Inside the Care Crisis Part 2 - Ed Balls - Care Community

Care Community

5,514 members2,197 posts

Inside the Care Crisis Part 2 - Ed Balls

Callendersgal profile image

Hi everyone,

Last night I caught up with the concluding part of this UK television documentary, the first part of which I had written about last week.

In addition to more on the topic of care within Care homes, Ed Balls worked alongside a Caregiver working in the community, and joined a husband caring for his wife at home.

There were hardly any surprises here for all of us who have undertaken the care of a loved one, currently or previously. And of course the program didn't deal in depth with any aspect of Care, but did again acknowledge the years of governmental neglect there has been around the entire Care system.

We know that radical improvement is necessary and that help is supposed to be on its way with an injection of funds, but I don't get any real sense that measures are in view which will change things as much and as fast as they need to change.

I think my final impression is that Ed hit the nail on the head when he said that because ageing and dying are so unpleasant to contemplate, no-one wants to give them any credence until we are firmly in the middle of them. Until a debilitating illness or accident happens, or we become infirm through age, we'd really rather all brush it under the carpet and pretend it only happens to someone else.

But it's also clear that there's just no substitute for the silent army who step up to the plate to fill in the gaps, putting our own lives on hold, giving up plans and tiring ourselves to complete exhaustion in our efforts to assist those we love. Or for other caring souls who will, for not enough financial reward, work in Care Homes or out in the community, looking after the vulnerable.

And it was that which was the lasting impression of the program. Ed Balls pitched in, listened and did try to break through the surface of the challenge of it all, showing that we should all pause to consider that one of these days we are almost bound to become caregivers and/or cared for.

So now's the moment to remember everyone who is currently getting on with it all at the moment and I send love, best wishes and admiration to all of you for doing all that you are, putting self and fun on hold for a limitless amount of time.

Remember to take time for yourself at every opportunity you can, even if it's for only a precious few moments a day.

Photo: Unsplash: Jacky Zeng

9 Replies
sassy59 profile image

Thank you Callendersgal for your very interesting, informative post. I’m pleased the programme was shown but haven’t watched it. I’ve asked myself why and don’t really have an answer. It is close to home I suppose but nothing like as challenging as it is for others like your dear sister say. Maybe things will become more difficult in the future as Pete gets worse. There is never enough done to improve things in the care sector, carers are either unpaid, thus saving the country millions, or not paid enough for the work they do. I hope it changes soon but I won’t hold my breath.

I want to give a shout out if I can to our amazing friends Sue and Garry who have actually moved in with Sue’s mum, who at 95 had a fall some months back, and is now doing much better but is very frail. They are also trying to do things for themselves too and hope to visit us soon.

Caring is a full time job and those that do it are dedicated to others and need recognition for that with readily available respite care if and when required.

Have a good day everyone. Take care xxx🤗💜

Callendersgal profile image
CallendersgalAdministrator in reply to sassy59

Hi sassy59. First sending love and best wishes to your lovely friends Sue and Gary, who have done what needs to be done for Sue's mum after her fall. It's always so touching to hear how family have stepped up to help, sometimes at great inconvenience in their own lives. On the other hand I completely understand that this is not always possible for many people, for so many reasons, and I appreciate the heartache all around that can be caused when residential care has to be considered. Care is fraught with difficulty and unpleasant decisions. I think you are quite right to take things one day at a time with regard to Pete. It would be silly to try to anticipate what the future may bring. None of us knows how tomorrow will develop and we can worry needlessly about things that won't ever come to pass. It's always to be hoped that new treatments, new aids and new methods will help to make life pleasanter as we become more frail.

I totally respect that you don't want to see the program. I had doubts myself and having watched it all now, I'd be silly not to acknowledge that this was not a serious study of the problem and absolutely without doubt was made partially to advance the TV career of Ed Balls as well as appear empathetic to the cause without digging too deeply. And contained elements of emotionally charged footage designed to draw us into the debate.

I think the danger is that is we watch it, say 'aw', and then ignore the glaring fact that proper funding and a plan have long been missing from Care in the United Kingdom. Thanks for your input sassy59 and have a great day! 💖🙏xx

sassy59 profile image
sassy59Ambassador in reply to Callendersgal

Thank you Callendersgal, you have a great day too. Xxx🥰🤗😘💜

Hi Callendersgal,Myself and my husband did watch this episode and we found it very interesting. We were both impressed by the issues Ed Balls revealed. It isn't news to all of us who find ourselves in a caring role but we thought it was very effective in highlighting the challenges being faced by the silent army of both paid and unpaid carers out there. It was so clear that carers have been taken for granted for far too long.

