It’s 6 am on Sunday morning and we are both up with a spring in our step. I have been up for a while tidying up one or two loose ends. Maureen has just come down to seek her first cuppa of the day. I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder but she looks ‘something else’ today. The reason for both of us feeling good today is largely because Chloe was here yesterday for a couple of hours.
Our social worker managed to squeeze us another two hours of carer sits. To get our ‘adopted daughter’ at such short notice was down to Michelle at the Care Agency. When you consider that both parties are under considerable pressure I feel refreshed that they recognised the need for a compassionate response to my cry for help. Such responses are really appreciated when the relentless pressure of being Care Partner is grinding you down. They both spotted a man on his knees and managed to pull out all the stops to help him stand a little easier.
Chloe breezed in with her normal matter of fact manner telling Maureen she had: ‘popped in because she was in the area’. Within a short time she skilfully eased Maureen into the shower and things were underway. This allowed me to pop out into the garden and sort out our vegetable patch. Once the beans were down and in the compost bin, I put my head around the door to see the ‘hairdresser’ in action. As Maureen says: ‘they are not allowed to cut as they are not trained to do hairdressing but they can wash and blow dry’. Chloe is also an ace with the iron, the vacuum cleaner and all the other gadgets we use to make life a little easier.
When we ‘ran away’ to Cleethorpes all those years ago we never thought that we would get old one day. Our respective children are scattered around the country; busy with their own lives. Adopting Chloe has made such a difference to our lives and now we have further plans to add to our family. Rosie is here on Wednesday again and she seems a likley candidate to help us fill a gap in our lives. More like a granddaughter, as she is about to go off to University, but we can still see her at weekends if we play our cards right. Extending our family in this way will make our house seem even more like a home.
With dementia you never know what any day will bring, yet there is room for optimism in this household today. If we continue to turn our house into a home then there is no need to feel down that Autumn is on the horizon. It is September the start of Term and another Academic Year. It is up to us to make of it what we can. Our subject matter that is absolutely clear: to live every day as if it is our last. Thanks Kate for that one: