We should all be responsible for ensuring our parents get the care they need as they become old and frail. This may mean caring for them yourself, but depending on work and commitments to your own children this is not always possible. But even if you cannot physically care for them the responsibility to ensure they are getting good care should still be yours.
caring for your parents, have you taken the time to consider how you might help them get the care they need when the time comes? Nobody likes thinking about anybody they love becoming ill or frail, and it just isn’t a nice thought to think about somebody like a parent, who you once looked up to, struggling to deal with everyday tasks, being in need of a home help, or a place in a nursing home. But this is something that we do all have to think about.
Age UK figures released in June 2017 show that there are currently 15 million people in the UK aged over 60, and 1.5 million people aged over 85. In 2030 there are set to be 20 million people in the UK aged over 60 and in the next 23 years, there will be double the amount of people aged over 85 in the UK.
We are an ageing population and the better health awareness, the better health care system, the advances in medicine, plus a better quality of life, and more safety awareness in everyday life and in the workplace, mean everybody is more likely to live longer. This means that we all will have to take responsibility for our elders.
With an ageing population growing at speed, we cannot rely on an already stretched care system, and those in care worker jobs struggling to meet the needs of their clients, to be the sole connection between an elderly person and the care they need. As their children, we have to step up and help ensure they get the care they need.
Everything in the UK is underfunded, but your love for your parents remains as strong as ever, which means you are the perfect bridge for the gap between your parents and the care they need.
Think of it in the way you think of caring for your children. You will care for them until they don’t need you to care for them anymore, and the same morals should be applied to your parents. If we all treated the responsibility to care for our parents the same as we do in terms of caring for our children, so many good things would happen.
- Elderly people would be prioritised and only those without anybody in the world, who really, really need the help from social services, would receive that help.
- The care systems wouldn’t be as stretched and less people would go without the care they need.
- The NHS would benefit greatly as so many people who are in desperate need of social care are stuck in hospital beds waiting for a place to become available for them. In the meantime, the hospital has a bed that could be used for somebody in need of their medical expertise taken up by somebody who needs caring for elsewhere in a different situation.
- Family relationships would be stronger as each generation takes an approach of looking after each other.
- Those in care worker jobs funded by the state will be less stretched and more able to do their job properly.
Nobody is suggesting that you should care for your elderly parents if they need nursing help or 24/7 care and you cannot provide that for them. It is all about taking on the responsibility of getting them the right care that they need, and not seeing it as a job the state has to do. Whether that is residential care, live-in care (also known as home care), getting them a home help, sheltered housing or any other care option is right for them, it should be your duty to ensure they get that care. Social responsibility could do wonders for all generations, and is something we all need to accept as part of our duty as children, and as human beings.