Elderly Careless

A colleague on fb writes about the following issue and I can't help but have mixed feelings about it, namely:

  • Having had years to plan all this why have the elderly not been planning for retirement? I'm willing to believe this is down to innumerable socialist governments writing cheques with their mouth that the electorate refused to cash or that they simply felt they would be dead before they lived to need their arse wiping by someone else.
  • Is this the last 2-fingered victory salute of the post-war babyboomers? Having picked the cupboard clean for future generations are they now trying to bloc-vote a government into sticking us for more cash? In which case I have little sympathy for their "plight".
But all that aside their is an element of sympathy; having paid in for years and had the rug pulled out from under them and the deal changed on retirement funding and resources I can't help but feel for their upset and that of future generations who won't be treated quite so well, given the young to old ratio is dropping, prices are rising and sympathy for the elderly is dropping. 

But why is elderly care so expensive?

My mother, after her divorce and not young herself (bad side of 50), got a job as an estate manager of a private, high-end retirement home; one where a small flat in sheltered accomadation went to rich southerners for £100k or more with top up "fees" for "care" services of around £10k a year, and that was before nursing costs and similar, which was all bought in externally.

These flats were state of the art; solar panelling, hyper-efficient ground boilers and similar to reduce the overall cost of these flats to practically nothing, at least in comparison to the other fees levied.

And this is what bothers me: the company that ran these flats went bust; about 18 months before my mother left they went into administration and were bought up by another company - the reason my mum left was because this company cut services to the bone (not prices though, of course) and tried to put her in charge of 3 sites across Leeds; a 50 year old woman traversing Leeds, putting site wheelie bins out because they've cut the janitorial staff and fixing blockages because the company plumber is on reduced hours resulted in her being injured and bounced out.

Myself I temped as an admin at a home management centre for people with learning and physical disabilities; my boss ran the centre and was nearly in tears by the end of it due to the complete ineptitude of staff and there complete lack of dedication, their constant calling in sick and complete lack of concern for their charges.

So this is what I know: care, no matter which way you play it, public or private, care is badly managed or badly resourced or both; you can't square this circle in this country for some reason and perhaps this is down to our panic at frailty and vulnerability. Who knows.

What to do? I have a cunning plan: outsource the whole lot; I reckon there would be an awful lot of money to be made and jobs to be offered just simply moving elderly care to Portugal, Greece or Spain in sheltered, guarded estates given how cheap properly and how high unemployment is currently; a few years on a med diet to see out your twilight years and happy relatives using the opportunity to get a few grappas and relax in the sun while visiting their granny. Heck I reckon you could leverage greek or spanish debt to annex a coastal island for them.

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