1 August 2016: Having been contacted today by a major news outlet for comments on the Daily Telegraph’s piece ‘China village names and shames people who do not take proper care of their elderly ‘ , Judy Downey, R&RA Chair, responded:
(Would the R&RA like to comment and do we find the same phenomenon?)
Well, actually we’re a helpline for relatives and friends. The vast majority of people who get in touch with us are desperately worried about the standards of care their elderly relative is receiving at home, in care homes or in hospital.
They are trying to do all they can to make it better, even when they live a long way away.
The children of those in care homes or needing care can be in their 70’s and more. Their parents are generally in their 80s, 90s and 100’s.
Many ‘children’ are often not in good health themselves, a large number have caring responsibilities for other family members, grandchildren and parents-in-law, and some, yes, also have work they need or want to do to support themselves and others.
A high proportion have had to give up caring because of their own deteriorating conditions, often because they could no longer do the lifting, the 24 hour continence care, the complexities and, sometimes, the aggression brought on by dementia, the lack of sleep and the need for more appropriate support.
(But, in the past, we cared so much better for our elderly didn’t we?)
Would that be that past when relatively few people lived beyond their 70’s and death in your 60s and 70’s was the norm? And women had to give up work when they got married?
Or that past when we were so caring as a society that destitute, ‘senile’ or frail elderly poor people ended up in the workhouse?
Unfortunately that media outlet didn’t want our comments after that little interchange.
We’re still wondering why…