by Peter Crockett
Question: what percentage of people go into residential or care homes? Close your eyes, no cheating and come up with a number. I’ll write a couple of lines of nonsense so it’s harder to see the answer: (Why is there a ‘w’ in answer? I have an Argentinian friend who always pronounces the ‘w’. I keep telling him, “The ‘w’ is silent!” But he takes no notice. It’s made me think….where does this ‘w’ come from? Why don’t I pronounce it? If the ‘w’ was silent in swerve I’d be serving instead of swerving.) The answer was one in four 10 years ago. Which surprised me. I asked two people yesterday and they both said 60%. I would have guessed 50%. And the average stay is said to be 30 months. At the moment the answer is 15% which annoyingly at a recent trustee meeting both our Chair Lloyd and our Treasurer Maureen knew; but they both used to run day centres for older people so they are professionals.
This means most of us stay at home as we get older, or perhaps live with family. Not such a bad idea when the average cost is said to be around £35,000 per year. “I’ll look after you for £35k a year mum!”
I read all this in an article by Peter Lilley a former secretary of state who is now in the House of Lords. It was in the Daily Telegraph on or around the 8th September 2021. You may remember at the time it was a hot subject in Parliament and the media. He has an interesting solution which does not involve raising taxes.
Instead of me distilling the article I shall risk suits and opprobrium and you can read the whole thing below or read/download the pdf here: (but it’s still interesting that only 15% of us ever go into care nowadays)