Although the government have announced more money for the social care sector, it is too little too late. There needs to be an emergency injection of cash now and not in a few years time as the proposals outline. Although we are constantly being told there isn't enough money, it seems to me that it is a question of priorities. We can't afford to ignore this and it's a ticking time bomb.

Programmes like this are so important to highlight an issue that noone really wants to confront. As you pointed out, many of us will find ourselves as a carer or being cared for.

Meantime, I say a big hello to all the carers out and a heartfelt thank you for all you do❤xxx

Callendersgal profile image

Hi Hellebelle, I do so agree with you, though overall, as said in my reply to sassy59, it was all a bit lightweight for me. But the plus side of that is that it does draw in more viewers. And yes, most of us who have been on the inside of the crisis appreciate most that if this isn't tackled, and as quickly as possible, the ticking time bomb will go off. We have seen a stark reminder of attitude in the Care Home crisis of the pandemic and that's only the tip of the iceberg. Great to hear your input! As always you are very knowledgeable and measured! Much appreciated! 👍🙏💖 x

As someone who did caring for a very long time i would do it all again.Unfortunately unlike many middle eastern countries ,and of course India,they have a strong sense of caring for their elders in the family,,and it is to be commended,but in the West its a case of shoving them in a home,which in my opinion results in a rapid decline in health.

Our parents brought us up and nurtured us when we were young,and surely we should have compassion and care when they become old.

I totally understand that more funds should be pumped into care facilities,but like so many other worthwhile health issues,there is never enough money to go round,and i fail to see how everything can be funded,government only has taxes to pay for things,its not a bottomless pit ,and its a tightrope to ek out money to every deserving cause.

I believe we should all be more responsible in taking care of the aged,and indeed ourselves.

Callendersgal profile image

Hi Roddy, I know that you cared tirelessly for David and did the very best you possibly could for him, and it must bring a sense of calm to know that you supported him through his (and your) darkest days, so that he felt, as far as he was able, loved and cared for.I have seen first hand how other communities care for those who need it. I remember so well when living in the Caribbean a neighbour of my husband's uncle, no relative at all, looked after him daily, feeding, washing, dressing and sitting with him when he was bed-bound and blind. All done for love of one human being for another. And the day I saw a man carry his neighbour into the hospital on his back for an out-patient appointment, when he could no longer walk.

However, the second episode of this program did address the need of the Asian community in UK to access Homes for their relatives, of a kind which are acceptable to them, because even in the most traditional of homes, there sometimes comes a point where adequate care at home can no longer be given. Ed Balls advocated a system which will be acceptable to us all in our now ethnically mixed society. That's a huge challenge though and how we quite get to a point that a whole system will be acceptable to all, I don't know, but I guess in the meantime, the community in question must itself look to provide the specific Homes which meet their own requirements.

On the question of our own involvement in the care of our loved ones, I agree that the ideal is for us to look after our own more, but I'm not sure how we close the gap when nowadays, everyone is required to work to contribute to the taxes needed to pay for Care (among other things), and towards pensions for the next generation, meaning that there is no longer a convenient 'stay at home' person (who was often traditionally a woman), to take on that role. This is one reason why it works better in some societies, where families are much bigger, live under one roof and have fewer of that family doing outside jobs. In UK, those who take on a Care role are often alone, past retirement and therefore frail themselves and quickly become incapacitated too.

Thank you so much Roddy, for this interesting point of view on what is an enormously complex situation.

I think it ridiculous how the current system is run

And needs complete overhaul

And it’s being ignored by governments for years

But we will all need care at some point

Something needs to be done

We are all living longer

We are living with limiting conditions

Is there an answer that will suit everyone. Probably not

Most people don’t think about their elderly care until it’s too late

We have a lifetime to plan for it

But it only happens changes in out last few years and at the point where normal life can’t continue I think we all tend to deny it’s coming and fail to understand when we need help

I personally like the idea of the retirement villages community’s

But not ones run for the insane profits by company’s now

I think these should be run and mandated by government have onsite help wardens a cafe/pub/shop/social area

But be safe and enclosed to prevent wandering off /unwelcome visitors

Somewhere where I wouldn’t mind moving to

Would be nice to have proper weather too

We retire too late in life

But we also all fail to plan for it

Either because we can’t afford to or our pensions are overtook by inflation

Of we deny it will happen to us

I don’t want my kid to look after me when I’m older

I don’t really want strangers doing it either

And I don’t want to die in a hospital

But that is the reality of what will happen to the majority of us

Callendersgal profile image
CallendersgalAdministrator in reply to philbou

An honest and stark look at our attitudes (and lack of them) Philbou. Very thought provoking and spot-on! Thanks so much for your thoughts.

You may also like...