By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON
Junior health minister David Mowat, the one who drew the social care straw, had a go at talking himself out of a job last week.
Speaking to the House of Commons’ select committee on Communities and Local Government, Mr Mowat opined that people must consider looking after their parents, just as they do their children.
If Mr Mowat were at all familiar with his portfolio he would know that most people are trying their level best to do this already. So often, it is only when the care burden becomes so great and so unremitting that the carers, often in their 60s and 70s themselves, find their own physical and mental health so compromised that in desperation they resort to outside agencies.
Now Mr Mowat didn’t suggest that grandchildren should step up to the mark, but from remarks, such as “people should start thinking as a society how we deal with care of our own parents”, it is not too grand a jump to envisage one generation caring for another which has become ill in consequence of caring for another.
I think that society has thought about this question and has decided that it is the job of government (which is nothing more than a society construct) to underwrite the care of older people.
Given Mr Mowat’s pronouncements I now think that this government, even more than its predecessors, is attempting to shrug-off its social care reesponsibilities. What a sad lack of vision. One must hope that, as the population ages, the national electorate will demand that a future government will address itself to safeguarding the wellbeing of elderly and other vulnerable people. And we must also hope that society can soon recover from the damage that is now being done.
- The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.