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TOPIC: Increase in deaths among British poor

Increase in deaths among British poor 28 Jul 2013 18:38 #1

  • Chuck Random
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Cameron’s Solution to our Ageing Population: Let Them Die

Figures released yesterday reveal a sharp rise in deaths across Britain last year, predominantly of women over 85 in the poorest areas. Sheffield University’s Professor Danny Dorling, who studied the numbers suggests the data may portend the first fall in British life expectancy since the Second World War. Cameron and his government are solving the problem of our ageing population by withdrawing the life support of properly funded, qualified and committed care services for old people.

The figures for England and Wales were taken from the Office of National Statistics, and for Scotland, the General Register for Scotland. They showed a 5% rise in deaths above ordinary numbers, and it was poor, elderly women that accounted for the majority of the rise.

But this should come as no surprise. It was exactly what researchers predicted in 2008, after extensive research revealed that the health inequality gap (the difference in life expectancy between rich and poor) in Britain was already bigger than it was during the Great Depression of the 1930’s. Their review of deaths between 1921 and 2007 revealed that poor people were dying more often and younger than richer people, and at an ever accelerating rate. Although life expectancy was rising overall, persistent socio-economic inequalities meant that the life expectancies of the poorest failed to keep pace with the average. Writing in the British Medical Journal at the time, the University of Bristol and Sheffield researchers stated:

“By 2007, for every 100 people under 65 dying in the best-off areas, 199 were dying in the poorest. This is the highest relative inequality recorded since at least 1921.” They added “The economic crash of 2008 might precede even greater inequalities in mortality between areas in Britain,”

Therefore it should come as no surprise that if poor people were dying at twice the rate of rich people six years ago, that this final stage of the neoliberal apocalypse of our public services would have exacerbated the situation – exactly as we were warned it would, back in 2008.

Whilst this affects everyone, it affects the elderly the most. By 2009, the UK’s elderly were already the fourth poorest in the EU, behind Romania, with a third of all over 65s living in poverty. Things have only gotten worse.

The elderly have now joined the ranks of the sick, the disabled, the young and the unemployed as a ‘problem’ demographic to our government. Essentially, anyone who isn’t in full time work and earning a taxable income is considered a burden – a drain on the system in these times of austerity.

This entire line of argument is simply absurd. Our economy needs to fit the demographics it exists to serve, not the other way round. If a person’s shoes are too tight, they need bigger shoes. Using this government’s logic, the person would be asked to hack off their toes.

The privatisation of our core services – energy, transport, utilities, social care, residential homes, and nursing homes – has meant that the cost of living, especially as an elderly person, has risen exponentially. It costs a lot to be old now because we thought it was a good idea to allow people to profit from our most basic requirements – warmth, food and water, shelter and care.

In the UK today over 90% of all care home provision (up from 61% in 1990) to elderly people is in the independent/private sector after the public sector was encouraged to outsource provision in an effort to cut costs. The same period has seen an astronomical rise is the cost of care home places.

Today, the average cost of a single room in a care home has risen to over £27,000 a year. This is higher than the average UK annual wage (£26,000) and more than double the average annual pension income of £13,208. In fact since 2011, care home costs have risen at twice the rate of inflation, whilst standards of care have slipped.

Elderly people who had paid for their homes in the hopes of leaving an asset for their families, have had to sell their homes simply to have their most basic care needs met for the final years of their lives. It is estimated that 40,000 elderly people a year are selling their homes for just this purpose, in aims to cover the average £100,000 care home costs to cover the final years of their lives. Whilst the coalition plan to implement a £75,000 cap in the contributions a person makes to their care home costs, a) they have stalled the policy until after the next election and b) it won’t include accommodation costs, which are the bulk of the issue. This is no help at all.

One might expect that for these breath-taking sums we might have the finest care homes in the world. Yet, last year, the regulatory body for the UKs care homes The Care Quality Commission (CQC) published a damning report that showed that more than half of all elderly and people with disabilities in care homes were being denied basic care.

The report showed that people suffering incontinence were waiting more than two weeks for a consultation on their condition in more than 40% of care homes for the elderly surveyed. One might think perhaps this was some failing, but this was classed as success; 40% of the care homes surveyed set themselves a target of 90 days (that’s three months!), to make such a basic check up for a resident.

More worrying is that the data used for the study only covers 2010, so does not even take into account the sweeping cuts implemented since. This is the sorry state of care the elderly lived in prior to the ideological austerity we have seen sweeping the UKs public services. Things did get worse; over 40 care homes were closed down by the Care Quality Commission last year for providing substandard care including: verbal & physical abuse of patients, medicines not being managed safely, poor sanitary conditions and a lack of medical and nursing care.

