Zen Gardner posted this interesting article Don’t look for answers – find the questions and in it I found this wonderful quote by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, “Cowardice asks the question, “Is it safe?” Expediency asks the question, “Is it politic?” And Vanity comes along and asks the question, “Is it popular?” But Conscience asks the question “Is it right?” And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right.” Thanks to VK from One World Rising for leading me to it. I want my blog to be led by my conscience and from the question “Is it right?” as I believe aged and dementia care needs to be shaken out of the complacency I and others I speak to so often see. There is a world movement towards improving services, care, funding, and most importantly, attitudes towards the ageing population, and towards people with dementia of any age. Prior to being diagnosed with dementia, and therefore having to face the prospect of entering aged care myself, I too thought it was okay and that generally speaking people were happy living there. I honestly believed services were as good as they could be, and in many ways still do, but now realise it is the ‘systems’ in place, and the ‘beliefs’ of those providing the care that need changing. How could any independent person want to live in an institution? People who have owned, cared for and lived in their own home, who have decided often at a whim what and when they will eat at any given time, who have done their own shopping, cooking, washing and yes, even done ironing (!!), who have had a career and brought up their own children, some who have even brought up their grandchildren; how could they possibly be happy to live in residential aged care? They may go willingly to satisfy the needs and concerns of their children, their doctors or other concerned friends or people in their lives, but I honestly cannot believe they want to go there. But if the only option for so many is aged care, then surely if we have a conscience, then we have a responsibility to help get it right. Many of my blogs are not what I would call popular, and when I write them, I don’t make claims to be right, but I express my views and concerns honestly, as I see things. The idea of entering aged care is less than palatable, but the thought of not being able to do my own ironing is quite horrific, although I know some of you will think that is hideous. Maybe care homes need to be set up as just that, care homes, where residents can contribute to the care and maintenance of the home, even work in the kitchens, obviously if they are safe to do so, and not just sit in their rooms doing nothing, or the activity areas playing bingo. As always, there is so much more food for thought!