I had a rather sad conversation last night. I was at an "International Evening" at our local Church. They had asked me to supply a sounds system and compare the evening. I was chatting to a friend who has a parent suffering from dementia. The situation has significantly worsened recently.
My friend is a retired policewoman. She was explaining that the years of serving in the force had prepared her for dealing with an uncaring bureaucracy. In short she knows how the system works, so she can ensure that her parent gets the care she is entitled to.
She then made a rather scary and thought provoking comment. She said there are lots of people there with no one to fight there corner. As no one cares, some are left in the most degrading and horrible situations. If you have no children or children that don't want to know, in many cases you will be left to rot. Who cares for those who's situation means they cant look after themselves and they have no one to even check?
Recently we've heard of cases of abuse of elderly people where children have noticed bruises and managed to get investigations launched. What happens to those people who have no one to check? Luckily for me, our lives haven't been too badly touched by dementia. Although my mother was difficult and hard to understand following a stroke, she still knew what was going on when she passed away. I cannot imagine how horrible it must be when you have completely lost someone who is still alive.
I can even less imagine how awful it must be to be a person who doesn't really know what is happening and who is being abused. The question which has troubled me is this. What happens to the people who nobody cares about? The sad answer is "Whatever the people who run the care facility wants to happen to them".
One day that person could be you or me. That is why we should ensure that such services are properly run and properly funded. That is why I am highly suspicious of private companies who run such facilities, funded by the taxpayer. What checks are in place to ensure they are delivering a caring and compassionate service?
Some will be good and some will be bad. Someone asked me a question I couldn't answer. In a "One Barnet World" where the private sector regulates the private sector, who will really care that the needs of the people are put above the needs to of the shareholders of the private companies to generate cash for their shareholders? If One Barnet has been properly thought out, I am sure someone from Barnet Council will read this and tell me. I will share their answer with you