Valerie Yules Letters

March 26, 2015

An economic paradox of jobs and population

Filed under: Aged, economic, future problems, jobs, political — Tags: , , , , — valerieyulesletters @ 4:11 am

An economic paradox of jobs and population

 

We need more young people so that there will be enough to fill all the jobs to keep our aged population surviving. So it is said. We have a problem with more aged people all the time, needing more younger people to support them. So it is said.

We need more jobs, so that there will be enough to give employment to all our unemployed young people. So it is said.

When both are said at the same time, more people needed to fill all the jobs,, and more jobs needed for all the unemployed, they must surely contradict each other. Is it just that the unemployed are not fit to fill all the empty jobs? What can be done?

Cam we look at the jobs that are at present held – are all of them necessary, or is their function just to be jobs, whether useful or not? Where does the money come from, to pay for all the useless jobs?

Can we look at the jobs which are needed – how many of them are not filled, because there is not the money to pay for them?

CONTINENCE of the Aged – a major problem

Filed under: Aged, ageing and dying, future problems, research needed — Tags: , , , — valerieyulesletters @ 3:01 am

CONTINENCE  of the Aged – a major problem

One of the ten most important problems in the world for research to solve is continence of the elderly. People dont recognise this until they are old or involved with the old. The old are getting more numerous, so the matter is getting urgent

When there are more old people, there is more employment but it is mainly in looking after them – and what does looking after them mean?

In the past when there were fewer elderly, the term ‘continence’ was related to chastity. Now it refers to the capacity to be toilet-trained.

Most of the employment of the young in care for the old is caused by incontinence. This is primarily work in toileting the elderly. This is not something that the young would particularly relish as a form of employment, and it is consequently relegated as much as possible to untrained immigrants. The elderly don’t like this either.

As well as providing direct employment in keeping the aged clean and dry, incontinence in the aged is a source of other employment younger people may care to consider.

There is the design, making and marketing of nappies for old people, and the measures taken to dispose of them in landfill – because they are not recyclable at all. They take up an inordinate amount of space, together with the disposal of their mattresses that once wet or soiled are quickly not re-usable. Carpets may require a future in landfill.

There is the problem that many old people could look after themselves if it were not for their incontinence. It causes them to cease being independent, and it is also hard for relatives to care for them. Their homes become smelly. The various stages of nursing home are often calibrated by the degree of incontinence.

Incontinent people lose the will to make themselves independent, and so more of them are relegated to nursing homes.

They are able to get about less, and they stop going to previous social and political occasions because of anxiety and embarrassment.

Up to the 1950s old people in government ‘homes’ for the elderly, such as Willsmere, were often lined up on concrete floors, to be hosed down. What happened to old people cared for at home is hard to find – women did the looking after and did not have the means to record what they did.

When my daughter as a holiday job looked after the elderly at Willsmere in the 1960s, they were no longer hosed down, but changing the sheets was a random occurrence, so that old people often lay in their own filth for considerable periods. It depended on the carers what happened.

When my grandson as a holiday job twenty years later looked after the elderly in a commercial nursing home, the problem was time. He had to get so many people up and toileted and fed and dressed in a limited time. It was hard to do. The old people often screamed at being hustled to get everything done quickly. My grandson hated the job, and did not last long.

Training courses for carers became essential. A 2011 report by the Productivity Commission called Caring for older Australians found that many private training organizations (RTOs) were often inadequate, with the trainers themselves without practical experience, and the certificates meaning little. Still today poorly trained carers graduate with these nationally accredited qualifications which advertise that they take little time to qualify. Caring for the incontinent remains a doubtful vocation.

Immigrants are welcome because they will take this low-paid unpleasant job, but often they have not enough English or ways of personal contact with the old people they are prepping as if they were objects they had to look after.

People who attend clinics for the incontinent see doctors who take all their details, and nurses who give instructions that can help some but not all. Research needs to become a national priority.

