Tag Archives: growing older

Councils’ body says cuts threaten home care for elderly

“Virtually all” councils in England and Wales could be forced to end home help for elderly and disabled people, the Local Government Association has said, according to this report from  BBC News.

Care Services Minister Paul Burstow said it was “wrong to scare people”.

But shadow health minister John Healey said: “This shows you cannot make big budget cuts without big consequences.

But you can scare people, of course, if you are a Big Budget Cutter who can’t see the Big Consequences for the Big Society that hasn’t yet been created.

Perhpas we would be better off with ‘virtual councils’.

Otherwise  “virtually all” elderly and disabled people who depend on home care from their councils will be “virtually  neglected”.

Sad world we now inhabit.

I’m not feeling positively optimistic  about the future of care for  elderly and disabled people.

In fact, I’m virtually pessimistic about it all.

Forward to a real future we could all care about.  Not back to a past we thought we’d virtually and really left behind.

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Filed under care, growing older, Local Authority, neglect

Seven steps to end the scandal of malnutrition in hospital

A poll of 1,000 nurses for Age UK found just under a third did not feel confident that malnutrition would be noticed by staff.

Fewer than half said their hospital screened patients on arrival, as guidelines recommend.

Age UK has published a report Still Hungry to Be Heard – The scandal of people in later life becoming malnourished in hospital four years after the last campaign ‘Hungry to be heard’.

Age UK’s seven steps to end the scandal of malnutrition in hospital
Step one
Hospital staff must listen to us, our relatives and our carers
Step two
All ward staff must become food-aware
Step three
Hospital staff must follow their own professional codes
Step four
We must be assessed for the signs or risk of malnourishment
Step five
Hospitals should introduce ‘protected mealtimes’
Step six
Hospitals should implement a ‘red tray’ system
Step seven
Hospitals should use trained volunteers where appropriate

It’s not rocket science; it’s basic care.  It would be a positive demonstration of caring care if our government introduced compulsory monitoring of nutrition/malnutrition in hospitals.  And compulsory monitoring of the care and attention needed by people with dementia when they are in hospital wouldn’t go amiss either.

From The Seven Ages of Man, via the Seven Stages of Dementia, to the Seven steps to end the scandal of malnutrition in hospital.

More on the power of seven another day.  And a promise to those of you who have demonstrated that you care, there will be more about the Nuns who fled from the prospect of being placed into residential care, far away from where they would have chosen to live.  I’m watching you, Sisters, past and present and future.  There is more to come, but meanwhile, I’m off!!  To distant climes, and for a spell of relaxation.  Miss me, perhaps!  Or not, as the case may be.  It may not make one iota of difference to you or to me, while I am in far off regions.  Close to the powerful Nuns, but not that close.

Back whenever.

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Filed under care, dementia care, NHS, nursing, professional responsibility

We’re all in this together, are we?

So, we’re all in this together, David Cameron, are we?

That phrase must be on page 1 of the Conservative dictionary – Cameron used it in 2008, then to his party faithful.

Fast forward, to the 2009 Tory Conference, and the then shadow chancellor George Osborne clings to the same phrase:

“The shadow chancellor also outlined plans to target Whitehall costs and axe child trust funds for the better off.  He told the Tory conference “we’re all in this together” and said that the measures would save £7bn a year.”

And Cameron’s doing likewise, at the same Tory Conference.

Since 2008, things have moved on, changes to the welfare state are now falling like leaves in Autumn.  Seems that some of us really have been more in it than others:

“More than 150 peers have been claiming a £174 tax-free overnight allowance for staying in London, despite owning a property there, a report says.”

The detail is published in a report on implementing changes to the Lords expenses system.  It says 326 members who replied to a survey claim the “overnight subsistence allowance”.  Of those 167 own accommodation in London and 113 own their properties outright – making them mortgage-free.

None of the peers were breaking the rules, which until recently did not specify which property was a “main home”.

The findings come as the government has outlined plans to pay peers a flat rate of £300 a day to attend the House of Lords.

The regime, due to take effect in October, compares with a current maximum daily limit of £334.

And ‘we’ have somehow or other given permission to our brand new Coalition Government to spend £18,000 on topping up the wine cellar since the election.  Foreign Office minister Henry Bellingham revealed that Government Hospitality, which manages the cellar, had spent £17,698 on new stock since May 6 – bringing the total value to £864,000 – though he insisted the standard practice of buying wines young saved money for the taxpayer.

That’s all right then!  We’re saving money after all.

Iain Duncan Smith is now doing a Norman Tebbitt, twenty years after he first came out with his abusive phrase ‘On Yer Bike’.   Perhaps it’s something to do with being the MP for Chingford!  I am finding it very difficult to understand what kind of mentality you need to be able to consider forcing longterm unemployed people from their secure tenancies to another part of the country, in order to create a more flexible workforce.   It’s only people living in council housing, though, that will be ‘encouraged’ to be flexible.  Not the unemployed living in mortgaged property, of course.  The proposed scheme would allow them to go to the top of the housing list in another area rather than lose their right to a home if they moved.  That will be enormously welcomed by the people who are already on the housing waiting list in the area they are moved to!

Call me a cynic, but if there’s already a housing waiting list in the ‘new area’, that waiting list is going to get longer, so how long is that list likely to keep the new arrivals waiting?  It’s a non-starter.  Or am I missing something?

And IDS mentioned people living in East London who couldn’t at present work in West London.  It would be too much of a risk for them.  What planet do you live on, IDS?  I used to live in East London, and while living there,  I worked in West London.  I didn’t need to get on my bike either.  I got on the bus and tube!  There and back each day.  Since then, transport in London has changed dramatically – for the better.  It shows how out of  touch you are, IDS, with the world.  Why not provide those needing to travel from East London to West London in the interests of gainful employment with a little bit of ‘transport-support-funding’?  Better than uprooting them, from their family, friends and their existing support network.  But you would possibly know little of the consequences of that vicious uprooting.  It wouldn’t need to happen to you, would it, Ian Duncan Smith?  You are protected and secure.

If ‘sink estates’ exist, Iain Duncan Smith would do better to create employment by improving those sink estates, and the life chances of the people living in them.  Are ‘tons of elderly people’ (!! where did that one come from??) only allowed to live in a house with a spare bedroom if they live in a mortgaged property?

That reminds me: which of our esteemed political parties was responsible for the abolition, in effect, of much council housing in the first place?  Which political party was in power when the Right-To-Buy scheme was introduced, thus depleting the existing stock even further?  Which political party did Shirley Porter represent, when she used council funds to rig the vote, and moved council tenants out of marginal wards in Westminster to make space for owner-occupiers, presumed to be Tory voters.  Did she ever pay back the £37million she owed to Westminster Council?

Social cleansing and/or engineering is unacceptable.  Or has Shirley Porter smuggled her way back into the country, with the promise of a new job?

Count me out, Coalition Government.  I’m not in this with you at all.

I can’t resist editing this to add Outside Left’s  Wonky wheels on Iain Duncan Smith’s ‘bike-lite’.

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Filed under justice, politics

The Seven Ages of Man

The Seven Ages of Man

performed by John Gielgud

from a recording made circa 1930

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
Then the whining schoolboy with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then, a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden, and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the canon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big, manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange, eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

Jaques (As You Like It – Act II, Scene VII, lines 139-166)

William Shakespeare

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