Finding balance between safety and dignity
By Guest Blogger KEN WATERHOUSE
managing director, Home Care Preferred
No-one could fail to be appalled that cases of theft from and fraud of vulnerable older people has doubled within a year from 3,500 to 7,529, according to statistics from the charity Action On Elder Abuse. However, to suggest that the way to ‘help old people to age with dignity’ is to install hidden cameras is to remove a layer of dignity in the process.
Undeniably, cameras can provide peace of mind for relatives and elderly people as a last resort, where there is a tangible suspicion of abuse, but blanket installation of cameras is not a panacea. The issues in the care sector run deep.
This is about finding balance between safety and dignity. Would dignity not be better ensured through a compassionate care service? Through a care worker who has passed a rigorous recruitment process, is well qualified, managed and most importantly whom a person trusts to wash them, cook their favourite meal and treat them with the respect they deserve?
Thirty years in the industry, including running care homes, has shown me first-hand the challenges faced by local authority-funded providers. These providers are simply not receiving the government resources to sufficiently support them. That is the conundrum and, as a response, the camera solution feels like a mere sticking plaster.
We should be focusing on how the care industry can become an attractive proposition to the many thousands of carers we need to tend to older people – and how we can finance care for an ageing population.
One thing is certain, responses to these shocking findings need careful consideration and cannot afford to be knee-jerk.
- The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.