Someone once said that from the moment we're born, we're dying. We have to allow ourselves to grow old and learn to face the inevitable. Children must be educated. No longer must the young look at older people as if they're aliens from another planet. What they need to say is: that's me in years to come.
France is not only having to rethink its attitude to older people, but to elderly ex-pats too. Until now no French care home has accepted purely English-speaking residents. However, all that is changing. The new Residence Retraite Mouans-Sartoux, near Cannes on the Riviera, is being built as the first Anglo care home in France. It's about time. Research has shown that in dementia, one of the first things to go is the ability to speak a second language, so such people would be totally lost.
The costs, though large at 3,000 euros a month, still compare favourably with UK care homes. And, EU ex-pats can get social security benefits to help with costs through allocation personnalisee d'autonomie. There will also be some beds subsidised by social security which will be available to all as well as some limited financial aid from the home itself.
As in the UK, there is a growing realisation that the generational time-bomb is ticking. Too many old people versus younger, tax-paying contributors. But, in the meantime, the current older generation must help themselves financially. If nothing else, there is always the viager system to raise mortgage cash to fund a care home, which means your spouse can still remain in your own home.
Remember my phrase 'constructive negativism' - be aware of hazards and plan for the future so that you can relax and enjoy the present.