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Moving to a 'dignified' society

The problem with the living wage of course is that hiking up the lowest paid in a workforce doesn’t mean the rest of the workforce gets an increase.

And - as pointed out this week by a care home team leader - now that the lowest paid have had an increase -  middle management are finding themselves bracketed on virtually the same wage, and, to say the least, many are a tad disgruntled.

Of course the fiscal major-domos in central government didn’t factor in this ‘problem’ when they brought in the legislation. And so, whatever peeved pique is out there amongst these middle income earners who haven’t seen a ‘penny’ rise in their wages … is yet to hit the fan.

That’s not to say that low earners didn’t deserve a rise; of course they did.

Christina Patterson’s opinion piece in this weeks Guardian newspaper drew on some interesting points about the living wage.

She pointed out that the policy of paying care workers peanuts while their bosses are paid FTSE100 salaries hasn’t, and won’t work… anymore.

She certainly thinks care workers should be paid more for what they do. And, as she points out, we should make sure that company chief executives don’t cream off the profits under the guise of being generous entrepreneurs when all they are are hard-headed business people in a ‘soft’ industry who've had it to well for too long.

Society needs to move towards a system where the elderly are treated in a dignified way and not exploited at a time of vulnerable need.

To think that the problem of how ‘old’ people are treated and cared for isn’t something to worry about is one of the myopic illusions of the younger/middle generations.

Believe or not… we are all going to get old and dependent some time. Not doing something now, when the impending crisis in elderly care hits with the predicted massive rise in numbers of ‘silver boomers’ … will be both foolish and irresponsible.

As the system stands, it seems that if you have funds to pay for care you’ll be fine. But, if you’re poor, haven’t any means, and will find yourself dependent on the ‘state’ to care for you… the prospects look grim. 

Private and council care homes are closing because of lack of funding or they’re not viable businesses anymore. And, very few new homes are being built. And of the ones that are, if you are looking to get a place in one it’ll cost you on average between £5-6,000 a month.

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