29.05.08, The Responsibilities of Old Age.

I find the government extrapolation of roughly gathered statistics, is causing knee-jerk reactions by both the government and the media, when quiet contemplation might have a totally different interpretation in what is seen to be a problem. Today we had a very crass example, where some backroom boy had done a bit of extrapolating and was frightening the daylights out of the Cabinet, by telling them that in 18 years the number of people with Alzheimer’s will be nearly doubled. I and my wife are a lot closer to 90 than we are to 80. We are fully aware of what the future could hold, we have seen it so often among our relatives and friends, from the ages of 60 upwards. We are fully aware of our responsibilities with respect to the Health Service and more importantly members of our family. We have no wish ever to be a burden on anyone, even ourselves. Having visited friends and relatives in even the very best of care homes, that barren existence has no place in our future plans.

If that is accepted, presupposing that the government has a legitimate worry about finding the money with which to deal with the problem of old age in the electorate, one could be forgiven for thinking that they have not taken an overview. Most of my family, and especially my wife have been religious people, by that I mean churchgoers, not fanatics. I myself originally had strong beliefs up to my teens when I was rudely awakened. I have always been careful never to attempt to influence anyone, including my children, about religious doctrine, because I am aware, especially in old age, it can be more than just a crutch. Now though, religion no longer has the strong views that used to be held, especially in Victorian times, and are now not common currency. In consequence people are not so restrained by their religious beliefs when it comes to suicide. What I find strange is that some countries accept euthanasia, and yet this country would prefer someone who is at the end of their tether, and an amateur at suicide, to attempt to take their own life, make a botch of it and thus become a serious responsibility to themselves, to their relatives and to the social services, instead of promoting personal choice with suitable safeguards, being carried out professionally, and responsibly. Who is it who is restraining what I see as the march of common sense, in an age where brutality is clearly increasing and to some, if you believe what you see on television, acceptable?

Categorized as General

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