Wednesday, 7th February, 2024

[Day 1423]

Today turned out to be quite an eventful day. We knew that in the morning, we were going to have the elecricity turned off whilst the power company took the opportunity to cut down the branches of trees that might be impeding their power lines. We were prepared for this to happen shortly after 9.00am so between the carers and myself, we ensured that Meg was up and breakfasted. Then we entertained ourselves with ClassicFM on a battery operated radio until it was time for us to have coffee in the Methodist Centre. Here we were greeted by another obstacle as the immediately adjacent local authority carpark that we generally use was out of commission for the week as they were doing some maintenance work upon it. So we had to hunt out a more distant carpark which entailed a more distant walk into the Centre itself. Once there, we sat ourselves down at the chatty table where we consumed some of our usual teacakes and coffee. We got into conversation with a couple who happened to be a retired health visitor married to a retired policeman. Meg had taught the Health Visitors some sociology and social policy whilst we were both lecturers at De Montfort University and I think that taught them them some elementary statistics, research methods and perhaps IT as well. We then left, wanting to get home just before 12.00pm when we assumed that the power would be restored. Our immediate next door neighbour had called around a few days ago and we agreed that we would use the contractors employed by the power company to radically prune back a conifer in our garden but which was causing a nuisance by intruding into our neighbour’s garden. My neighbour had agreed a ‘back pocket’ price with the men involved who, of course, had all of their necessary gear (shredding machines and the like) on site. So suddenly our back garden was filled with the three contractors who busied themselves with the job in hand, taking some 20-30 minutes altogether. I always prepare coffee for workers in this situation but the three of them waited until the job was done before having their drink.

This afternoon, I was going to attend a special neeting organised for carers and this was to be the second of two sessions, the first being last week where we concentrated on those being cared for whilst this week we were concentrating upon ourselves.The session was run by a couple of occupational therapists and in the course of the afternoon, we shared various concerns and problems with each other. I thought that it might be quite a good idea for us to form a self-help group so that we could swap ideas, strategies and even provide some practical support for each other. To facilitate this, I circulated a sheet of paper with contact details on it and we then put the filled-in sheet of paper on our mobile phones so that we all had a record of each other’s contact details. I then said that I would supply a list of some practical tips and hints to share with others that I would put on a simple one page website, which can grow and be expanded as the need arises. Whether anything will come of this, I cannot say at the moment but as I have a template prepared, it is only the work of a minute or so to get a simple web page prepared which I did when I got home. Whether or not, we can be of mutual support to each other as carers is a bit problematic as we all seem to have a plethora of individual problems and not many of the scenarios that we face are at all similar to each other. I had to leave the meeting a tad early as I did last week to ensure that I got home before Meg’s carer had overrun her allocated time slot. She is a good natured lass but had experienced a couple of problems to make her afternoon all the more eventful. The first thing that had happened is that car was in the way of the contracters who had been busy pruning the conifers in my garden and after she went outside to her car, she had not appreciated that the front door would lock automatically behind her – which it did. The contractors, evidently practical people, suggested that she contact our immediate next door neigbour to see if they had a key to our front door. We nearly always leave a key with next door neighbours for contingencies such as this so that one was one problem for our care worker resolved. The second was that Meg had experienced a fall which sounds dramatic but was actually more of a slither to the floor, but again presented the care worker with a dilemma. Se sensibly did not ring the ambulance which would have been a drastic solution but instead remembered some of the advice that I had given her when we first met with each other. This is to get the fallen person onto their hands and knees, then onto a low stool, then into a sitting position and finally into something like a standing state. So the girl managed to follow this advice and although I am sure she had some anxious moments, managed to get Meg back into her chair again. So at the end of the day, I was glad that I had given the care assistant the appropriate instructions when first we met to alleviate difficulties such a this (although I meet with this problem on a daily basis)