The Chinese will deal with things pragmatically but will not shirk their responsibilities because of their very different tradition of venerating or trying to venerate the old.
The problem in the UK is that too many old people did not plan for their retirement and have too little money to pay for their care, which is of course “free” to the Scots who are being subsidized by taxpayers in England under the Barnett Formula.
Secondly, too many people throughout the UK want to abrogate their duty of blood and honor to their parents and want the state or a local authority to pick up the burden.
They imagine wrongly that they have already paid for this through their taxes and they imagine, if they have no money that “someone else” will pick up the tab.
They complain loudly about the treatment meted out to elderly people in care homes but do not want to pay and in most cases do not want their comfortable lives disrupted by an elderly parent.
They claim to worry about dementia but eat and drink themselves into ill health and fail to take basic preventative measures.
They, if they are old enough or cavalier enough, take or took part in drug taking in the 1960’s and then wonder why their previous debauched lifestyles or those of their “flower child ” parents have transformed into the dribbling parodies of the people they once were, making no sense and reliving their childhoods whilst filling up doctor’s surgeries and the streets with their Bactricar mobility scooters.
This leaves 45% for all other services at a time when the tax base is too small and growth,as it has been since 1946,is still too low.
People are still not ready to face up to these difficult issues to the point where in one survey the UK public simply found the whole matter too distasteful to discuss.
Certainly they are not ready for a rational Oklahoma style debate on Adult Social Care and what healthcare they are prepared to fund either via the NHS or privately.
Already the Government is telling doctors to make lists of people with less than 6 months to live and from Lord Falconer‘s “Assisted Dying Bill” is moving towards Dutch style euthanasia in stepped increments.
Other decisions are being made in secret but because the public is not willing to handle the truth; the politicians who are weak and prone to lying are doing what comes naturally by concealing their deliberations under a welter of weasel words.
The British public do not want robots used in care homes to bring down the costs, they do not want the elderly without relatives shipped out to Goa and Thailand but they do not want to step up to the plate and buy long term care insurance or do as my sister and I did with my late father, grieving over the loss of my mother after he had a stroke and became demented—Look after him whilst still working.
Soon the chickens will come home to roost and unpleasant choices will be made for them whether they like it or not.