I am just listening to Michael Parkinson on You and Yours with regard to Dignity in Care.

This is an issue I have been deeply interested in for many years, partly as a result of my own experience coping with my mother’s 8 years of dementia.

There are many real concerns about how we do deliver care.

It is not surprising that we are getting a number of individual stories being told on the programme of times when things have gone wrong.
These are depressing stories.

The media are keen to hear these horror stories, and of course we need to hear them.

What I am hoping is that the programme will go on to look at what it is that we need to do to turn this around. I sent an audioboo though to you and yours to try and address the issues. Not sure if they will include any of this.


The issues that we are dealing with now are the tip of the iceberg. As the demographic change bites we will find more and more problems unless as a society we get to grips with how we are going to fund the care that we need and how we are going to change our own attitudes.

The programme is now looking at a care home which is taking a particularly imaginative response to the care of dementia patients. It can be good. At its best dementia can bring with it a simplicity and an opportunity to reach out to people in a very simple way. Making this happen means giving those people who are delivering care proper respect. They need to know that their job is valuable and valued.

They also need time, and for their work to be something integral to the community, rather than a kind of warehousing for people that we no longer want.

One of the key resources that we have that could make this work is our own older people who are still well. We should be thinking of paying older people to go into care homes and hospitals in order to give support for patients and residents.

A lady is just describing a really well designed care facility in Welwyn where people with dementia were able to live independently – within a small purpose built complex, which allowed people to be safe, but have company and support when they needed it.

This can be done – but acheiving this means that we as individuals need to be going out in our communities, engaging with the local authorities and planning process, and making sure it happens.

We are approaching the end of the programme. The F word – Funding has been mentioned twice.
I am afraid that this programme, like so many other programmes on this subject has dodged the vitally important issue of how we as a society are going fund care. Not a single word about the Green paper proposals which do fully cover the funfing options.

The Alzhiemers champion has just raised the issue of agencies generating large profits from the provision of care, and indicated the need for proper regulation of charging.

She has also raised the question of how we should be able to measure quality in homes. and regulate the provision of domiciliary care. The care quality commission is looking at this.

The programme is over. Maybe we are still at the point of making sure that people are aware of how big the problems are.

Such a pity that we keep going over the same old ground. Time to move towards the solutions.