Simply Caring

Caring HandsIn this world of ours, where it sometimes seems like looking out for anyone but ourselves is frowned upon, here is a lesson from Daisaku Ikeda as to the reasons why we should care …

The misfortune of others is our misfortune. Our happiness is the happiness of others. To see ourselves in others, and feel an inner oneness and sense of unity with them, represents a fundamental revolution in the way we view and live our lives.

Therefore, discriminating against another person is the same as discriminating against oneself. When we hurt another, we are hurting ourselves. And when we respect others, we respect and elevate our own lives as well.

~ Daisaku Ikeda

Going The Extra Mile

Do You Really Care?Caring for someone is very different to caring about them.

Caring for someone entails making every effort to giving them the love and support they need, when they need it, not just when they need it most.

Caring about them means very little when it’s not backed up by actions, Saying you are thinking about someone, without showing them in the things you actually do, is of very little use to anyone.

So next time you tell someone you care, take a moment to think about what sort of care it really is and whether you are prepared to go that extra mile.

Full Of Beans

Runner BeansWith Bumble back in the cottage, it became very clear that she was in no fit state to do things for herself. Not that you could ever tell her that, she is a persistent little B, and stubbornly insisted that she do this, carry that, the list went on and on. But actually, if her ankle is to get better sooner rather than later, she has to rest it and try not to put weight on it.

So it was, that after a lazy, restful start to the day, we headed off to the supermarket to stock up the fridge and cupboards. It is strange to see the reactions of other people to someone being helped around the shop, whilst tapping away with a walking stick. I guess people with disabilities or debilitating illnesses get this all the time, but it’s not something I would ever like to have to get used to.

Having bought ice cream, we had to make a bit of a dash to see B’s parents, but fortunately they survived the journey and were enjoyed by all. Then we were treated to a slide show of Bumble’s photos from the Isles of Scilly. Some beautiful views, amazing flora and sights of the seashore and boats. Even a photo of the hole that delivered the sprained ankle, now that shows composure under pressure.

The day was ended with the ceremonial planting of the runner beans around the carefully erected bamboo cane tepee. Hopefully the sandy soil will be improved by an inaugural layer of home made compost that had been carefully ‘mined’ from the base of the composter. When you know what goes into the top, it’s a small miracle that what comes out of the bottom is such good fertilizer. A real life example of turning poison into medicine.

Who Cares?

Elderly Care - Time For Change?Does the failure of Southern Cross highlight our society’s failure to show enough care for our ageing relatives?

The Southern Cross care home operator has been forced to suspend its operations as its landlords have left the group en mass. This affects 752 homes and will affect, to some degree, all of its 31,000 elderly residents, some of whom may be forced to move as part of the restructuring.

Whilst the Government have assured residents that none will be left homeless, it begs the question, whose pocket did all the money raised, when Southern Cross sold the properties to their landlords, land up in and is it really prudent to leave the twilight years of our loved ones in the hands of profit making private companies?

Of course there are mitigating circumstances, there always are. Martin Green, chief executive of the English Community Care Association, said the collapse of Southern Cross showed there were serious problems with the funding of care in the independent sector.

“I think the Southern Cross issue which has come to a head today, is very much an issue that other providers are facing because of the levels of resource that they have to deliver care on,” he told BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours programme.

“Fees are a really big issue and we’ve had several years of nil increases, and of course we’ve had inflation rates running at 4-5%.”

David Rogers, chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “Councils take the welfare of care home residents extremely seriously and throughout this process that has always been their priority.”

“It’s greatly reassuring, and testament to the good work which has been going on behind the scenes and the resilience of the care home system, that a solution has been found which will hopefully avoid major upheaval for the vulnerable people involved.” (Source BBC News)

But are they missing the point? These people, many of whom have been forced by the Government rules on benefits, to sell their homes or pay for their care from their life-time savings. Where has the culture of caring for our families gone? Are we all too busy, or too lazy to look after our parents?

Time was, when there would be three generations living under one roof, all caring for each other and relying on themselves, rather than the state. That must now be the exception rather than the rule. Maybe it’s time to think about where our priorities lie, and whether, in the longer term, we would be better to get back to good ‘old fashioned’ family values.

%d bloggers like this: