My mother is very old and very frail. She has various chronic medical problems which mean that she has severely restricted mobility and stability, so there have been a number of recent falls. She has lost the effective use of her right hand which means that she can’t cook or even cut her own food up. I call these problems ‘medical’ in the sense they each have at least one medical name – but, truth be told, I don’t really see them as separate ‘medical’ problems. Mum is just old. & she lives alone. She's also poor: she lives in a ground floor privately rented flat and gets full Housing Benefit.
She is now in a care home for a spot of respite care after her most recent fall, and I'm trying to sort out the necessary services to allow her to return to her flat - aids, adaptations, meals on wheels and so on. As a woman who was 8 on the formal abolition of the workhouse - and only 26 when they really ended - she views residence in any kind of institutional 'care', from hospitals down, as a sort of shaming personal disgrace. And I live two hours drive away in a house with no downstairs bathroom or spare bedroom. My only sibling lives abroad and Dad is dead.
Mum is going to die at some point in the probably not-too-distance future I know. But it is her chassis and wheels that are failing, not the basic engine - her heart and lungs - so this might take a number of years. I want her to have a good ending.
I invite all all you lefty - or even perhaps not so lefty - bloggers to explain how your particular take on politics and the world might help achieve this. Or are there things about the nature of welfare and old age which are just beyond politics as we currently understand it?
& it's OK, I'm not asking you to solve my problem let alone my Mum's. It's not that personal. I just want to see how the left can attempt to connect its formal politics to lived experience. I don't want to 'tag' anyone formally, but I'd be interested in responses from anyone, especially anyone on my blogroll.