Tuesday, 5th September, 2023

[Day 1268]

Today is the day when I normally have two commitments, the first being a meeting with the ‘granny gang’ in the Waitrose cafeteria and the second being my Pilates class. We got Meg and myself up, washed and breakfasted and then telephone calls intervened. I was just on my way out when I received a telephone call from Worcs. Social Services with whom I have been trying to arrange a formal assessment for Meg. I sometimes wonder why this should be a complicated procedure but it seems to be. First one passes through a ‘Portal’ system which seems like the electronic equivalent of a bouncer in a nightclub i.e. designed to fend off those who can be transferred off to other services if possible. Then I get through to what I presume is some kind of organiser or scheduler because having taken some particulars I am then going (eventually) to be passed on either to an assessor to a social worker who will then telephone me within a few days to arrange a date when Meg can have a formal assessment. What eventually got the wheels rolling of this particular wagon is the fact that I received a phone call from the ‘Falls Prevention’ team but I had not appreciated that if you were about to fall, or were liable to fall then you were the responsibility of one department but once you had actually fallen, you were the responsibiity of another department whose job it is to scrape you off the floor (unless you are bleeding or injured, in which case you passed onto the ambulance service to be whipped off to A&E.)

Once we eventually got to the Waitrose cafeteria, we had a jolly time with two of our friends who we hope to see again on Saturday morning. On the recommendation of our domestic help and other sources, I went in search of composite meals and chose two that were in date (One Asian, one Asiatic) for our little celebrations at midday on Saturday next. I wanted to get a Chinese one as well but the ones in stock only had a short shelf life in stock so I am going to have to wait until I get some that don’t expire before the weekend. On the way out of the store, Meg was incredibly fragile and, seeing that I appeared to be struggling, a very kindly onlooker gave me a helping hand so that between us we could get Meg to the car (which was only parked just outside the front door to the store in any case) It transpired that she had two elderly parents, both still alive and in their 90’s so she was well used to helping older people to make a necessary journey. I thanked her profusely but did wonder to myself how long I can rely upon the kindness of complete strangers. Once we got home, I put Meg in our Music Room and we watched a bit of telly (on our relocated TV) before I prepared a lunch of fishcakes. I was not sure if I would manage to fit in a Pilates session but, in the event, Meg was in too fragile a condition to be left so I left a voicemail of explanation for my Pilates teacher. Later on in the afternoon, she texted me to say that she was ‘gutted’ that I was finding attendance at the class so difficult after I had been attending her class religiously for about ten years or so. I am going to box and cox with arrangements so that I can get half an hour’s exercise in next week if not the complete hour. Earlier in the day, I received a wonderfully supportive text from one of my fellow Pilates class mmembers (we go back about 10-12 years, I think) saying she had read some of these blogs and offering condolences and support. I thanked her profusely for all of this and hope that we can meet for a cup of tea in the afternoons if the time can be spared. But other people have such busy lives and their own family concerns that have to take priority.

Half way through the afternoon some church friends popped around by prior arrangement – I had put things on our planning board and then forgotten to consult it. The husband suffers from dementia and was getting increasingly agitated after only a few minutes. So our friends stayed for about half and hour but I managed to pass on what I hope is some useful tips and telephone numbers. It may be that they can call around once a week or once a fortnight to provide some mutual support. This evening, there are some classic comedy programmes on BBC4 so I am hopeful that I can Meg all washed and ready for bed before they start so that we can both have about an hour’s relaxation before we start to have an earlyish night. I need to go shopping first thing tomorrow morning for a variey of reasons so an early night tonight and an alarm call for about 6.15 in the morning is in order. After some thought and measurement, I have ordered a bigger screen TV for Meg and I to enjoy in the Music Room. This is Toshiba technology, is a somewhat out-of-date model with an appropriate price reduction but with five years warranty from John Lewis so I thought that this particular package was too good to miss.