July 17, 2013

The Japanese problem of an ageing population

Filed under: Aged, ageing and dying, population, social problems — Tags: , , — valerieyulesletters @ 11:58 pm

Up to 1950, Japanese population was under 90 million. I was there in 1950, and the place seemed just right regarding population, ability to feed itself after the war, and beautiful countryside.

A few years ago the Japanese produced a film called something like The Mountain of Nagoyama, which told about life in a medieval village. The village kept itself off starvation by a rule (among other strategies) that people over sixty went up the mountain to die. Everyone, including the elderly, accepted this. It fitted the Japanese willingness to sacrifice for the good of everyone else, which is also seen in the kamikazi suicide flying in the 2nd world war.
The Japanese are very pragmatic, and have a history of self-sacrifice and stoicism. Their attitude to death is not that of the West.
They may well solve their ageing population not by increasing the total population with more young people – a growth policy which must reach disaster point at some time – but by decreasing the numbers of the elderly.
This could be by the voluntary deaths of the demented and painfully-dying, two very costly groups. The Japanese people could very well be wiling to do this for themselves – (and bring the numbers of adult nappies down to the numbers of child nappies.)

April 9, 2013

Choosing when to die

Filed under: ageing and dying, social problems, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — valerieyulesletters @ 9:48 am

If someone has had a long and happy life, and wishes to end it rather than suffer unbearable pain, uprooting, expense and/or dementia, it should be made possible without risking death for those wishing to live.

One solution could be a committee of three in a region to whom it could be possible to apply for sufficient tablets. The committee would investigate and monitor each case. Doctors need not be involved.

Overseas experience indicate that numbers involved would not be great. The opinions of others should not govern anyone’s death.

March 17, 2013

Declining populations need a new economic theory and practice, not raising populations

Filed under: conservation, social problems — Tags: , , , , , , , — valerieyulesletters @ 3:25 am

We are now in the middle of perhaps the greatest demographic change in recorded history.(Mike Seccombe)

The fact of low-fertility, declining populations should not be seen only in the light of the financial profit consequence of ageing populations, but as a rational response to the world’s present and increasing shortages of water and other essential natural resources, cramped life-styles of the masses, decreasing land for wildlife, and increasing challenges of climate changes. It is irrational to think that we must always have growth of economic production requiring growth of population. The continued population growth of Africa sets problems of political instability, forced emigrations, droughts, loss of wildlife and jungles, increasing deserts and continued oppression of women.
The problem of ageing populations needs to be met by other means than increasing birthrates. The healthy old are an asset not a burden. The sick aged are a burden on other people to care for them, that is, demands on labor, with minimum need for economic production of goods to keep them alive. We must solve the problem of the chronic slow dying of the ‘struldbrugs’ that we must fear for ourselves.
We must change our model of economic production and profit to meet declining populations. World population in 1950 was far fewer than now; it was not excessive. We might retreat to those figures.

August 1, 2011

Research into old people’s problems

Filed under: Aged, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — valerieyulesletters @ 5:37 am

Old people often have interrupted sleep because of urinary problems. Often they have to go to the toilet hourly. Does this interrupted sleep make them more liable to Alzheimer’s or other memory difficulties?

It would be good if research could find a way to reduce ageing people’s night urinary problems, for this as well as the difficulties they give them.
Why do they have them?

It is so common it is worth investing in research

February 22, 2011

Music and noise for the elderly

Filed under: Pleasures, social problems — Tags: , — valerieyulesletters @ 6:11 am

Music to elderly ears

The smartphone app described on p 23, 19 February, of New Scientist shows a possible solution to a major problem of the elderly, who do not hear well high-frequency sounds of voices.  They suffer from not hearing the voices in song vocals, or in talks which have a musical background with low-frequency sound, on the radio. They suffer terribly in old folks’ homes which have the TV on all the time at noise-levels pleasant to their carers.

I hope someone will attend to this – I am speaking for myself at age  82 as well as for  my contemporaries, and for the young who will be old some day.

 

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