This evening there’s a Panorama programme at 9.00 o’clock showing how people are suffering because of the collapse of social care funding – both individuals and Local Authorities – Councils.
This week, from May 20 – 26, is Dementia Action Week.
Today the Alzheimer’s Society has a good website home page about it (google Dementia Action Week) with a heading over a photograph that says ‘a child always sees the person inside.’
Yesterday the World Health Organisation (WHO) published its latest guidelines on risk reduction of cognitive decline and dementia. This morning Dave Piper of Transworld Radio and I talked about it on TWR News. After all, who isn’t interested in reducing their risk of developing dementia?
Falls are often fatal for frailer older people, so it’s sad to read in today’s press that over 5,000 died as a result of falls in 2017, 70% more than the 3003 in 2010. The figures have been rising steadily. And sadly, the main rise seems to be among older people in deprived areas.
A number of studies have shown that people who go to church tend to live significantly longer than those who don’t. And, according to the lead scientist who led one of the studies, it isn’t simply because church goers have more social support, but because worshippers are flexing spiritual muscles.
The older generation contributes more £billions to the economy than the cost of social care – so why are they not getting it?
The over-50s could be forced to pay more than £300 a year extra National Insurance to help fund a fairer social care system under plans drawn up by senior Tory Damian Green.
Pensioners contribute £billions more to the Exchequer than the cost of Social Care – so why aren’t they getting it?
Once again, older people are being presented as an economic burden on society. The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, under pressure to produce the long delayed Green Paper on Social Care funding, has warned that taxes will have to keep rising for years to come to cover the cost of caring for Britain’s ageing population. (Cue intergenerational warfare.)
This week a national newspaper invited us to find out if we will be living in a pensioner-dominated area within 20 years. Dominated is an emotive word, so I read the article carefully. Does it say that pensioners will be ‘dominating’ the local restaurants or blocking pavements with their walkers, or driving too slowly, or ‘blocking’ beds and A&E units?
‘The rhythm of life is a powerful beat,’ Sammy Davis Jr used to sing in the seventies.And, if scientists at Boston University are right, getting that rhythm to the right beat in the brains of older people could restore their short-term working memory to that of 20-year-olds. Our short-term working memory helps us to keep our plates spinning, storing information for around 10 – 15 seconds to allow problem solving, reasoning, planning and decision making, helping us, for example, to keep a telephone number in mind while writing it down.
After two days in London last week, schlepping along the underground and the miles in between with a heavy overnight bag, I thought I’d done very well. Until I read about 81-year-old Ian Waddell, who’d covered 17 miles and a 5,000 ft ascent in the South Wales Three Peaks Challenge, using sticks and crutches because he has osteoarthritis and joint pain. He’s also had hip and knee surgery.
It’s become a buzz-word in the NHS. People who have it do better in life than those who don’t. So what is it – this ‘resilience’? In physical objects it means having the ability to spring back into shape; and in people ‘the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.’ But it’s more than that.
As you read this more than 6 ½ million people around the country are caring, unpaid, for a family member or friend who is older, disabled or seriously ill, many with dementia. Many have had to give up their jobs and are also struggling financially.
Manchester is in the lead when it comes to innovative ideas for older people. It’s strategy is to make life as enjoyable and inclusive for them, and everyone else. It comes up with new ideas and events all the time.One of its latest ideas is the Chat and Natter Table. Its website says*, ‘A Chatter & Natter table is where customers can sit if they are happy to talk to other customers.
Unless you’ve been meditating on a mountain top with no transmission, you’ll know that Wales beat England 21-13 in the Six Nations rugby match last Saturday. Max Boyce probably wrote another song to commemorate it. In the crowd was an 82 year old who’d never been to a rugby match before. (Perhaps she moved into Wales late in life.) She said that meeting the team was wonderful, adding, ‘It will be hard to top that one. I’m 82 years of age and to have something like that happen to you at my age is amazing.’
I’ve learnt something today that has blessed me hugely, so I thought I’d pass it on to bless you too. It’s a story of God’s grace and wonderful ways, and how He can transform a ‘bad place’ of despair into a place of blessing. You’ll remember Sarah and Hagar and their sons, Isaac and Ishmael, and how Hagar was sent away by Abraham because Ishmael mocked Isaac at the boy’s weaning ceremony (Genesis 21). Not just light teasing; the word indicates intense derision.