Who’ll take care of Mad Old Jan?
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, according 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.