Saturday, September 28, 2013

We need more detail about what a society that cares for its older members looks like.

The press today contains the result of a survey by the Ready for Ageing Alliance that claims that the government could do more to prepare for the UK's ageing population - especially the rapid increase in the older-older.  

Believe me, I couldn't agree more. I think it is clear to anybody working in and around the ageing industry that government (and most corporates come to that) are woefully ill prepared.
So I know this fact, the Ready for Ageing Alliance knows this fact and so do the writers and contributors to the 1001 reports that have been published on the subject. If you asked most people working in government I am sure they would agree.

When the Alliance came into existence I wrote a blog posting that concluded with the statement: "Something I know for certain. Vague statements and requests are met by vague but reassuring responses."

So what do you think the response was to this new research?

As reported
 by the BBC.
A spokesman said: "We want to make the UK one of the best places to grow old in and we have an ambitious programme to achieve this."We are making radical changes to our pension system so people can plan and save for a decent income in retirement."We are reforming our public services so that older people get excellent care and support when they need it and are enabled to live independently.
Worthless words not based on any evidence. 

Can I make another observation and plea to the Ageing Alliance. As long as you generate this generalised "something must be done" type research it will be dismissed from the news within a day. You say things are bad - the government minister says they are fine. End of argument.

If you want to make a difference, and knowing lots of the people involved I know they do, you have got to drill down to the details.

What does an society that is capable of looking after its old look like? Not just vague generalisation but detail. 

  • Numbers of gerontologists
  • Numbers of care workers
  • Spend per person
  • Availability of care
There are probably 20 factors that can be measured.
Come on guys. You have the resources and the knowledge to spell this out in detail and the show just how far away we are from having the care and health infrastructure the country needs to support its old. Dick Stroud

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