wheelchair and the other shuffling along. These clients would LITERALLY paw Davy as he went into the care home pleading for him to ‘go walk’ ‘out’ (mostly they were not very good with speaking as so profoundly disabled) because most of the other care staff would do the everyday stuff but just sit the clients in front of the TV or leave the clients in bed. This is the everyday story of the clients.

As to the staff: Davy once went to work and there was a staff member there he’d never met. A lovely lady in her 50’s who looked exhausted; she’d done two shifts back to back. Davy had a short chat with her as she was about to go home and in passing asked her where she lived – London is a very big place and Davy asked her how long it would take her to get home. She said 2 hours as she had three bus changes. Davy looked at her quizzically and said why don’t you take the tube? Her reply: It is too expensive, I can’t afford it.’ That is the reality of so much that is wrong – those who do the REAL work keeping our society going are treated as lower beings and then we wonder why the whole edifice is falling apart.

John K
John K
3 years ago

Agree 100% with this. Social care ought to be incorporated with the heath care system.

No chance.

Ian Wigg
Ian Wigg
3 years ago
Reply to  John K

I think the problem derives from the fact that at the outset the NHS was established to provide acute care, something which it is still excellent at, because that was perceived as the most important to the general public. Generally long term care wasn’t a high priority – you died within 5 years of retirement, if you didn’t your family supported you. If you were disabled or “simple” (to use the vernacular of the time) your mortality rate was such that very few actually required care past middle age.
As a result the government actuaries never factored in long tail risk into their models (they screwed up on mortality and morbidity risk in the state pension models as well but that’s another story) and hence the NHS was effectively underfunded from day one and would need increased funding at a level which would require increased taxation across the board to a level which would destroy the economy to get it where expectations meet delivery.

It’s probably too late for anyone over the age of 40 but I feel we need to engage with the millennial generation as to how they want to fund their future health and old age.

It may not be the same as the generation who were born a hundred years ago.

annmcelhinney
annmcelhinney
3 years ago

I was reading this article with absolute fasciation, until I got to this section.

“The same issues emerged in North America. The first major outbreak in the United States was centred around a Seattle care home run by one of the largest private operators, which was linked to 40 deaths. Now the world’s richest nation has the planet’s highest death toll due to its dire pandemic response, with four in 10 fatalities linked to long-term care facilities. Canada reacted better, resulting in a relatively low per-capita death rate.

IAN BIRRELL I hope just made an error but i suspect not. the US does not and has not ever had the highest death toll for coronavirus. The number is high because the population is high.The per capita number, the deaths per 100,000 is ALL that matters. I am sick and tired of reading this at best sloppy, lazy journalism at worst its just more juvenile dishonest anti-American propaganda. “dire pandemic response” really? why is so much lower than so many other countries? Was Belgium’s response dire? Spain’s? Italy’s? France’s?

I stopped reading. I can’t trust anything written in this piece if this error is allowed to stand.

It’s so disappointing to read stories like this. I subscribed to Unherd today. If this kind of erroneous anti- American group-think, (herd-think) you normally allow on your site I won’t be hanging around.

Olaf Felts
Olaf Felts
3 years ago
Reply to  annmcelhinney

Madding is it not Ann – to placate you a bit hopefully. It’s the same over here regarding ‘lazy journalism’. Sensationalist reporting feeding paranoia and fact spinning that fits a given agenda. Truth and rational thinking left the room ages ago, just leaving rampant stupidity. Truly remarkable the amount of people I encounter that despair at the lunacy of it all, and supposed to be in a minority?

Olaf Felts
Olaf Felts
3 years ago

I have had an interesting and diverse working life to date, and for some years line managed a number of care services, primarily mental health, but also older persons and learning disability services. I managed a lot of committed and excellent staff teams. I was actually well rewarded with a respectable salary.

Which brings me to the point of this – for older frail individuals any infection can prove fatal. Some years ago I had to audit one care home that had experienced a sudden increase in resident deaths. It had a good CQC rating and had an experienced care manager. I found little of concern surrounding infection control and the standard of care. But through discussions with staff, some disclosed that there had been a ‘bug’ going round the staff group – ‘nothing much you understand Olaf, a few sweats and feeling crappy. Didn’t stop me working though’. Indeed levels of staff sickness were low, as they consistently were at this home. The manager took pride in her treatment of staff and their commitment. Do I need to go on? Through discussions with CQC and other homes in the area, this was being replicated elsewhere. All we could conclude was the possibility of a non-specific virus/illness being a factor in the increase in resident deaths.

Gerry Fruin
Gerry Fruin
3 years ago

My wife and I are quite old and we have seen and heard the awful conditions of some ‘care homes’. However many are well run and do their best to respect the people in their care. To us though it’s a case of over my dead body regarding a care home. We will not be moved. Our future plans have been discussed should either or both of us become unable to ‘cope’.
My point is while we are still able we will manage and I am sure there is a vast number of us in this country bumbling along as best we can. So not all oldies need a care home. Those that do deserve the best whether they have contributed to the system or not. It’s the 21st century we must do better.

wikingerNBG
wikingerNBG
3 years ago

There goes another round of “i put my mom in a nursing home to die, but not like this”.
The whole of western society is now home to the old, weak and disabled. The average age of many european countries is beyond the sterile 45. If the covid coof wouldn’t just been a big media hoax it would be what we so desperately need to thin a herd that was artificially propped up until obesity and illness became a norm. Any age pyramid looks like a pinetree now because we had too much care and empathy is another commodity and product you can buy like fair trade coffee. You wanna put the sick and old into the heart of your community and all it does is making the heart of your community sick and old. I see too much grey hair around with a bad, bad sense of dress and now once in my lifetime when nature would take care of this we won’t let it because of commodified cheap slogans of care and all that other garbage that later comes back around with a big bill in pension entitlements attached to it.

Ian Wigg
Ian Wigg
3 years ago
Reply to  wikingerNBG

Perhaps you would advocate enforced euthanasia at 70?, 60?, any age as long as it’s older than you.

Has it occurred to you that those younger than you might view you in the same manner and be happy, indeed motivated, to hasten your demise.

wikingerNBG
wikingerNBG
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Wigg

This sort of critique comes natural to you because for you its normal to take yourself out of the example if its rules would apply to you since you are just an opportunist. Take your preschool teacher talk and heck off.