Elderly Care Costs – a profitable business for some.

Daily we are reading of the shocking costs of elderly care and this could be in the £100s plus range a week. We are rightly outraged at such a high cost especially as it is a figure that we cannot comprehend. I trained people in and around the care home sector and I must confess that I never came across a poor care home. What I did notice that people had gone from what was in effect their home down to a double bedroom with an ensuite, but the costs of their welfare had quadrupled, and the downsizing had robbed them of who they were. The room was their only access to privacy as the living room and other communal areas offer nothing but noise and the realisation that this is it!!!! Your home has gone.

Whilst these rooms are nicely decorated it is still just a room with a bathroom…..the furniture is modest and more often than not families are requested to bring in their own furniture, TVs etc…so what you get is a bed, carpets, curtains and a bathroom. Meals are modest by standard as quite often the elderly have a reduced appetite and sometimes they amount to little better than a bad school dinner, and complete with school dinner mentality portion control.

A considerable amount of those in the care home require nursing help which as we know can costs hundreds of pounds more.Whilst laundry is provided and cleaning of rooms which is always welcome, but one must ask does the cost of the residence really come up to what can amount to over £700 a week in some cases.

We all know that the care staff are only on minimum wage and that is dependent on age, and that a lot of these homes can take in upwards of 40 people…if you view that as almost £1.5 million a year minimum… do those homes really cost £1.5 million a year to run? I doubt it very much and those owners at the care homes I trained were very wealthy indeed. Now I know that it is a business but have they lost their humanity as well?? Just how much profit do they need? Many of the elderly are forced to sell their homes to pay for the care that really they should receive free, btw the relatives are forced to sell the homes many of which are family homes, homes full of memories and a home that mum and dad wanted their family to inherit to help their children after they have gone, and whilst the homes are being sold….to add insult to injury interest payments are added…. if as a society we will not care for our elderly, then what does this say about the sort of society we live in?

I have known care homes where they have a staff of 26 ….. 1 nurse who on average is paid about £35k, a handyman on £9 an hour and that is for 40 hours a week, and a somewhat chef on the same….with the rest some 23 members of staff on minimum wage….plus the care home manager and the bill for wages……the wage bill can amount to below £1/2 million pound a year, and the building is normally purpose built so even we are kind and the costs of running is some 1/2 million a year to the business….then there is £500k a year in profit and every care home I went round was run by the same company and they had 20 homes. That makes for £10 million a year in profit minimum. Are the elderly really a business?

Can it be right that a person who has paid tax all their life and who has contributed to society as they are the bulldog breed asking for nothing their whole lives, until they become ill…..and then whammy they are hit with the biggest bill and to lose everything because you are ill is inhumane. An Englishman’s castle is his home and are we really more interested in lining the pockets of the already wealthy rather than doing what is right by our wisest of generations?

Again I must reiterate that most care homes are very good but the better the home the dearer the costs, and everything has a price when it comes to business and the elderly. The idea of the over 40s now having to pay an extra stamp on the NI for elderly care is insulting. The thought is that it will ease up on the burdens on the young but how ridiculous is that now and if you are going to bring that in then surely bring it in from the minute work is started, as the costs unless it is taken under control will only rise.

Maybe those who want to open care homes should have the number they actually open limited as it is fast becoming such a profitable business that care is actually taken out of it, and the residents are seen just as a £ factor. For instance how often have we read of those with dementia being abused and tied to chairs, the bed etc…..can a company that makes so much profit really only find such poor staff to take care of their paying clients? The paying clients is the bit that they forget and that but for the residents paying most of these large care home providers wouldn’t have the wonderful take home pay, bonuses and large houses that the Directors seems to relish.

It is a national scandal that our elderly are treated so badly. It is a national scandal that day care providers have been axed as quite often a family can cope with the night time routines if they have somewhere during the day for a rest bite, and it is a national scandal that no one seems to have taken on the fight to have care homes reduce their over inflated scandalous care fees, and replaced with something that is manageable. We cannot even say that it is just private care home owners as even the council run ones charge to much for the care that they are giving and this again has shown that caring is no longer a vocation but big business, with lots of grasping hands in the elderly till that says money for nothing instead of caring for others.

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