Twenty four hours on from finding Maureen in despair in Ashgrove Care Home she was singing and dancing along with Bing Crosby. She astounded me as she sang along to most of the numbers on a double LP – amazing value at 50 pence from a local charity shop.
This morning she was empathizing with me for being exploited by the owners of this ‘Care Home’ – who she feels are making lots of money from my good nature. I have assured her it doesn’t matter to me as I enjoy looking after her.
You will gather I’m a great believer in accepting Maureen’s reality, and stretching a point to keep things on an even keel. It is easier to go along with the extremes of Maureen’s presentation when I have energy, and I now have a ‘insurance policy’ to call on whenever Carer Burnout threatens: Ashgrove Care Home.
When I called at Ashgrove yesterday morning to collect one or two things we had left behind, I was greeted with a resounding message: ‘Maureen is welcome back at any time’. How reassuring that I now have a safety net on our doorstep that I can utilise at short notice whenever I need a period of respite.
I have mentioned on many occasions that we are relatively well served with support in our neck of the woods. To have found a local Care Home of such quality is good fortune indeed. Maureen’s feelings about the place are ambivalent ranging from: ‘never wanting to go back there again’; to saying she would be ‘better off back in hospital as there is always someone looking after you there’.
Maureen thinks Ashgrove was hospital just as she frequently thinks our house is a Care Home!