“Sacking our care wardens will condemn their elderly patients to a bleak and lonely life. It will make them more vulnerable, fearful and deprived. Their will to live will diminish. It is a policy of market driven neglect”.
Doncaster Council wants to sack over 90 wardens who care for the elderly. Wardens are not just there in emergencies. They are a local and daily source of company, reassurance and help. As well as shopping and cleaning, wardens check on diet, family and health. Are they warm enough? Eating enough? What would bring some happiness – a library book or a DVD perhaps?
But Doncaster Council says all this can be replaced by ‘Telecare Technology’. They say that more alarms and monitors will take care for the elderly forward, and that this is backed up by a trial in Jubilee Court, Wheatley. They claim that their study shows:
- 75% believed it helped them to stay living at home
- 58% say it helped to prevent them from going into hospital
- 79% believed it gave peace of mind to family members
- 92% did not find it intrusive
But the crucial question of whether they would prefer human rather than technological support was not asked. Our pensioners deserve better technology and human support.
These proposals are nothing new. They have to be seen alongside Doncaster Council’s long-standing desire to wash its hands of their elderly citizens by closing down council run care homes and turning their residents over to the mercy of private care.
A report in the Times put it like this: “You could be forgiven for suspecting that a form of back-door euthanasia is being practiced in some of our privately run, shamefully under- regulated private care homes. But euthanasia means mercy-killing — and there is nothing remotely merciful about the kind of attitude that assumes that it is a waste of resources to spend money on old people”.
Our elderly citizens deserve a long and happy retirement far more than the bankers deserve their bonuses.
Support the lobby of Doncaster Council at the Mansion House, 9.00 am on Monday, November 29th.
Demonstrate: Saturday December 11th – Doncaster Town Centre – 12-oclock outside the Mansion House