“The moral test of government is how it treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the aged; and those in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.”
Hubert H Humphrey
The Audit Commission have released a report today discussing ‘tackling the financial challenges for councils of an aging population’. You will notice instantly that the focus has been moved away from the challenge to government, who have been in receipt of all those National Insurance payments, to the councils who are handed a set amount of money to fulfil their duties.
The commission recommends ‘new and innovative’ ways of providing services using technology.
It illustrates its idea of providing ‘care’ by citing councils who have fitted electronic sensors to detect when the elderly try to leave their homes, flood alarms to alert an operative to attend the house when water reaches a certain level, and further detectors to alert an operative when an elderly resident falls over and lands on the floor.
Is this really modern society’s idea of care?
An all seeing eye or sensor to tell them when they actually need to leave their teleview monitoring station and call on a real person. I can appreciate that money is tight, budgets need to be trimmed, but the idea that the elderly, who have paid more into government coffers over the years than many other individuals are to be condemned to spend their twilight years in some Orwellian pod monitored by council officials is too obscene to contemplate.
Councils originally put pressure on the elderly to move into care homes on the grounds that it was cheaper to feed, clothe, warm, and monitor them when several dozen elderly persons were in one place; leave your budgie behind, put your your engagement ring in the office safe, no smoking on the premises, no razors you might cut yourself with – we’ll shave you once a week, it’ll be just like home…….
I was slightly bemused when the Labour government said that it was planning to offer ‘personal care’ free – in your own home, and wondered where the money was going to come from to fund this wonderland where the elderly could live with their pets, smoke if they wished, drink if they wished, and generally behave as we all do in our own homes, but with support where needed.
Now we get an insight into how they are planning to do it.
‘No need to drop any food off to Maisie today, her electronic food monitor says she hasn’t eaten yesterday’s sandwich yet – oh and call in on Fred, it’s probably the flood monitor malfunctioning again, but it’s been reading 10′ of water in the living room since late last night.’
Brave New World eh?