Britain’s ethnic minorities call our country’s care of the elderly ‘horrible’ and ‘a betrayal’.  For them, it’s culturally taboo for strangers to look after the elderly – and they also see the failings of our care home system.   Do they have anything to teach the West? Interviewing care home nurses, relatives, and former ‘Pensioners Tzar’ Joan Bakewell, Louisa Bolch goes on the inside…

[Image Courtesy of Steve Harper via ©©]

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  • As part of an incredibly close family I can understand completely how some (ethnic minorities of otherwise) may feel this way. Personally i couldn’t send my grandparents, let alone parents to a care home where they may be looked after perfectly according to law and health & safety. That just isn’t the be all and end all. As a baby you need looking after by those who love and cherish you, those who will teach you and prepare you for life. The elderly often develop problems such as incontinence, lack of memory or confusion, to name just a few. If your family had decided that as a baby you would be easier to put it in a care home then where would you be now?
    On the other side i do realise that the society we are a part of doesn’t focus so much on family, children leave home earlier, they don’t go straight into making a family of their own and many rarely visit their families. The distance developing between family members is getting larger as society changes and moving away to different countries is becoming common where before moving out of the county was considered a huge change. As society’s norms and values change so does the family.
    Personally i believe that family should take care of it’s own, that if you appreciate how your family has helped you to develop into an adult and helped you learn to love and survive on your own, that you shouldn’t leave them when it starts to get harder. It is hard to find a way to fit looking after someone full time into a modern lifestyle, but it is not impossible.

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