‘Failures must not be more widespread’

0
Have your say

We are all concerned in one way or another with caring for older people.

Thousands in the Capital receive day-to-day support to make sure that living at home remains 
manageable for them.

And those of us who do not yet receive that care are all too aware that we may need it in years to come, or know that it is a lifeline for our parents or grandparents.

So our report today about the shortcomings in some of that home care in Edinburgh will deeply worry most readers of this 
newspaper.

This sad story started out as the personal tragedy of 90-year-old John Gibson and his elderly sister, Thomasina, but today’s revelations mean it has become an issue which touches us all.

These days, most older people do not have family on the doorstep who can drop by every day to help out. Families tend to live far away or are simply too busy to be popping in and out all of the 
time.

So without the help of the care agencies hired by the city council many would not be able to carry on leading independent lives.

What we all want to know now is that the failings uncovered today are an extreme example of a breakdown in the system.

We need to have assurances that these failures are not more 
widespread.

Care at home is now big business. The city spends almost 
£50 million over three years to ensure our older citizens are properly looked after.

As the events of recent days show only too clearly, we need to know that there is proper scrutiny of these private agencies to ensure that more of them are not letting our older people down.

Highs and blows

It may have been the ideal day to go windsurfing – there was certainly enough of it about – but one daredevil’s decision to take advantage of the conditions yesterday ended up being a rather expensive taxpayer-funded thrill ride.

The surfer in question may still be blissfully unaware of the panic caused and, indeed, may not even feel they have done anything wrong, despite the coastguard’s criticism. They never asked to be rescued after all.

Let’s just hope the challenge of taming the ferocious water was worth the risk.