Yesterday, I watched ‘The Generation Game’ on BBC1. It irritated me. The programme seemed geared very much to a comfortable middle class scared of losing their right to their parent’s properties. There was no ‘cutting edge’ in the debate. It was geared towards a particular audience that doesn’t link in with a large swathe of people that I might come across on a day to day basis. Remember, the poor woman who had to sell her mother’s house that she knows she and her brothers and sisters would have inherited, chose a care home which was not on the list approved by the local authority and cost £900 per week. Who exactly does she think should pay the £900 per week? Also, if all care home places were funded that would leave a massive gap in funding and at least the way of ensuring that people who can pay, do, means that more of those who cannot pay can receive services and no, this are not people who have ‘frittered their lives away’ and not paid attention to saving – but people who might have have different circumstances and situations that might have arisen or who have had lower paid jobs. It is not as simple as drawing a line and saying ‘everyone should save’. Not everyone can.
I’m not saying the current system is fair. It needs to change. But the picture painted in the first part of the programme was unrealistic and actually false in some parts.
Where the programme failed was to actually look at support for those who don’t have resources to fall back on.
Yes, the extra-care sheltered scheme was fine but if they were like the schemes in our local authority, they don’t like to take people who have anything verging on what might be considered a ‘mental health’ diagnosis (and yes, that does include dementia – ironically). I have a lot to say about extra-care sheltered schemes in general and should probably leave that for a post in itself…
I wonder if I’m the only person that thinks paying for care needed in life from ones’ estate is actually quite a good idea and has no ethical issues with a ‘death tax’.