Yesterday’s Hiqa report that elderly residents were restrained and left in soiled incontinence wear at a Beaumont hospital nursing home underlines that we may have to, sooner or later, bring the same legislative energy to end of life issues as we now focus on the other end of that cycle.
Being forced into a less-than-caring nursing home is a great worry for many of today’s aged but independent citizens.
Our growing ageing population suggests we have a lot of catching up to do in this area and that it may be more than unwise, once more, to rely on the private sector to meet all of society’s needs.
Japan is faced with the same challenge and the government there suggests that, by 2020, far more older people will be looked after by robots.
According to Japan’s robot strategy, the government hopes that four-in-five care recipients accept having some support provided by robots by 2020.
It also anticipates psychological resistance from some people which is not at all surprising as that initiative may reduce human contact at what is an increasingly lonely stage of life.