Saturday, 1 May 2010

Carers

It struck me recently how old age strikes with some stealth, it creeps up on you almost unnoticed.  We're all living longer and therefore having to cope with aging and all it brings in a way never encountered before.  If not for ourselves then for others who are close to us.

My Gran, who is very alert and has all her cognitive skills, yesterday had an accident she couldn’t avoid and was utterly heartbroken. How cruel ageing can be. The only real joy she gets from life (apart from her family) is from listening to her books and doing quiz shows on television as her sight too has let her down. She never moans though and is usually surprising cheerful.

My Mother-in-law is with us for a week and she too is struggling a little, mainly with arthritis which her weight aggravates and the two combined are now really affecting her mobility. She fails to remember things sometimes too.

Both Grannies would choose to remain totally independent - but for various reasons really can't. Mother-in-law lives on her own still but is helped enormously by her only daughter who shops, cleans and drops in daily for much needed human contact and Gran obviously lives with us cared for mainly by Her Next Door - but neither helper gets much direct help from the Government - financially or practically. This caring group is ignored yet it will become a bigger problem in years to come as each generation seems to live that little bit longer.

All this free caring is saving the tax payer a lot of money. Is it fair that people in their late sixties and early seventies who should now be free of mortgage, children, paid employment etc are finding they have other responsibilities? Please don't misunderstand, all mentioned here do this willingly and with much care and love - they wouldn't have it any other way. But should this silent army be doing it alone and without any support?

1 comment:

Preseli Mags said...

No this silent army should not be doing it alone. I don't know why this society chooses to ignore carers, but it is wrong. Great blog - more people should read this!

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