Some people need extra care or support, practical or emotional, to lead an active life and do the everyday things that many of us take for granted. Social care services look after the health and welfare of people from all walks of life.
Town hall chiefs have given fair warning. Thousands of libraries, parks and leisure centers could come under threat because councils are forced to work out what services to cut if they want to prevent the elderly care system collapsing.
Councils are legally required to provide social care and other essential services such as rubbish collection and are banned from running up a deficit. They are being forced to divert cash from so-called discretionary services such as maintaining parks and running leisure centers to maintain these essential services.
Everyone receives free health care—myself included. I arrived in the UK from Australia in 1997 and have lived here with my English husband ever since. I wasn't among the people who set up the marvelous health benefits residents rely on today.
A reciprocal arrangement works between Australia and England because the normal pension is covered between countries. Australia subsidizes my English pension, but health costs are not part of the exchange. Other countries many not do the same, so asylum seekers and immigrants rely solely on the UK for support.
Somehow, the care support network has been passed onto local councils, who supply nurses and support workers to people living independently, and finally homes for elderly residents.
It's all so complicated and I'm glad I don't have to work out the budget.
My husband, who has never had a sick day in all his 76 years, is now ailing. He's a proud man, and the visiting nurses are wonderful in allowing him to maintain his dignity.
This aging health care problem will only escalate in the future due to advances in medical techniques. We should have seen it coming and prepared for future expenses instead of siphoning money off for other projects.
It's a touchy subject, but everyone will grow old eventually.
Are you happy with the way elderly people are cared for near you?