“Family first” says Sajid Javid – what if you don’t have one?

Sometimes you just cant be positive. The effect of the social care workforce crisis is frankly terrifying. Local authorities & care agencies report being unable to provide care for people at home due to a shortage of care staff and hospitals cannot discharge people to care homes or their own homes for the same reason. Recruitment into the workforce has plummeted and is expected to get worse. Meanwhile the Government continues to regard social care as something that only exists to help the NHS get people out of hospital. Anything else is up to family to provide “Family first, then community, then the state” (Sajid Javid last week) ; by family, Government essentially means older people’s children & grandchildren. Whether or not you agree with family stepping in, there is of course one group of people for whom that is not possible.  People ageing without children are forced to rely more on paid for care for the very basic reason there is no adult child to step in.

“Childless people tend to compensate for the absence of exchanges with their own children
by more frequently extending their networks to neighbours and friends, and by getting more
involved in community activities. They also tend to develop stronger ties with other family
members – parents, siblings and, along the generational line, nephews and
nieces………However when strong support is needed, these compensatory arrangements
work only partially. When getting frail and acquiring limitations in their ability to carry out the
activities of daily living, childless people receive much less support than parents, are more
likely to enter residential care, and do so at lower levels of dependency”

What Childless Older People Give: Is the Generational Link Broken? Albertinin M and Kohli M Ageing andSociety 29(08):1261 – 1274 · November 2009

At the moment I’m unable to articulate a response to this crisis beyond “oh god people are going to live miserably in need of care they wont get” because It really feels that we are on our own. Margaret Thatcher once said “there is no such thing as society There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first” but it has taken Boris Johnson’s Government to show what it that really means 

There is no point in looking to government for a solution on this. It simply doesn’t have one and also doesn’t seem very interested in having one, so it’s down to us.

How that looks in reality, I really dont know….

I am helping my friend to fundraise to support an older lady ageing without children in Portugal. Anything you can donate would be greatly appreciated

Fundraiser by Maria Sanches : Help Ana have a happy old age! (gofundme.com)

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