Of course the truth behind the Panorama story and other elderly care abuse stories is that we (I hold my hand up) have given over the care (or uncare) of our elderly parents to others.
Maybe we need to question why we don’t care for our old?
Caring for the elderly, along with caring for the elderly mentally ill and the chronically mentally ill, is one of the toughest jobs you’ll ever do. If you are a carer working with these people, you might go in with ideals and hopes to make a difference. What you might find is a home that is too full, has little money, doesn’t spend money on training and caring for it’s workers.
You will possibly begin to feel under valued by your employer and quite possibly mistreated by an employer who at the end of the day is keen to make a profit rather than offer good staff support and training.
You might find that you are hating your job but stuck. You feel abused by your employer who is not listening as he/she is checking her bank account. She/he doesn’t hear your pleas for more staff, more help, some training, some support and in time this is what you do with your patients. You don”t hear them, you don’t support them and stop caring for them. You come to work, do your job, feel spiteful and unloved and you take it out on the most vulnerable.
So, why don’t WE take care of our elderly? Why do WE hand them over to someone who has never loved them, never known them, and have no incentive to do a good job.
I am not condoning at all what we have seen, and I know for a fact that this is not even the tip of the iceberg but we really must look at ourselves, and at our culture and question why we end up with these cases.