With more pressure on Local Authorities in the UK to provide more services to more people at a high quality and give more service options to their service users, it is no wonder that LA’s are stretched to their limits.
It is reported that with in the next 20 years the number of Adults requiring access to social care services is going to increase beyond the realms of belief. The number of people living longer and the expectation of quality of life is growing and growing, but with the economic crisis that is happening, how are the public preparing for this ? ..many are not, they expect Local Government to come up with the resources.
So how do we educate the public into understanding that responsibility comes down to them? That they need to start by looking after their own body and mind, by exercise and keeping active. As well as some sensible financial investing for their futures. Now don’t get me wrong, I understand that this alone will not reduce the need completely but the more active and healthy we are for longer into old age, the less of a strain will be put on the social care budget. I also know that this will take time and an alternative way of thinking, not just by the public but the government bodies as well.
I want my father, who is now 80, to be safe and secure. To know he is able to call on services that are good quality and value for money. His generation seems to be thankful for any help that is given, that they are almost embarrassed to have the local authority assist them.
But will the next generation ? Have we created a generation that assumes that it is their right to receive state help, that they are entitled to what ever they can get?
We have just experienced some horrendous scenes of riots and looting, to me this shows how a minority of people feel they have the right to take what ever they want. I pray that we have not left it too late to help them understand that this isn’t acceptable.
I don’t believe that Social Care is a right, I believe that it is a privilege that we have. That we should care about each other as well as ourselves, taking responsibility for our futures and making it better for everyone. Many countries don’t have a social care system, they look after their elderly as part of the family.
I am in no way suggesting that we don’t have assistance and help where needed but merely shape a better future. Making changes now to support a long-term sustainable plan that encompasses some creative initiatives for the older population, adults and children with mental health issues and disabilities. I believe that Direct Payments may be the answer to encourage Care Workers to think outside the box and give more flexible approaches to the care environment.
Let’s start educating people now, it doesn’t have to be doom and gloom, lets create alternatives that are safe and friendly.
I am 43 and I know that I will blink and I will be 70+, but I intend to make provisions now for a comfortable fun filled future that excites me. Here’s to health and happiness and getting old on our own terms!
(getting off the soap box now!)