Congratulations if you were one of those baby boomers, born in 1945 and after. You are now Part of an elderly force that outnumbers the young, and it is only going to get worse. No matter who has the keys to Downing Street on June 9th, extended care for the elderly is the greatest challenge for an increasingly infirmed population that any politician will have to solve. It is not a new problem, simply one that has been ignored by successive governments for far too long.

The Statistics

In 2030 those pensioners between the ages of 65 - 84 will have risen by 39%, and those over 85+ will have risen a staggering 106%, putting an unsustainable burden on the health and Social Care budget.

It is also all too probable that many of those elderly, either because they were never married or through spousal death will be living alone, putting a further burden on care providers. The elderly now count for most multiple hospital admissions yearly and look to peak by 2030 at 60% more than there are now. The hospital bill for these alone will rise from 76 Billion to 137 Billion annually, an increase of 68%, with the social care bill increasing from 34 to 53 Billion. We have of course not even taken into account the forgotten - those pensioners who flocked to Spain and France etc, who once they become ill will have to flock the other way again, now that we are coming out of Europe. Will they become "health tourists?" Or will they elect to receive treatment in their place of domicile thereby doubling the expected NHS budget, which we will all have to pay for as non-EU subjects?

What can we do?

increase State Pensions, but who is going to raise the revenue? Introduce compulsory measures so that the young - already crippled by University fees that many are never likely to pay off due to a job shortage in the careers they studied for - can make provisions to provide for themselves before the likelihood that Artificial Intelligence will make them superfluous to needs anyway?

We have also seen that even starting a private pension at an early age, by the time you retire it will be worth very little. Large Corporations are now gambling with their employee's pension schemes and using them as bargaining chips in business dealings. Fine if it works, although devasting of it fails, as the recent debacle at BHS has shown us.

One other road - and the one that is the silent elephant in the room, and certainly no one wishes to discuss openly - is euthanasia!

We are bound by the dictates that people are adults, and adults have choices. Whether it is to mercifully end a life that is no life at all, curtailing the suffering of long-term illness, or the hell of alcohol or drug dependency. No none wishes to get themselves in these situations, it is simply a condition called life, one that should certainly be ended when it fits no purpose for the sufferer. Ok, now, that may seem like a positively Hitlertarian solution, but we have to give patients, families as a whole, and the doctors who treat them, the right to end lives when there is no life of sustainable or of meaningful quality left.

It is a logical and necessary solution to a problem that will affect many if not all of us during the coming years.

Allow patients to decide for themselves

We already have the living will, and certainly at end of life, a nil by mouth policy that hastens death sanctioned by the medical profession, why not allow, like those who choose Gravitas in Switzerland, that while the patient is still compos mentis they decide for themselves.

This is a broad and simplified overview of a problem facing us ALL,- one that should be investigated far further than these few words. One that we or our families will ALL have to face, and certainly not one to be taken lightly. It is not talked about, a taboo subject and certainly, one politicians will have to make a judgement on, sooner or later.