Not only are our impoverished elderly dropping like flies, but they are dying in the most appalling conditions. Just one of the women over 80 in these statistics would have been 81 year old Gloria Foster, who suffered a lonely and excruciating death from starvation and thirst, trapped in her own bed, having been left without her essential care for nine days.

In the same week that Mrs Foster lay dying as a result of failures in the care system, Birmingham City Council announced crushing half a million pound a year cuts of provision of home care for those like her. Birmingham is not alone. The Mayor of Bristol approved the Council’s decision to close eight of its eleven council run care homes in January this year, and in February two further closures were announced in Peterborough.

In fact the same wave of closures is taking place in Haringey, Anglesey, Maldon, Argyle & Bute, Ilkeston, Derby, and many other towns and cities up and down the country as austerity drives council’s to cut costs despite growing need.

Meanwhile, the private sector is not picking up the slack as promised. There has been an overall drop in care homes places of more than 4% since the Coalition took office, meaning a little under one in every twenty care homes in the UK has closed. Most of this has happened quietly, but there have been notable large scale closures such as large care home companies such as Southern Cross going into insolvency. This has largely been blamed on the failure of local councils to afford the rises in the costs of care brought about by high property rents and other increased costs.

However, surely the bigger problem is that this important service was ever abandoned to the whims of ‘market forces’ at all. If we built and owned the care homes, changes in rents would make no impact on care costs. If we properly integrated the care of elderly people into our state social care system, we would not need to meet the rising prices of external providers trying to make ever increasing profits. If the care of elderly people was a matter for all of us, under the responsibility of government, we could better hold people to account for their failures. Instead we have abandoned our elderly people to the whims of market forces; they suffer the indignity of not having their most basic care needs met and have to sell their homes for the privilege.

Even if elderly people are healthy enough to avoid the nursing home, they face stark choices such as whether to eat, or heat their own homes due to astronomical rises in energy prices. These are people who have worked over 40 years, paid their dues, many even fought a war on our behalf – for this?

The neoliberal model of privatised, for profit, core services simply does not work. Any system which has us seeing living longer, healthier lives as some kind of problem is no system worth having. Labour sought and failed to address the problem of profiteering by ramping up the provision of state support, so that tax payers funded the profits. The Coalition are simply cutting that support and leaving the elderly to go cold, hungry and, more quickly, to die. Both these scenarios are ultimately unworkable and undesirable from both an economic and a moral perspective. Are you willing to live in a country which abandons its elderly? If not, then it’s time to roll up your sleeves and do something about it.

Get Involved!

scriptonitedaily.wordpress.com/2013/07/26/camerons-solution-to-our-ageing-population-let-them-die/
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Increase in deaths among British poor 28 Jul 2013 20:20 #2

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Awww. :( Isn't that a disgrace. We should hang our heads in shame.

Or, like the article encourages, get involved in doing something about it.
"...Wyrde saves oft the man undoomed
if he undaunted be....". (Beowulf).

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths... Beautiful people do not just happen". (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross).


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Increase in deaths among British poor 29 Jul 2013 02:01 #3

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Damn but this article is playing on my mind. :( Old people among us is a privilege, not a burden. They are little bundles of living history and knowledge. We'd be lost without them. It's horrible to think that old, poor women (because they live longer and their husbands are already dead) are being so completely overlooked that they can only die to do our Ministers a favour. :(

It's at times like this I can only throw myself on what's left of my "spiritual side" and remember something I was once told:

"Death is not always a punishment;
Life is not always a reward".

I hope that's true. I hope these people are simply Stepping Out into the True Reality and happy at last.


But I do still and always hope those who caused their demise will pay for it. It's murder, however it's done.

:(
"...Wyrde saves oft the man undoomed
if he undaunted be....". (Beowulf).

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths... Beautiful people do not just happen". (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross).


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Increase in deaths among British poor 29 Jul 2013 23:13 #4

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cantata wrote:
Damn but this article is playing on my mind. :( Old people among us is a privilege, not a burden. They are little bundles of living history and knowledge. We'd be lost without them. It's horrible to think that old, poor women (because they live longer and their husbands are already dead) are being so completely overlooked that they can only die to do our Ministers a favour. :(

It's at times like this I can only throw myself on what's left of my "spiritual side" and remember something I was once told:

"Death is not always a punishment;
Life is not always a reward".

I hope that's true. I hope these people are simply Stepping Out into the True Reality and happy at last.


But I do still and always hope those who caused their demise will pay for it. It's murder, however it's done.

:(

If you work for a decent sized organisation, chances are there will be a "human resources" department. Speaks volumes doesn't it?
And old folks generally aren't much of a resource.

The elderly have traditionally been a bit sacrosanct but I think their time is coming. After they've finished shitting on the poor and disabled.
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Increase in deaths among British poor 29 Jul 2013 23:43 #5

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And yet, Chuck, old folks are generally a HUGE resource. Not one we tap into anymore, but a HUGE resource going to rot and ruin.

