23 Feb 2012

The cost of not integrating

To settle in England there is a Life In UK test where one has to show understanding of English and of knowledge of basic aspects of life in the UK. This was implemented only a few years ago. There are moves afoot to require future settlers to have at least an equivalent of Ordinary level English.

To my thinking this is a good thing although people protest.

In two beds close to me (I am blogging from hospital) there are two Bengali men... both over 60 (more likely over 70 in my estimation). Neither can speak English.

They cannot understand when asked what they want for breakfast. They cannot say what medication they use. Nor what they are allergic to. They cannot ask for water, tea or anything else.

Neither can fend for themselves and yet they cannot even say when they need changing. Or when they are in pain.

Interpreters will be hired... at a calculable cost. But the true cost of not integrating is the isolation and alienation these men are experiencing... and having to stare at the ceiling with no interaction. My guess is this is what will eventually kill them.