Help the aged and Carers

Matching young people without jobs and old people who need help is surely one for The Apprentice?

The Observer,


Help at hand: what the elderly need is someone who can do those tricky little jobs. Photograph: Rex

I’m wondering if we couldn’t bring in our young people to do something for our oldies. Here are two pretty well complementary problems: there are too many young people who haven’t got jobs, and too many old people who have problems they can’t solve. With, for example, their computers; with their piles of junk; with their ceiling light bulbs and jammed doors and incomprehensible benefit forms and TV sets that have refused to go digital and… I could go on.

Some of us do all right because we have competent and nearby (if exasperated) sons within call, but plenty of people don’t and, especially in the matter of computers, mobiles, gadgetry, need someone in the way one needs an electrician or a plumber.

In the 60s there was an admirable firm called Problem which produced a person for just about everything – electricians, babysitters, gardeners. I once had it collect a medicine from a chemist, meet my plane with it at Heathrow and drive to my parents and ailing baby. There’s still Universal Aunts, who used to take polite children across London to catch the school train, but now mostly do carers for older people; but what we need is Universal Sons. I suggest it should be set as the next puzzle for The Apprentice or Dragons’ Den.


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