With the government’s white paper of social care expected to be launched on Wednesday, there is so much talk about the so-called funding gap and that older people especially should not be penalised for needing care. But even after 2 governments attempts at a solution, I feel some very basic questions have still not been asked.
The most basic of these is what do we mean by care. Many people believe this extra funding that the government will make magically appear will mean they can require in a BUPA care home on their 65th Birthday with all their expenses paid. I do not believe personal care is relevant to lifestyle and therefore society needs to properly define what is care and to ensure care services for not a shortcut to economic well being.
People are responsible for the economic and social capital they generate in their life and this white paper should not turn into a bumper harvest for the baby boomer generation.
In the 1970s and 1980s, it was all about quantity with mass production, pile it up and a throwaway culture that was based on a believe the economy was always going to expand, even when it shrank. Now I believe society recognised it is better to think quality rather than quantity in any aspects of life.
I believe in quality in my work, leisure and health as it is about making the most of today as well as preparing for tomorrow. Money is helpful but I believe people do not always need the amount they think they need to have the quality of life opportunity and experience they are looking for as it can often the small things in life which is most important.
As the economy continues to shrink, we now redefine what we mean and what we want from quality so we can achieve it like never before.
As far as we can know or understand, we only have one life and I feel we have a duty to make the most of it. I think because I always died at birth and because it could be seen that everything to do is a bonus what how many people expect of me, I have really taken this idea to heart.
I believe as a result I had a ‘bucket list’ in my head, a list of what I wanted to achieved, from a very early age and I have been very good at achieving them. The list includes having a go at all kinds of sports, especially water sports, travelling to a range of countries, meeting Prime Ministers, visiting specific places like Downing Street and doing all those one of experiences like having tea at the Ritz.
I have not yet done the Ritz and I still want to be invited to a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. Another one big to do to go to Australia which would be fantastic. Some things I have done a few times like see the inside of parliament and next week I am attending a House of Lords reception about AAC.
This list of achievements is not about competing with others but what I want to do for myself. I want to try everything which interests me at least once so that I am able to have an informed opinion. I also like to say ‘not yet’ rather than ‘never’ if I am asked if I have done something I have not yet tried.
I am proud of what I have achieve and I feel I can achieve more and in fact whatever I put my mind to doing!
I have to be honest and say I do not really understand exactly how and why we have reached this position but it is clear to me that the economy in the UK and worldwide has reached a point of no return.
By this I mean that while we have been in a recession in the belief the economy will simply recover like it has always done, I do not believe this is going to be the case. I have the feeling in the last 20 years there are going to be major changing in the fabric of society when as an international community we learn to live within our humble means. It does not mean necessarily the end of good times but different good times.
I think we need to simply put on our oilskins and lifejackets, and simply weather the storm until the situation has settled down.