It's a pivotal time for the care sector. As people live longer and require more support to live life to the full in old age, the shortfall in carers is expected to reach 718,000 by 2025. We need to rise to the challenges of our ageing population, but in order to do so, we need to challenge the frankly tired and out-dated perceptions of care.
Objections since the 1970s to Global Women's Strike's demand for wages for care have consistently let women down - we are no better off, our families are no better off, and many are now shackled in employment against our wishes, suffering double and triple shifts and facing intolerable pressure, pushed out of our homes by increasing bias towards commercialised care.
Until the new government gets to grips with the care crisis and introduces more financial help for older people, it will be up to each of us to get the best deal possible. As more older people and their families realise that increasingly they are on their own and they are expected to pay for their care, then pressure will increase on government to sort out the mess.
Like hundreds of thousands of care staff across the country, I do my job well. Better than well. As with so many of my colleagues, I am always going beyond the call of duty, often in ways that no one would ever know. Covert filming might get me the credit for all those little acts of kindness that no one saw. What hurts more than the filming itself is the cynical assumption that I needed filming.
It is with great diffidence that I suggest that a lot of the very welcome and well-informed debate about how to provide suitable care and support for older and disabled people has centred around the wrong question. It is not and never should be, about "how do I keep my mum from going into care?" That is simply the wrong question.
You see, Alfred, as the earth warms, the global climate system is spiraling out of control, becoming less stable and increasingly unpredictable. The world's weather is becoming increasingly erratic. In short, the very basis of our societies - a stable and predictable climate - is now rapidly changing beyond our control.
If you'd listened to the Queen's Speech, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the government's agenda for the next year isn't going to have a big impact on children. But changes to immigration, anti-social behaviour measures and the care system will all make a real difference - both positive and negative - to some of the most vulnerable children in the UK