During the writing of my book I dealt in part on the area of caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's is the progressive nature in which memory disappears from the sufferer and as time progresses they become incapacitated and eventually require 24 hour care.
Tonight on RTE Prime Time Investigates did an expose on the disease on care levels in the country. It was an eye-opener.
My own experience was drawn from my Grandfather, a published poet and an exhibited artist who got the disease in his sixties. Because I was pretty young at the time my memories were of visits to him at his home where family members and his good wife took care of his as he slowly succumbed to the disease. It was a time when I witnessed first hand his slow decline from someone who constantly worked on his artistic endeavours and his love of music all of which slowly left him as did most times. There were times when it was quite humorous especially when his mind went way back, sometimes to his childhood and regaled stories of his youth and of people past. They were nice times despite the condition. He spent his final months in the care of a home where he dies after about six months, an event i witnessed personally and certainly removed any fear of death I may have had up to that point. It was incredibly serene and peaceful.
Tonight's expose was again an eye-opener and it seems the condition is now hitting people as young as in their forties. We were shown the struggle of families trying to cope with it and the problems they face when it comes to liaising with the HSE, the health service so often subject to ridicule in this country mainly due to the stewardship of Mary Harney who in my opinion is just one of many ministers incapable of doing their job they are so well paid to do. That is the failure of the political classes of our time. People suffering terribly as their own existences grind to a halt in an effort to care for their loved ones as they loved ones decline. Many get a few hours assistance during the week but many don't.
Some have been quoted prices for home care in excess of €5,000 a month for private care. Another example of greed over people and despite all this nation of ours has been through in recent years a capitalism approach is still the one the government pursue. Capatalism without a social conscious. Why? Well, who else is going to line their pockets.
Of course we have a health system which many more countries have where health care is based on what money who have in your bank account as opposed to what people suffer from. Of course third world countries have worse. So it's easy to play one off the other. But with the wastage of tax payers money in this country over the past 15 years not to mention the corruption which largely goes ignored it's a sickening show-up on policies in this country and truly shameful. So as families suffer long term with out care and those who sit in corridors in hospital tonight's the government continue to cut beds in our hospitals. It's a shameful and sickening state of affairs and one which any member who implements these things should be truly ashamed of.
Sadly in the country we live in they really don't seem to care. Shame on them all.