Caring at home for the elderly is a very important function as part of the overall health service all over the world. However it does put a huge burden on the home situation when it comes to looking after elderly parents or relatives. This burden can come in two ways one is the mental burden of looking after somebody every single day and having to do the same thing every single day; the other one is financial. Even if a parent or relative is not in the home care situation they are probably in a nursing home which has to be paid for. Having a relative in a nursing home can be very costly and as the recession deepens and more and more people lose their jobs it is getting harder for people to support their parents either at home or in a nursing home.
I was very taken aback by a show that I listened to on the radio this week where people were ringing up and pouring their hearts out about their own situations. It was a mixture of home carers and families supporting their love ones in a nursing home. People were talking about becoming unemployed and having no income coming in to the house wondering how they were going to live and also how they’re going to continue to pay for nursing home bills. The emotional burden that this was putting on people was enormous and families are really finding it hard to cope. The one sentence that really caught me was when a woman said that she almost wished her parent to die so that burden would be lifted and she could get on with her normal life. The pressure that somebody has to be under in order to say something like that must be enormous and is very hard to understand and also very hard to resolve. Especially where the relative is in a nursing home and the only thing that will resolve the situation is money and where is the money going to come from? Nobody was able to answer that question.
In fact I listened to the show for about two hours and I was glad that people had the chance to publicly raise the issue in the hope that something might be done but what I was disheartened about was the lack of possible solutions support that was aired on the show. There was very little answers to the problems people were having. Should the government step in and look after these people? Unfortunately the government don’t have the funds either.
While it’s not a solution but if there is family support there might be a way to ease the pressure and this could make a huge difference. Without families getting together to do what they can it is almost impossible for one person to take on the burden. I don’t see any other short-term solution to the problem. The one thing that people have more of is time. Because of the recession more people are out of work but also they should have the ability to give their time when in the past they didn’t. Just in the same way as children are being minded in the home a lot more as more people are out of work the same should apply for the week and the vulnerable.