Respecting your elders and access to care


On the 12 July, BBC One aired a programme on the respect or lack of it that is shown to the elderly. The programme was hosted by 85 year old June Brown, who plays Dot Cotton in Eastenders.

Elderly Care Home Fees funding

June Brown thinks that the way we treat elderly people in the UK shows a seriously lack of respect. She also believes that the elderly often feel pushed aside, undervalued and often ignored and the aim of the programme was to try and find out where these problems come from and what can be done to solve them.

During the programme June visited elderly people who are in the care system and tries to find out what it is really like for the residents in these facilities. She also visits her former on-screen husband John Bardon, who had a stroke 5 years ago and now needs 24-hour care.

June visited a few people who were being cared for in their own home by carers who could only give them limited time to wash their face and give them breakfast. The carer talked about how she would like to give more time to her patients all of whom had pressing needs and could not look after themselves but was restricted due to the number of people she had to visit in a given day.

On a lighter note the programme showed a group of senior citizens who had formed a band called the zimmers. They had chosen to highlight their plight through the medium of music.

June's family also challenge her views in relation to what she would like to happen if she ever needed care. It is during the course of the programme that June's initial view of dismissing this notion is challenged and she comes to a surprising decision.

The Head of Care Home Claims at Simpson Millar LLP said: "This programme raised a number of important issues about how we treat and regard our elders. As a society we ought to do more as we too will be old one day."

"The programme featured a nurse who was receiving palliative care. Her story rings true for many people because she had paid privately for the cost of her care and it took her 2 years to fight for state funded care which she was entitled to due to her condition. Many of our clients have been through the same experience. NHS continuing care also known as full NHS funding is there for people who have a primary health care need. The funding should be available as a matter of course but our experience is often funding is wrongly denied. The state and society collectively should do more for our elders."

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