Older people requiring care need to be shown more empathy - Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Mrs Esme Dyson, Halifax.

I wish to thank Daxa Patel for her wonderful articles regarding older people in The Yorkshire Post. I have also read her book ‘My Dad and Me’ which was most enjoyable.

Her comments on the NHS and Social Care hits the nail on the head, there is a real need for change and understanding in regards to older people both physically and mentally.

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In my late 40s, my husband bought a business, this was a registered residential home for 10 elderly ladies (with two extra places for short stays). My husband managed the business side whilst I managed the caring. It was £28 per week and we raised it to £30. The year was 1977.

A file photo of an elderly man. PIC: PAA file photo of an elderly man. PIC: PA
A file photo of an elderly man. PIC: PA

The only requirement in those days, in order to have a residential home was to have no police record. I had no training (although later I went on many courses). I was very much interested in the psychological side of the ageing process.

The experience of having my grandfather live with us, after losing my grandmother, stood me in good stead. He was a very intelligent man with little education and I spent many hours listening to him.

When he became disabled and lost most of his hearing I seemed to have a natural empathy for his problems. I also learnt much from observing and listening to the ladies in my care.

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In my last chapter of life I am now experiencing the difficulties of getting older myself. We often hear age is just a number. Of course it is. But it often brings us many difficulties to cope with.

There are many wonderful carers (I have one) but there are many carers and professionals that lack understanding and empathy, this needs addressing.

I hope Daxa will continue to be the voice of the elderly as I have been in the past. She seems to have a natural understanding of the needs of older people.