The UK’s healthcare system is at breaking point. So, what now? Do we sit back and watch, or do we do something to help the elderly care system?
One of the hottest topics for the media in the UK is the NHS and our social care system. But, is it any wonder why when our healthcare system is at breaking point?
It was recently found that the number of people aged 85 and over, needing 24-hour care, is set to double by 2035. But the question stands, is our healthcare system prepared for such a drastic increase in people needing everyday care? It’s not a secret that our healthcare system struggles and continues to face a minefield of problems, but what’s needed is for a long-term solution to be sought out.
For many elderly people, they will develop multiple long-term health conditions, like diabetes and dementia, which means they will need more assistance to help them with regular tasks like dressing, because they will have complex care needs. For some, family members are their primary carers; this is unsustainable and can be really difficult for the family, with many of these unpaid family carers feeling “utterly alone and helpless”. It’s a sad situation, where we don’t recognise that this is a real struggle for many of the UK population. It should be easy for us to take care of our loved ones, instead of watching our retirement age get pushed further and further each year!
“The system is at breaking point, there is an urgent need…to find a long-term solution.”
Are we, in our old age, going to be ignored, or will good quality care just be for those that can afford to pay? An interesting article from Huffington Post highlighted that ageing isn’t just a biological process – it’s very much a cultural one. There are 7 cultures that celebrate ageing, and respect for their elders. We particularly like that Native Americans value their elders for passing down their knowledge. In the UK, where our elders have often worked their entire lives, paying their taxes and experiencing the ways of the world, it’s a terribly sad situation that we don’t believe it’s important to provide good quality care during their time of need.
Is it the government’s job alone to fix the problems in the healthcare system or can we in business also actively contribute? Whilst the government seem to be fire-fighting the issues as they pop up, have you stopped to think what you can do, as an employer or business owner? We shouldn’t be adding fuel to the fire, we need to work hard to find ways to help this struggling sector, that really is so vital to us all. It still stands that “the long term challenges of sustainability funding care in older age requires a strategic approach” however, we should address tackling these issues without just throwing money at the problem (unlike the government!).
Do you know what the turnover is within health and social care, with a potential increase with Brexit? What if we told you that roughly 339,000 employees leave their roles per year – does that give you an indication of the wider problems?
First of all, we need to work on fixing the problems that lead to high employee turnover. Care staff tend to feel undervalued, and many don’t receive the training they need to carry out their job efficiently. So, by improving working conditions for care staff, and providing them with the training and development to do their job to the best of their ability, we might find that they feel more valued, encouraging them to deliver the best person-centred, high quality care as possible. It’s likely these actions will reduce employee turnover, which is great for the industry because with reduced employee turnover, we will be in a much better position to manage a larger number of elderly people in 24-hour care.
At myAko, we believe the great people working in the UK Health & Social Care industry deserve more recognition for the difficult work challenges they often face on a daily basis. They often fill an important gap in the daily lives of our elderly relatives, that we cannot provide as families on our own. We will be frequently shouting out on their behalf, encouraging everyone to recognise their unique and special skills like communication, listening and willingness to help what is often missing in our fast paced modern society.
Whilst myAko is a new company (launching very soon), we are trying to do our bit to help, which is why we are sponsoring Age Portsmouth for the next 12 months by supporting them with free eLearning to their staff. Why? Because we want to help, because we passionately care.
As a team of passionate people who care, and always strive to be the best at what we do, we think myAko can help alleviate the pressures faced within your work environment. If you want to find out more, visit our website here!