Like it or not my mother is becoming more and more frail as she ages. My father has now become a full-time carer as my mother is virtually unable to take care of herself in even the most fundamental ways and can’t be left alone for more than a few minutes at a time, and even then at a risk.
Essentially this means that even going to the toilet has become an activity fraught with risk and concern for my father who, at 87, isn’t getting any younger and fitter himself!
Recently even his determination to ‘go it alone’ was tested and he finally felt the need to contact Social Services to establish what assistance was available should he need it and how to access it when the time comes.
Despite his having paid and paid and paid over the years into the government coffers to support those on the welfare state, now his time of need has come he finds it less than easy to get essential support… unless he pays even more.
I suppose there are arguments to support the view that if he has ‘assets’ then he must exhaust those before the state should become liable to finally take responsibility for them, but those arguments are essentially specious in my view. There comes a time in life when we as individuals are simply unable to take care of ourselves physically or mentally and when that time comes it should make no difference whether someone has worked and contributed to “the greater good” their entire lives or if they have squandered gods gifts and exploited every loophole available in order to avoid contributing to anything!
From one perspective in fact you might think that simply *because* someone has contributed towards “the greater good” all their lives, whether willingly or not, that they ought to receive priority when the time comes for them to call for help. What should *not* happen in my view is that those whose shoulders have been supporting others less fortunate should not be bent again by the need to pay further for the entitlements given freely to people who have *not* “done their duty” to the country!
I see no reason for my parents to have to sell up their home and use their capital in order to receive the ‘benefits’ that would be free to them had they not worked and struggled all their lives.
What lessons are being taught to the young here? One thing is clear, if parents have children they should consider passing on all assets such as their homes long before the need arises so that when the situation arises they are essentially asset free leaving them able to claim what should be theirs by right.
This story is echoed in a story here at the BBC News site. It’s just all wrong.