Care Giving

Lesley Joseph (right), with her hosts Pat and Malcolm in the BBC’s When I’m 65 season on ageing.

If you’re looking for unsung heroes, look no fourther than care givers.

Though you may find them hard to spot, because as well as unsung – they’re often unappreciated, unsupported, unpaid, unhealthy themselves, quite likely unhappy – and unable to get out much. Such is the burden of responsibility and sheer physical exhaustion involved in looking after someone else.

According to Carers UK, there are an estimated 1.3 million people aged 65 and over who are the primary (perhaps only?) carer for someone else. So as well as the self-sacrificing goodness involved, they’re also saving the state (i.e. the rest of us) a lot of cash.

So it’s good when someone pays attention to them, or even better, lends a hand.

Whether it’s a care worker paid for out of those pesky taxes, a neighbour or – in this case – actress Lesley Joseph, who played Dorien in the TV series Birds of a Feather.

Sure it was for a TV show – part of the BBC’s When I’m 65 season – but that doesn’t mean it can’t be sincere and helpful – nor that she doesn’t personally have her own insight. She has a 100-year-old Mum of her own after all.

Birds of a Feather – back in the day: Linda Robson, Lesley Joseph & Pauline Quirke

I met Lesley when she came in to talk about her time with Pat and Malcolm. It’s worth a listen. Click here.

I’m looking forward to what the rest of the Loose Bloggers Consortium have to say on this – there’s a wealth of experience and expertise amongst them. You’ll find their links by scrolling down the right hand column.



Filed under D - Loose Bloggers Consortium, media

15 responses to “Care Giving

  1. 29

    A serious problem which can only become more urgent. The state with its present strategy will not be able to afford a solution. The first thing that needs to be done is to do away with final salary pensions for state employees. Why should they be an elite?
    Everyone should get what they pay for ie the personal pension idea. Then there might be funds to have both a state safety net and a reasonable possibly of an adequate system for elderly care.

  2. It’s nice to see a take not based on current experience Paul. It is a topic very difficult to be objective about if you are kne deep in care giving. I appreciate taking a step back and looking. Thanks for that.

  3. Things have improved in the last twenty years, but carers coming in, are not always there at the times they are needed. Alas there is no easy answer. It makes me question the ethics of prolonging life.

  4. One of the big problems with care is that it often has to be 24/7, with little chance for any rest or time off or personal interests. I remember someone who looked after his wife, who had Parkinson’s, for literally decades until she was totally bedridden. The poor guy was absolutely exhausted both physically and mentally, and at his wits’ end.

  5. rummuser

    One of the factors that care givers in India moan about is the absence of state support and your take on what it is like in your patch of green is something that I will share with my circle of care giving friends. It is amazing that a welfare state still has to depend on voluntary care givers. The problem in India is more acute with the break up of the joint family system and migration to the towns and cities from close knit village communities. It is also almost impossible to generate statistics but simple observation of realities and news stories of atrocities on the elderly motivated by property will make it obvious that we are also sitting on a huge problem.

    • blackwatertown

      I think it will always be the case that family and other voluntary care givers play a role, no matter how excellent the state services.
      And how good a service one gets is proportionate to the interest taken by others in one’s life – i.e. professional carers know that you haven’t been written off by the rest of the world.

  6. You are right, HH. The unsung heroes in this world are the care givers, who give selflessly and lovingly for those who need help.
    Blessings – Maxi

  7. Paul, I think you are spot on. If it is not in our face, we like to pursue our own delights and deny the needs. When it is our shift, we are too exhausted and too wracked with a mix of emotions to find our way out. Perhaps we need to recultivate cultural character in this among so many areas.

    It will intensify with the aging of the Baby Boomers.

  8. Good information. Thanks for posting.

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