It is murder. Crimes, including murder, can be committed "by Act or Omission".

:(
"...Wyrde saves oft the man undoomed
if he undaunted be....". (Beowulf).

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths... Beautiful people do not just happen". (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross).


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Increase in deaths among British poor 29 Jul 2013 23:44 #6

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The elderly have traditionally been a bit sacrosanct but I think their time is coming

Long gone are the times when the elderly were sacrosanct....

Old people used to be respected & venerated for their wisdom in our communities, looked after by their families. Not put into Sunset Acres care home and left to rot by their selfish offspring.

Where did we go wrong with that one?

How does the old saying go about parents and their children.....''They look after us, and then we look after them.''

That's how it should be.
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Increase in deaths among British poor 30 Jul 2013 00:10 #7

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I agree, DG. There's stuff they might not allow, and they are entitled to their dignity of course (my father won't allow his daughters to take part in any of his "personal care") but we do what we can. We want to do MORE!

What kind of "child" are you to leave an elderly parent withering away unto death, to the gleeful crowing of a Conservative Government?
"...Wyrde saves oft the man undoomed
if he undaunted be....". (Beowulf).

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths... Beautiful people do not just happen". (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross).


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Increase in deaths among British poor 30 Jul 2013 00:30 #8

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And not even put into Sunset Acres care home, most of them.

Left to fend for themselves in conditions they can no longer cope with in their homes, unable to keep warm enough, unable to cook properly for themselves...

... because their "children" are too busy, important or plain fekkin IDLE and self centred to take them into their own homes where they can again live as part of a family.

It's vile.
"...Wyrde saves oft the man undoomed
if he undaunted be....". (Beowulf).

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths... Beautiful people do not just happen". (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross).


:cavalier
Last Edit: 30 Jul 2013 00:33 by cantata.
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Increase in deaths among British poor 30 Jul 2013 00:35 #9

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I'll bet Cameron & co's elderly parents aren't stuck in some underfunded local authority carehome that smells of piss and death, are they?

No, because those bastards can afford to have paid live-in home help to look after their parents whilst they're out at 'work' all day (there's a laugh...work).

Using OUR money. :(
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Increase in deaths among British poor 30 Jul 2013 00:44 #10

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Cameron's elderly dad (a disabled man, like his eldest child) is dead (like his eldest child).

That's his embarrassing burdens out of the way. Why should he bother about ours?

And why tf do we wait for him to? He's supposed to be OUR mouthpiece, elected to do what WE want. Not anything moves us to kick them up their big-fat-lily-white-soft-floppy-flabby-arses and get doing what's needed. Are we all brain dead, to the detriment of animals, children and the elderly (the most vulnerable sectors in society)? :mad:
"...Wyrde saves oft the man undoomed
if he undaunted be....". (Beowulf).

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths... Beautiful people do not just happen". (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross).


:cavalier
Last Edit: 30 Jul 2013 00:44 by cantata.
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Increase in deaths among British poor 30 Jul 2013 00:51 #11

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He's supposed to be OUR mouthpiece, elected to do what WE want. Not anything moves us to kick them up their big-fat-lily-white-soft-floppy-flabby-arses and get doing what's needed. Are we all brain dead, to the detriment of animals, children and the elderly (the most vulnerable sectors in society)? :mad:

Simple answer, yes we are. :(

Just take a look around you, this country is fucked.
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Increase in deaths among British poor 30 Jul 2013 00:56 #12

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diamondgeezer wrote:
He's supposed to be OUR mouthpiece, elected to do what WE want. Not anything moves us to kick them up their big-fat-lily-white-soft-floppy-flabby-arses and get doing what's needed. Are we all brain dead, to the detriment of animals, children and the elderly (the most vulnerable sectors in society)? :mad:

Simple answer, yes we are. :(

Just take a look around you, this country is fucked.

:(

Then we've got to stop blaming anyone but ourselves for the state of affairs. We handed the country and the animals and the children and the sick and the disabled and, in line, the elderly to the psychos - and psychos will be psychos after all, if allowed to be.

It's us: WE are to blame.
"...Wyrde saves oft the man undoomed
if he undaunted be....". (Beowulf).

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths... Beautiful people do not just happen". (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross).


:cavalier
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Increase in deaths among British poor 30 Jul 2013 08:18 #13

This is the world the boomers and thatcherites have created, i've seen it in my own family making money is more important than family..
And why tf do we wait for him to? He's supposed to be OUR mouthpiece, elected to do what WE want.
Who Cameron? Did you vote for him?

