Happy New Year to all followers of this blog. Never have the words ‘new’ and ‘year’ been so welcome, for, while we all thought 2020 was bad enough, 2021 was a real challenge with its extreme fluctuating graphs of hope and despair.
I am far too realistic to make new year resolutions for myself, knowing my success rate in the past. However, I am selfishly inflicting three new year resolutions on our whippet, Archie, as he slides gently into middle age. They are
- No more farting
- No more scrounging for biscuits
- No more turd hunting when out walking
If he fulfils even one of these canine ideals, he will be a better dog and he will have happier owners, who might then recognise more fully his many other excellent qualities. To remind him, these resolutions are now pinned above his bedroom recess (don’t ask) in the kitchen.
To less canine, more human matters. Thanks to the mixed blessings of Twitter, I have just been reading an article by Donald Macaskill, who is CEO of Scottish Care – you can read it for yourself here. He quotes from the American writer Amanda Gorman and in particular the words
On the lip of tomorrow: a new year dawns
He goes on to make several important points about fairness in health and social care, its funding and societal attitudes towards care, specifically the needs of those affected by the cruelty of dementia. He would like to see all the challenges around these tackled meaningfully in 2022. His argument is powerful and eloquent, and is rooted in his own professional experience.
I’m with him on all of that.
In a small way, I experienced for myself in 2021 some of the fairness issues which arise when the monster in the room is Covid, and other conditions are temporarily put aside. I fractured my pelvis in April. Thanks to Covid I was barely a couple of nights in hospital and on discharge was not able to benefit from the pre-Covid rehabilitation available in our local hospital. Instead, it was expected that my wife would provide all caring. No professional asked if she was up to the task. We were to deal with this from early morning washing, dressing and toileting onwards. She rose to the occasion, as she always does, and together we muddled through until I was finally back on my feet, many weeks later. It was a small taste of what many others have to deal with permanently.
I remember thinking as I stood, unable to go any further, at the top of the three steps leading out of our house, ‘Thank goodness this is only temporary’. That thought inspired an article for the Scottish Review which you can read here. I couldn’t make my way down those steps, but there are many people who never will be able to do even that. During Covid, many of those people have lost all support from health and social care. It would be wonderful – and fair – to see that support resumed for all who need it in 2022. I think of the many stroke survivors I know.
Finally, this blog will be moving to a new site later this year, More details in due course.
I wish you a happy and healthy 2022.
Poor Archie. Perhaps if he manages the first item on his list, you can forgive the second 🙂