THERE is no doubt that here in Somerset we have an aging population and all the challenges it brings. I think we should place a high value on providing the best care and social environments for our older generation.
I lived too far away to see as much of my grandparents as I would have liked in their last years - even though I loved them dearly. Many of us find we are so busy growing up that we can't conceive what life must be like for the generations ahead of us or that those of the older generation of our families will not be with us forever.
It is important to remember that we are all basically young at heart, and we should certainly try to enjoy each moment for what it is. The way we feel at the end of life is something that will come to most of us, therefore the way we care for our elderly, and how they feel, is so important.
And there are going to be a lot more of us!
It is estimated that by 2050 the number of people over 65 will triple, and that of them around a third of men and half of women will at some stage need permanent residential care.
How to make the most of our golden years and how to provide the best care and support for those who are of the older generation is a question we need to keep asking ourselves.
This is why I am right behind the pioneering Symphony Project that is being led locally by Somerset County Council, the local GP Federation, the Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group and the Yeovil District NHS Trust. This project is attempting to integrate adult social care and health care commissioning in order to join up the thinking and put people's actual experience front and centre, to try to improve both quality of life and the financial efficiency of providing care. Its success could not be more important.
This week in my role as a councillor I tackled a difficult case, of a mum whose son has been desperately trying to get the best care for her in her last years, who I think should be in more of a medical environment.
I so hope my representation of her makes the difference. The obvious spark of love between this particular son and mother are a vivid reminder of why the future of our care system matters so much.
Marcus Fysh Prospective MP for the Yeovil Constituency & Somerset County Councillor Facebook MarcusFyshForYeovil Twitter @MarcusFysh www.marcusfysh.org.uk