It’s a sad fact, but many of those who have reached a certain level of maturity and wish to retain their independence seem to be totally invisible to those who govern their lives.
It would be bad enough being Cinderellas, at least as a group, they would get some of the crumbs from the fire grate of social funding. But because they are truly invisible men and women, any funding provision isn’t merely insufficient, it’s as non-existent as they seem to be.
Who are they and why do they matter?
All have reached a certain age, and recognise they now need caring for. The level of care required varies according to age, circumstances and health, but all have one thing in common: they wish to stay in their own homes and not move into residential care.
Why is this? And what are the advantages?
Live-in carers or live-out carers offer an option which allows people to stay within a familiar stress-free environment and to retain their normal routines while being cared for by staff with appropriate experience. However, this option is not currently accessible to all.
Staying in one’s own home also provides the foundation for eliminating at least one major stress factor in life – moving to another home through no fault of one’s own.
Following the collapse of care home provider Southern Cross, some 750 clients suffered unnecessary stress. Care Home Minister Norman Lamb, opening proposals on English care homes for consultation, commented that regulation of the care home sector is not fit for purpose. Once again this highlighted the importance of making alternative care options for the elderly more readily accessible.
As Mr Lamb said: “The level of anxiety people suffered as a result of what happened with Southern Cross is completely unacceptable.”
This article continues in The Invisibles, part 2.