Are you planning on getting old?

I’ve just written a blog post about the Dilnot Commission looking at the funding of care and support. I wrote it and tweeted about it and realised that the vast majority of people in my twitterstream wouldn’t look twice at such a post. There in lies the problem – it’s vaguely technical, too detailed, and about something that few of us would realise we needed to know about.

But we do. Most of us will get old. Some of us will become disabled or get ill during our lives. We all need some care and support occasionally.

If you recognise that any of these things are likely to feature in your life then you might want to take a look at the Dilnot Commission findings in the next couple of weeks. By the time most of us are older and needing support, the State is unlikely to be providing it. Reading comments on the Observer article: Middle class face £35k bill to help pay for care in their own age, I was struck by how many people think that their National Insurance or Tax contributions should be enough to provide care. They’re not. Something different needs to happen. If you’re interested in more detail check out my earlier blog post here.

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4 thoughts on “Are you planning on getting old?

  1. I looked at that article and I looked at the comments as well and it infuriated me a bit because I think the fallacy of belief about ‘paying into the system’ has been something that governments have been happy to perpetuate. You are right that no-one wants to think about getting old – that’s one of my theories (one of the many unscientific gut-based theories that I specialise in :p) that it is a reason for the way that poor care is overlooked in relation to older adults and ageism has been allowed to exist.
    As long as ‘older people’ are a part of the ‘them’ in the ‘us’ and ‘them’ dynamics, it will be something that is ignored.
    My worry is that the government will shrug off Dilnot because it is expedient to do so and any decision made regarding funding for care will be unpopular. Let local authorities take the ‘hit’.
    And the existence of a coalition govt jeopardises it further as there is scope for each ‘partner’ to blame the other.

  2. Despite being a social care professional and from the generic to specialist era, I for one have full expectation that my quality care needs will still come from my family and/or their directed support from others. I do not wish to be handled by any Local Authority directly but rather expect that individual budgets and self financing will be the norm and acceptable by that stage. I would want to shop for my needs and wants in a mixed market where quality counts and where respect and dignity is not driven but rather the everyday.
    For those who cannot pay, I would push for adequate and appropriate funding.
    From childhood we need to ensure that everyone has a clear grasp of financial management; social and self responsibiilty and community support. Then the idea of assisitng each other when the need arises and accepting support when we need it, would not seem so odd.

    For vulnerable children, Adults and Older People as well as their Carers, as professionals with a wealth of information and authority we need to ensure at every juncture that they are eduacted, engaged and empowered to be as independent in their choices and decision making as possible
    Mavis

  3. Thanks both for your comments. Absolutely agree that we need to do something very differently, very early on. An education about what support people need, what is available, how much it costs, why it is an honourable job to support someone to achieve their goals and so on, would help.

    I don’t think we can afford to allow politicians to shrug off #Dilnot …that said we don’t represent most people who I don’t think are aware, or care, about such matters. Let’s wait and see. Thanks for the conversation both, G

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