Who’ll take care of Mad Old Jan?

Daily Mail - - Life -

IN JUST over 20 years’ time, care homes will be the place where most peo­ple will die.

I sus­pect that will in­clude me, if I make it that long.

No chil­dren, no de­pen­dants, who is go­ing to look after Mad Old Jan in my dotage, ex­cept some­one with a grudge from Outer Minsk who will cer­tainly put ground glass in my poul­tices and hide my den­tures?

It doesn’t bear thinking about, but think about it we must.

Just over a fifth of peo­ple now die in a care home, but the num­ber will more than dou­ble to 230,000 a year by 2040, ac­cord- ing to re­search by King’s Col­lege Lon­don.

With life-ex­pectancy soar­ing, the ‘old­est old’ ( over 85) make up al­most half of peo­ple who die — and many do so with mul­ti­ple ill­nesses in­clud­ing de­men­tia, heart dis­ease and cancer.

Re­searchers say there is an ur­gent need to en­sure ad­e­quate bed ca­pac­ity, re­sources and train­ing of staff in pal­lia­tive care in all care homes — and one can see why.

I don’t much look for­ward to be­ing one of the old­est old. Cheer­ful types al­ways say it is bet­ter than the al­ter­na­tive — some­times I’m not so sure that it is.

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