I have spent the last 10 years in the care of the elderly, the past 7 as a Manager, my home has 46 residents, nursing and residential, many with memory problems and dare I say it the dreaded Alzheimer's!!! We do not hide our "family" away they take part in many activities within the community, they have even been on TV, although I
agree with a lot of the new care standards that are now in force, my worry
is 'What has happened to Care?'

Yes I can put everything good on paper, followed by reports and audits, but all the time my staff and myself are doing all this writing, who is caring? I feel very strongly about what happens to our elderly population, but sometimes by caring and putting residents first, this is not always what the care standards want, the emphasis seems to be on, high standard of decor, fancy wallpaper, and nice little ladies and gentlemen who never have accidents or do anything that may embarrass you, by the way in my home, I have a lady we call staff nurse, because she always with us in the office and helps out on the doctors round, and you will find a dirty coffee cup on the table and a newspaper on the floor, but amid all this you will here lots of laughter.

Debbie.

Ideally of course no home should ever close once it has accepted
responsibility for the care of the old.  Ideally, families should be
subsidised so that they can provide the necessary care for as long as
possible (that was what the original O.A.P.  was supposed to be for), but
once the old have been taken into a home, whether private or Local
Authority, that home should be forbidden to close.  If private owners find
the financial or other burden too much they should either be given
sufficient funds to provide a decent minimum standard of care until the
last resident has died or voluntarily moved on or the L.A. should buy it
out.  There must be no meanness in budgeting; the old have earned our
life-long respect and support for a dignified twilight.  Nothing is so
traumatic to the old as a move over which they have no control.

Many care homes have been state-regulated into bankruptcy.  It's right of
course that decent standards and facilities should be insisted on but many
perfectly satisfactory homes have been bullied out of existence.  The
government should not (and this applies to many other walks of life) impose
regulations, which homes cannot afford unless it is prepared to fund them
itself.

The other side of the coin is the dread word euthanasia.  I've seen all too
many in the last few weeks who are simply waiting to die and some who would
dearly wish to die (like my poor old mother).  I know that the
god-botherers shriek with horror at the prospect of what they call murder,
yet they say they believe in a merciful god (I'm a Christian too); how can
they believe that a merciful god can be cruel enough to enforce the
prolongation of a life which has run its course?  We grant our pets the
boon of a humane death once life becomes a burden - why do we deny this
benefit to our nearest and dearest?  I rage at the sheer cruelty of the
medical ethics, which insist on the preservation of mere life at the cost of
all quality of life.

Roger