Life

Piccadilly Pulse: Who bears prime responsibility for our ‘lonely’ elderly – the state or the family?

By Alex Lanigan

More than 800,000 people in England – most of them elderly – are ‘chronically lonely’, according to figures from the Campaign to End Loneliness.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt branded the stats as a ‘national shame’, in a speech today.

Meanwhile the 112,000 cases of alleged abuse in care homes referred by English councils in 2012-13, the majority involving over-65s, indicates that there is something wrong with system.

MM took to the streets to ask whether primary responsibility for the care of the elderly should be with the family or the state. 

OptionResult
State62%
Family38%

Matt Haythorn, a 22-year-old recruitment consultant from Ancoats, was one who believed that the state should bear primary responsibility for the care of the elderly.

“The state has a responsibility to make sure the welfare of the country is distributed equally,” he said.

“The elderly have earned the privilege and right to have their care provided for by the state.”

This view was not shared by James Forrest, 30, a Design Engineer from Ancoats, who argued: “Family should take care of family.

“The government has other things that taxpayers money can go towards and family wherever possible should bear the responsibility of looking after the elderly.”

Leila Griffiths, 21, a model from Rochdale, shared this view.

She said: “Families should ultimately take primary responsibility for the care of the elderly.

“The state should only provide care for those who do not have families.”

Trainee Accountant Martin Thorpe from Bury believes that families should take more responsibility for the care of the elderly leaving the state able to provide for those without that support network.

 Anthony Jones, a 49-year-old team manager from Middleton, said: “The state should be most responsible not only the ones that are left with no family.”

Joshua Akah, 19, student from Didsbury, said: “Taxes should be used to provide care for the elderly, and also make sure this care is properly managed.”

Dean Stanley, 45, is a healthy living centre manager from Urmston, who thinks if families have the financial ability to care for the elderly then it is they who should take full responsibility.

He said: “If the family had the financial ability to care for the elderly then it is the family who should provide that care. The state should only be involved in a situation where a family can not provide support or there is no family to provide support.”

Helen Abbot, 50, a civil servant from Hyde, said: “Families should ultimately bear responsibility for the care of the elderly. The state can not afford to care for the elderly without the help of families.”

Jason Murphy, a 36-year-old Debt Advisor from Heald Green, said: “The state should bear responsibility for the care of the elderly.

“They have paid their dues, paid into national insurance and should receive help from the state when they can no longer work.”

Picture courtesy of Xavi Talleda, with thanks.

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