“Life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you are going to get.” Good advice from the determined and independent mum to Forrest Gump. We are all born to parents and we may add other parents on the way through life. We all live diverse and multi-faceted lives which can take us away from where our parents live. We may have kids, sometimes when we have progressed a career. We may stay at home to raise our kids. Just a few ways in which we are all different. However, we are all affected by our older generation ageing, be it our parents, grandparents, extended family or friends.
How we care for our ageing population is the hot potato of our political and social environment. The Care Act of 2014 promised much with only limited implementation. The so-called dementia tax was a PR disaster for this government, maybe influencing the last election result. Local authorities are being broken by the adult social care needs on their budgets, with the NHS reporting frequently on the emotive phrase ‘bed blocking’ by frail seniors.
The political question cannot be solved, but our approach to how we care for our elderly can be adapted and become more informed. I will tell you the life story of one lady and her family and how she spent her whole life caring for others. Within the story, I hope to help educate as to the resources and information that is available to help families, to put a spotlight on the difficult subject of dementia but mostly to do my part to change the face of ageing within our community.