Bob Dales: Time to stop this waste of experience

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IN the concluding part of a mini-series, Yorkshire Post reader Bob Dales, an environmental journalist, explains how the Government needs to become more relevant to older people.

OUR many years of experience and knowledge have left us with a vast pool of expertise, much of which is being wasted when employers do not use it.

Those who have retired from their main employment and who have not set up in business of their own, are available for new employment and we want these to be re-employed. This benefit to the country would be increased if the Government provided an incentive and we want this to be considered urgently.

We are finding that when we, of the older generations, drop out, clubs, societies, associations and charities, which depended on us for their officers, are dying out because the younger generations are unwilling to take office. Greater work is required to encourage younger people to fulfil these roles. There are oldies who will tell you that despite them working in their main employment up to 100 hours in a week, they still managed to do voluntary work and take office when required. We suggest that the Round Table could undertake nationally a research which would result in a new pattern of social life for the middle and rising generations.

We could have informed the Government years ago that the reason for the decline in the NHS was the failure of the managers to recruit, train and provide adequate numbers of nurses and medical/surgical staff. We require this failure to be rectified, obtaining the necessary funds by closing down the five quangos created by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.

As there is a rapidly increasing number of aged who find it difficult and then impossible to visit surgeries, clinics, accountants, solicitors and other professionals, we want to know what changes are now being planned and when a Home Service will be available.

To ensure that after retirement the brain is exercised, with the possible reduction in dementia cases, we want to know what steps are to be taken to increase availability to the aged of sports and recreational pastimes.

We also want to know what steps are being taken to ensure that children engage in outdoor pursuits instead of becoming obese or otherwise unfit due to indoor concentration on the television, PlayStations and online sites.

We want the wastage of public money to stop (for example, when district nurses in one area were recently transferred from one Trust to another, the latter required all the nurses to be re-trained, despite most of them having had many years of experience and being rich in expertise).

Nationally, as Britain is now financially bankrupt, we want a Government to be strong. For example, stop what we can no longer afford: participation in foreign wars; donations of millions of pounds to overseas countries.

As a hedge against reduction of trade with EU countries, we want to see realistic efforts to increase our trade with the USA, Russia, China and India in particular.

We require consideration to be given to enable our Commonwealth of Nations to become a world power, unifying policies.

To consider membership of the EU, we require disclosure of the amount of imports from and exports to each country in the EU, and any reasons declared why, if our membership has been suspended, individual trade agreements with each country could not be established.

As the present party politicians have failed to stop the decline of Britain, we want to see at the next General Election a change in the nomination of candidates. Mainly, candidates will be nominated by constituents; their choice being for men and women with successful experience in the outside world and preferably those with proven ability in the structure of large organisations; political parties would be asked to nominate candidates only where constituencies have failed to find a suitable candidate.

• How would you improve care of the elderly? Do you agree with Bob Dales? Let us know your views. Email or write to the Editor at Yorkshire Post, No 1 Leeds, 26 Whitehall Road, Leeds, LS12 1BE.