How are the elderly treated in different countries and in Britain in particular? There is an interesting selection of letters in The Times today which raises a lot of the big issues in a short space. Does government involvement do more harm than good? How much damage to provision has been done by government regulations? Should people be looking after their aged parents themselves? Is it better for the elderly to be in their own homes, rather than in a care home (the cost is not very much greater)? Here is one of the letters:
MY 98-year-old grandmother has been in residential care since a fall in September left her unable to care for herself. The care home is under-staffed and under-resourced. The food is awful and there is real lack of warmth. She cannot walk and has been given a room two floors up, so is forced to sit all day in a lounge with others or be left in her room alone as there is not the staff to move her. It makes me very sad and angry that her life has come to this.
I looked at several other homes during her initial 12 weeks. I was appalled: many were dirty, smelt awful and the patients were left to sit and stare into space. We have more compassion for animals in this country than our elderly. If I could have had her living with me, then that is what I would have done rather than subject her to this.
My dad is also in a nursing home; at just 56 he had diagnosed a degenerative brain disease. Thankfully his experience has been better and the home is wonderful. The catch is that he is 35 miles away in Milton Keynes, as that was the nearest place that could care for him.