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In Fitness & In Death

In Fitness & In Death
January 29
17:55 2018

MICHAEL J BLAIR
Perthshire, Scotland 

Keeping fit is something that we can all try to do. In fact, government wants us to be healthy and eat a balanced diet.

Nothing wrong with the advice. We all want to live longer and and live well.

For at least twenty years now, the message has been that eating fast and fattening foods will cause major health problems and put an unnecessary burden on the NHS and other care services.

This message seems at last to be getting through to the public. Or at least a greater number than had previously been actively engaged in healthy lifestyles.

Some people will never want to listen to the dire warnings about obesity and illness. Diabetes,  heart attacks, and cancer being the most likely diseases to have, due to poor diet and lack of exercise.

We have heard the, “Don’t drink too much alcohol, don’t smoke” messages for years, but some people have no intention of stopping doing these things. It’s only when they have a major health problem that they finally change. But there is always some who don’t want to stop, and inevitably they die much younger than those who listened.

We now have an NHS which cannot cope with the sheer number of people who have listened to the advice of doctors and politicians, and have had long lives and are now getting towards the end. They need care around the clock and often this results in hospital beds being filled with more older people than ever, who are waiting for a place in a care home.

So, we have official advice on how to live longer and how to be fit and healthy. But of course we see the result of this policy in hospitals around the country.

Now, if a person only lives to be 55/60, the burden on the health service is lessened. No bed blocking for months or even years. Possibly in hospital for a few weeks, or sometimes days, before dying.

Back in the 1950’s, the life expectancy of the population was far lower than it is today. Hospitals weren’t nearly as busy and seldom if ever overcrowded.

But with the huge jumps in medical technology, plus the constant pressure to change lifestyles, the life expectancy is much higher, leading to a surge in a much older population.

Which way does government want go with this increasingly mad scenario?

They can’t have their cake and eat it as well.

It’s either, live healthily and live ten or fifteen years longer, and have thousands of very old and infirm people choking up hospital wards, or forgetting the message and actively encourage  people to live life to the full, eating and drinking anything they want. Smoking thirty cigarettes a day and dying at 55/60.

Would they not be better saving the money spent on health campaigns, and using it to help hospitals cope?

I know of several people who have died young and lived a wonderful life, free of the nagging nanny state and its ever more shrill supporters.

They smoked like chimneys, drank like booze was about to be abolished, and enjoyed every minute of life, but they put less burden on the state and the NHS than a herd of senile ninety-nine year olds.

I know their final days weren’t sweetness and light, but they had few, if any regrets.

I can’t think that would be worse than having dementia, being very old, and being treated like a bloody nuisance or worse, by family or underpaid care home staff.

Some people, like my late mother, went the way they wanted. Slipping away while sleeping in her own bed in her own house. She always dreaded being in a care home and she got her wish.

Others aren’t so lucky.

Don’t tell people to live healthy longer lives and then bitch about the cost of looking after them.

It’s one or the other.

So, government and interested parties, what is it to be?

Follow The Party of Common Sense on Twitter, at @tpocs

Michael J Blair contributes political analysis to DDA, and he can be reached at: michaelblair43@googlemail.com. His Twitter handle is: @mmjblair

[header photo courtesy of Jacinta Quesada; public domain Wikimedia Commons]

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