Wednesday, 16th August, 2023

[Day 1248]

What an interesting day it has been today with lots of ups and downs. With Meg’s health a little frail, we are seeking suitable care packages and we are not getting off to a very good start with some initial hiccups. But after some phone calls and a bit of consultation with family and friends, we are resolving some of these initial difficulties and trust that things might run a little more smoothly from now on. Today we had a calendared appointmment with a technology firm that had been recommended to us by the Worcestershire Association of Carers and I was a little disconcerted when we got a telephone call from their representative – he was hardly a salesman. The system that we are being offered is on a 6 weeks free trial. It basically consists of a electronic box which is installed in our hall and goes by the generic name of the ‘New Lifeline’ service and, as their blurb says, they ‘support independent living providing peace of mind to service users and their families 24 hours a day’ The user has the choice of either wearing a device on their wrist or, as most users prefer, the device is put into a lanyard which is worn around the neck. In the event that the user gets into real difficulties and requires some help, then a call is automatically routed to a monitoring centre which is manned 24 hours a day. From there, a call is put through to whoever is on the system which in this case would be myself (via my mobile) which would alert me to the fact that Meg needed some assistance. Should the button be pressed but no response is made to the monitoring team, then one of the designated contacts will be activated and one way or another assistance will be provided. There is also the possibility of several ‘add ons’ of which the most useful is probably an external key-safe system so that an emergency service given the code number to unlock the safe by the monitoring centre can gain access to the property to offer assistance where needed. There is also a ‘falls’ detector which would be activated in the case of a ‘hard fall’ but not a ‘slither to the ground’ but we are not progressing with this at the moment, although it is a possibility, of course. The technology firm has a long and well established local reputation and the monitoring centre is provided in or by the neighbouring local authority and, after a trial period, there is a monthly charge but it does not seem excessive for the service offered and the peace of mind that is bought. So all of this was happening whilst the Australia vs England women’s semi finals was underway but once the ‘technology’ man had left us we tuned in to the TV and got to the later stages of the first half and just in time to see the first well-taken English goal. Then we shot out of the house in order to pick up our daily newspaper and then we got back in time, to watch the thrilling second half. The Australians equalised with a stunning equaliser, equal in quality with the English first goal. But then the Australians made a bad defensive eror and the English team scrambled a second goal. Finally, whilst the Australians were pressing forward there was an English breakaway and a very well taken third goal so that the English ‘lionnesses’ won the match, and deservedly so, with 3-1 victory.

Meg and I lunched on gammon,baked potato, broccoli and tomato and we tried to scale down our portions so that neiter of us were tempted to overeat. I was expecting a telephone call at 3.00pm in the afternoon so Meg and I seized the opportunity to make a quick trip to the park and get some fresh air. We are now using the wheelchair for Meg and I think it is fair to say that we make progress at least twice the speed as if we were shufflng along. The thing about going to the park in the afternoon is there are evidently ‘morning’ and ‘afternoon’ flows of people and although we might have see some of the regulars when we visit in the morning, the same is not true of the afternoon. Our major activity in the afternoon, though, was to engage in a Skype call with one of my erstwhile colleagues from the University of Winchester. We always seem to have a lot to talk about, not least because we share some common problems in trying to ensure that our respective spouses get the necessary services to support them. This is easier said than done but we aim to share information with each other to our mutual benefit.

There seems to be some kind of ‘Roman’ season available on our screens in the next few days. Tonight, Mary Beard the classicist is strutting her stuff, followed by a series of the history of the Roman Empire seen through the prism of the Coliseum. Then the famous TV. series ‘I, Claudius‘ in which Derek Jacobi played Claudius is due for some repeated showings. Both Meg and I belong to the generation who did Latin at school (and Scolarship Latin in Meg’s case)so we are quite happy to be immersed in these bits of Roman history.