Community Must Support the Elderly, Says UK Minister

February 23, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. elderly 
[EL-der-lee] (n.) – a group of older people
Example: Most of the elderly in provinces stay in nursing homes after their children marry.

2. neglectful [ni-GLEKT-fuhl] (adj.) – not caring or not giving attention to something
Example: People should not be neglectful of their responsibilities to their parents to show gratitude.

3. dismal [DIZ-muhl] (adj.) – sad or depressing
Example:  Elderlies in nursing homes live a dismal life because they no longer see their families.

4. resilient [ri-ZIL-yuhnt, -ZIL-ee-uhnt] (adj.) – can easily recover
Example: Care and support from their neighbors make the elderly more resilient.

5. cap [kap] (n.) – a limit
Example: The care home put a $10,000 cap on its budget for this month.

Read the text below.

Norman Lamb, UK’s Minister of State for Care and Support, is encouraging citizens to give more effort in taking care of the elderly to lessen the expenses for nursing homes.

Over the years, British people have become more neglectful towards the elderly, leading old people to live a dismal life in nursing homes with lack of support from their families and community. Family separation also makes the elderly feel lonely and isolated. Being alone may then cause depression.

Lamb said that rebuilding a resilient [ri-zil-yuhnt, -zil-ee-uhnt] neighborhood needs greater community support. With neighbors’ support, the elderly can stay and live independently in their own homes even without the presence of their families.

Also to keep the elderly from spending a lot for nursing homes, the Dilnot Commission, a government agency, plans to put a cap on nursing home expenses, limiting costs between £25,000 and £50,000. Any excess in these expenses will be shouldered by tax payers.
However, Lamb advised citizens that this cap would not entirely remove the elderly’s expenses for care services. More solutions should still be done to give the elderly a more meaningful existence.

In addition, Lamb encouraged not only the citizens but also the local officials to play their roles in providing a friendly neighborhood for the elderly.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Do you agree that strong neighborhood ties can prevent the elderly from leaving their homes? Why or why not?
·         How else can the government show support to the elderly?

Discussion B

·         Why do you think some people leave their parents behind?
·         How can family members show support to their parents even if they are apart?


February 23, 2013