With this backdrop I considered the recent awareness raising with regard to changing demographics and the impact on health and social care. I personally may buck the trend but in the main my baby boomer generation will live long lives and in time need care and support sensitive to their situations and likely complex health needs. We won't present neatly with a cancer or heart disease or arthritis, we will have maybe a history of all three with the complexity of living on our own and less people to act as formal or informal carers. The Queen or King of future times will have a sore wrist writing those telegrams to celebrate those getting to 100 and beyond and care homes will resonate to the sound of the Beatles and Fleetwood Mac rather than Vera Lynn! Clearly there is much to celebrate in this if it heralds a healthy third age where our wisdom is sought, our contribution to society still valued , our communities engaged and supportive.
But at some point the dependency ratio will tip so much that we have to recognise that our current approach to health and social care won't cut it. And what's of real interest to me is what that realisation will result in. We do have the opportunity now to influence it. To fully embrace the person as a full partner in their care, to work with their assets, to enable the person and relationships to be key and recognise that through this improved health and effective services will emerge.
Of course it takes courage to change, it can be messy, targets might get missed or need changed, mistakes will happen but progress from that can emerge. Services that join and connect around people are efficient and empowering for all but to be achieved people will need to give up their pasts and work flexibly into their futures. That will be uncomfortable but what's our alternative? I have oft heard politicians say that in health and social there is much agreement across parties. I have seen this to be true at least in private. Whatever government is the hue they are going to have huge demographic challenges and it will need our collective will, courage and collaboration to enable success. So feel free to thank me for doing my bit, being a baby boomer who may not boom as long......the rest of them/us are going to challenge the system in all respects and it will need to be responsive to that.
Reasons to be cheerful!
This week I finalised my new website. The design is by the fabulous young Scottish designer Emily Hogarth. The words have been agonised over by me and I suspect I will change it over the next months and years. Describing myself so roundly when frankly I even hate having my photo taken, is really hard. So the mirror has been held up in many different ways this week. And not only do I describe myself as a baby boomer I am also a coach who just loves working with others and a creative consultant who brings curiosity and connection to her work. And I may be doing my bit to bring down the life expectancy but I am really enjoying my latest part of the story.