Best Book Publishers UK | Austin Macauley Publishers

By: Patricia Gogay

The Paradox of Ageing

Pages: 178 Ratings:
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Almost every country in the so-called developed world is facing the paradox of ageing. Thanks to science, more effective medication and higher living standards, more and more of us are exceeding the “three score years and ten” theoretical limits of the past despite the physical and mental impairments that develop with ageing.For those who are spared dementia or chronic pain, a long life is reason to celebrate. We will have a party when we are 80, an even bigger one if we reach 90 and if we hit treble twenty and double tops on life’s “dartboard”, the queen will send us a telegram (a text today perhaps!) of congratulation.For others, it means a slow decline towards a miserable and undignified dying. As economics, care needs and pressure on the availability of hospital beds have become more urgent public issues, the elderly infirm risk becoming marginalised. The social contributions made by care workers and the fact that they have been long de-valued and ill-paid, despite the economic benefits for both the NHS and society at large, is also being given a higher profile.Other difficult and sensitive issues concerning elderly care are assisted dying, better termed the “right” to die and the “quantity over quality” contradictions regarding care agencies and private residential nursing homes.Whatever solutions are offered in the future, it is surely time to highlight the value of carers – a profession that not only requires empathy and compassion but also deserves recognition and respect.

Patricia Gogay was born in 1942. Her working life included a nurse in training, laboratory technician and croupier. Finally, as a mature student, she studied for two years at college to qualify as a social worker and probation officer.

By her mid-thirties, Patricia had built her own houseboat, could change a fuse and was a happily confirmed spinster. Then she met Ken.

Working together, they built a 42-foot yacht and sailed it around the world for fifteen years. Shortly after returning to England, Ken suffered a catastrophic stroke. For the next fifteen years, Patricia cared for him at home as he made a prognosis-defying recovery. She could not have managed dependent care alone. It was made possible by the immaculate help and support they both received from his carers.

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