This blog is firmly apolitical. It’s about you and me and anything cheerful, because that’s what I got requests for twelve years ago.
However, I notice the British governments are finally taking notice of the financial truth which so many families have run into like a great brick wall across the future. An ageing population has care needs which need to be addressed.
Nobody would look fondly at their little children and think that some day those children would make themselves ill trying to care for their parents. If you are a similar vintage to me you may recall a television programme called Tomorrow’s World, espousing the view that in the future the advances of medical knowledge and ability would lead to us all living to be much older and have a great deal of leisure time to fill. The corollary, that we would still be alive but infirm and needing help was not foreseen, and how to finance it all was not even mentioned. The world was an optimistic place in the nineteen sixties.
As you know I have come up against the sharp end of dementia three times so far. Every time has been destructive to me financially and health-wise, even though I was not the one with the dementia.
I started to work-out daily, twenty-one years ago. I did that because I had a disease that made moving difficult and I was allergic to the medicine. I did not think at the time of a connection between dementia and inactivity. My mother-in-law had Alzheimer’s but at the time she was very active. She used to run keep fit classes. I believe her dementia may have had something to do with being the youngest of fourteen children. Children produced from elderly genetic material are likely to have in-built faults, nature doesn’t like old parents.
Subsequent encounters with sufferers of dementia convinced me sufficiently that their inactivity was, at least, a contributory factor to the development of the disease to keep me doing the workouts. I think getting the blood rushing through your brain, contrary to the dictates of gravity, is like running the tap swooshily enough to wash the gunk down the plughole.
Causes of dementia are not yet certain. Figures for dementia look set to follow the cancer statistics in blossoming. If we are not to cripple the future with care of the elderly and not so elderly, we need more helpers and finance. If you’re a regular reader you’ll know the financial cost to me of caring was half a house the first time and a whole house the second time and cancer both times. There are and will be many people in the caring role who do not have a house to sell to finance care of a relative but be stuck with the problem anyway.
I am glad Parliament is addressing the problem. I have not the slightest doubt that some tax payers will complain that they should not be asked to fund someone else’s disease. However, no one now thinks cancer charities are nothing to do with them.
I believe in a relatively short span of time everyone will agree that the problems of an ageing population are the problems of us all.
The world is a very unequal place. Some people are not even free to call their lives their own. No one who was ever a teacher would fall into the mistake of believing we are all born equal. We are not. We may start out healthy and sane and end up crippled and sick. We may have children who have special needs. We may catch diseases and die too young. All these and more traps for the unwary lie in wait and we cannot predict what will happen tomorrow.*
But we can predict that if we live long enough we will grow old and probably need help and that the people helping us will need support.
I, for one, am very glad that a government is starting to address this problem.
*Therefore, enjoy today.