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Cauldron of Care

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Ageing is like a large cauldron into which we pour dollops of frail older people, attentive or disinterested families, professional advisers, helpers, bureaucrats and opportunists.

To those raw ingredients, we then add spices:

  • The english mustard of influence;
  • The chipotle of affluence;
  • The chilli seeds of crisis;
  • The jalapenos of dependency;

and finally

  • A large squirt of wasabi paste from the Government.

We then season the mixture to taste with some cracked pepper from the law and a good pinch of the salt of loneliness. The concoction is then heated and stirred and it gurgles, bubbles and ferments to ultimately produce that well-known fine living experience – a quality of life – doesn’t it?

From our experience, the complexities of ageing far exceed any demands we had to face in growing up, raising children, working and retiring. In many ways, they were just entrees to the main course.

Yet, while we will often seek advice in advance on those early and mid-life demands, we ignore the need to do so for later life demands. Instead, we engage in our well known cultural delinquency – crisis management.

Death was the traditional spark for either family collaboration or conflict. Dependency is now the new flint for either family cooperation or conflagration.

On which side of the scales of crisis will your family fall?

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