The pensioner as entrepreneur is nothing new. Harland David Sanders (aka, Colonel Sanders) started Kentucky Fried Chicken when he was 65 years old (today a $15 billion company) and Ray Kroc was 52 years old when he started McDonalds (which, at revenues of $38 billion - including franchise stores - actually makes it the 68th biggest economy - larger than Ecuador).
Like so many sufferers, Joan and Gracie are both under 24-hour care after endangering their lives and putting their families through agonizing worry. From leaving taps running and stove fire burning to wandering to the shops wearing pyjamas and sitting at the bus stop at midnight waiting hours on end for the bus.
The coalition government have, up to now, been fastidiously careful not to rattle the cage of a section of society well-known for its mainly Conservative leanings. It seems likely that any dent in this traditional groundswell of support could have disastrous consequences for the Tory Party's chances of remaining on the political map come 2015 and election time.