He's not meant to be the mouthpiece of anyone except the reactionary tory bourgeois fuckwits and business owners that vote conservatives.
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Increase in deaths among British poor 30 Jul 2013 08:21 #14

cantata wrote:
diamondgeezer wrote:
He's supposed to be OUR mouthpiece, elected to do what WE want. Not anything moves us to kick them up their big-fat-lily-white-soft-floppy-flabby-arses and get doing what's needed. Are we all brain dead, to the detriment of animals, children and the elderly (the most vulnerable sectors in society)? :mad:

Simple answer, yes we are. :(

Just take a look around you, this country is fucked.

:(

Then we've got to stop blaming anyone but ourselves for the state of affairs. We handed the country and the animals and the children and the sick and the disabled and, in line, the elderly to the psychos - and psychos will be psychos after all, if allowed to be.

It's us: WE are to blame.

I have been trying to tell you this for years, well less so nowadays on TZ, if you don't vote you are not doing anything to get these cunts out of power.

We have a responsibility to do everything in our power to remove this government from office, so how many of you will be tactically voting against them?
...Molti nemici molto onore...
Last Edit: 30 Jul 2013 08:22 by Ultimate Seeker ™.
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Increase in deaths among British poor 30 Jul 2013 22:17 #15

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diamondgeezer wrote:
The elderly have traditionally been a bit sacrosanct but I think their time is coming

Long gone are the times when the elderly were sacrosanct....

Old people used to be respected & venerated for their wisdom in our communities, looked after by their families. Not put into Sunset Acres care home and left to rot by their selfish offspring.

Where did we go wrong with that one?

How does the old saying go about parents and their children.....''They look after us, and then we look after them.''

That's how it should be.

Yeah you're right.

But at least faced with rampant individualism and a 'flexible' labour force scattered away from their old dears, that Sunset Acres was there. Old folks have not have the 'scrounger' tag put on them and accepted before. Now we can't afford old people any more.
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Increase in deaths among British poor 30 Jul 2013 22:25 #16

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Old folks have not have the 'scrounger' tag put on them and accepted before.

True enough.

This lot in power now would probably bring in forced euthanasia for (poor) old people if they could get away with it.
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Increase in deaths among British poor 30 Jul 2013 22:33 #17

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diamondgeezer wrote:
Old folks have not have the 'scrounger' tag put on them and accepted before.

True enough.

This lot in power now would probably bring in forced euthanasia for (poor) old people if they could get away with it.

We'll all simply be worked until we drop. Maybe five years of retirement where we can't afford the gas bill.
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Increase in deaths among British poor 30 Jul 2013 22:50 #18

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diamondgeezer wrote:
Old folks have not have the 'scrounger' tag put on them and accepted before.

True enough.

This lot in power now would probably bring in forced euthanasia for (poor) old people if they could get away with it.

They will.

The effort is already in place with the "poor suffering ill person" who goes forward to the Royal Courts yet again (anyone wonder who is ever funding these cases? They can't get legal aid for such a case and most of these sick people would be on benefits by the time they get to court, so who is funding them?). Once one of them gets the Okay for "voluntary euthanasia", the legal bods will start doing what they always do - pushing for the boundaries to be pushed further and further back; until, I suspect, one day it will be "left to the doctor to decide" more overtly and quickly than they already do (with their Nil By Mouth and Do Not Resussitate notices above a patient's bed). Do doctors not already have too much power for us to be kidded into arguing they be allowed more?

Time and time again, I hear the old, "We wouldn't allow a dog to suffer like this" argument. And, no, most people wouldn't allow a dog to suffer - if only because veterinary medicine doesn't have the same level of life-aids or palliative medication to offer animals. But some owners don't want their animals put to sleep. They want to keep the animal. They argue that the animal isn't suffering and that they are giving their animals pain killers and routines that ensure the animal won't suffer.

Doesn't matter what the owner says, though.

What matters is what the VET says.

A surprisingly large number of people don't know that if you take your animal to the vet for treatment, and that vet decides the animal has a condition that is causing suffering (maybe a tumour the owner didn't know about until then) then that vet may refuse to allow the owner to take the animal away with them again and can put the animal to sleep WITHOUT the owner's consent. I know people who have had this done to them; and only that I accepted my own darling horse couldn't be treated further after a colic operation he'd endured, and I unhappily "gave consent" for his euthanasia, did I not have it happen to me - because I knew that they would put Beowulf down anyway, no matter whether I said Yes or No. They decided, really.

Up ahead, thanks to the constant pushing of legals (look at any and every law to see how they shove at the perimeters) this might one day be the case for people!

The way they are leaving HUGE numbers of people (young and old) to die is already murder by omission - Neglect, especially unto death - is still a crime in this country.

For a while, anyway.

And it seems to be okay by us that this protective law will be let slide and the Medics will be left to decide.
"...Wyrde saves oft the man undoomed
if he undaunted be....". (Beowulf).

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths... Beautiful people do not just happen". (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross).


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Last Edit: 31 Jul 2013 01:41 by cantata.
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