I have never understood why people call an impending crisis “a perfect storm”. Surely when we face a disaster it’s the opposite? As far as I’m concerned an “imperfect storm” is brewing in the world of health and social care for the elderly. There is nothing perfect about it!! If there was a ” Social Care Richter Scale” it would be categorised as a “Hurricane” with devastating consequences to life.
The storm itself has been bubbling away for some time but it’s now gathering strength as a result of these prevailing conditions;
Increase in complex chronic illness
Reduction in local authority budgets
NHS stretched to breaking point
25% of hospital beds occupied by people with dementia
Burden of care being left on the shoulders of loved ones
Demoralised social care workers
Lack of person-centred care services
It’s not too late to avert the disaster but we need to act quickly, think differently and focus our resources on primary, person-centred care for the elderly and their loved ones. If we continue to deliver elderly care in the current way then the results will be devastating for all of us, resulting in the social breakdown of communities.
In our own small way we’ve helped families out of the “path of the storm” by giving them precious moments of enjoyment, relaxation and compassion. So far we’ve proved how we can help people living with dementia and Parkinson’s disease improve their lives. But there’s so much more we can do – given the right support from health & wellbeing stakeholders.
In the meantime…
It’s been an absolute privilege guiding families caring for our golden generation to “calmer waters”. The good news is, as the famous lyrics of The Carpenters song goes “we’ve only just begun”!!!!