Thursday, 15th February, 2024

[Day 1431]

Today turned out to be quite a full day in ways that we both did not anticipate. We knew that we had our meeting with our social worker scheduled for 11.00am but we decided to go to town earlier than is normal for us. We managed to call in at a distant ATM where the parking is convenient and then called by our erstwhile newspaper shop which was again bereft of newspapers. But I was pleased to see the new owner of the shop in place and left her one of my business cards with a request that she pass it on to the wife of the previous owner of the store. We last saw her at the funeral of her husband and I hope that once she has got over the immediate grieving process she might give me a call. We would like her to call around for a meal if she feels up to it and we are anxious, that although she no doubt feels the death of her husband and business partner so keenly, that we can still maintain some social contact in the months and years ahead. We then popped into Waitrose but this is not our usual ‘port of call’ for a Thursday so we did not anticipate bumping anyone that we knew. But we were delighted to meet up with one of our Tuesday regulars and we soon fell into a conversation on matters political, today being the day of the Rochdale by-election. In particular, we quite enjoyed telling each the stories of how, in the past, we had tied up the canvassers of a political party that we did not support, into extended conversations (in our case over several hours) thus giving their fellow canvassers the headache of not knowing where their fellow politician had actually got to. Then we looked at our watch and suddenly realised that we had better make a dash for it, so that we were at home in time for our appointment. We arrived back at our house about three minutes before the appointed hour and the social worker had already arrived and was knocking at the door (as we feared she might) but all’s well that ends all. After we were all safely inside the house, the owner-manager of the care agency looking after Meg and his principal assistant-cum-scheduler turned up so that we could all have a productive review meeting. This is one of the few occasions when I was pleased to have a lot of spare chairs in our Music Lounge. I started off by showing them the facility of Widows 11 to ‘speak’ the contents of a website to them, including the page I had posted recently for the benefit of fellow carers. Then the manager of the care agency asked a fair number of questions to which he wanted (and got) frank replies about the quality of service we had been receiving from his staff. To be fair, it was quite easy to say something positive about each of them although some are evidently so much more experienced than others. But evidently, the manager wanted a comprehensive and fair picture so that he knew how his staff were doing and so he could correct any deficiencies in their training or preparation. In the meantime, the social worker was furiously scribbling notes, trying to get a comprehensive record of the meeting. But at the end of the day, apart from meeting people such that we could, on both sides, put a face to a name the meeting also achieved some positive outcomes. It was confirmed that the daily care package for Meg should continue. Also, we had out into place two additional ‘sitting’ sessions for a care worker to be with Meg whilst I went out to do my Pilates class )in Tuesdays) and go out and do our weekly shopping (on a Thursday). So all in all, we felt that the meeting had a favourable and productive outcome and the manager was going to try and schedule the care worker in whom we have most confidence, and with whom Meg has a very good relationship, to be the ‘continuity’ care worker as it were although she herself has to have regular day off and only works on alternate weekends. But the manager of the agency seeking that I could access the web easily enough, promised to send me a link such that I could read the daily logs on Meg that the care workers supplied and perhaps also give some access to schedules to that we knew who to expect and on what day. So the various professionals had to make a departure for other meetings but Meg and I were satisfied with the outcomes. As it was a beautiful day and we both had a positive feeling, we decided to go out together and make a joint shopping expedition. We decided to go to the usual (smaller) Aldi store that I normally frequent but this proved to be a bit of a challenge. I put Meg in her wheelchair and then slotted this into one of the more specialist shopping trolleys designed to be used with a wheelchair. Whether I was operating this correctly I know not but we made good progress to something approximating to a normal week’s shopping with Meg in her wheelchair pushing and steering the trolley and with our goods piled up on a fairly narrow tray on the top. We managed to do all of this and getting everything into the car was a bit of a challenge but one which Meg and I met successfully. When we returned home at about 2.00pm., I made a lightning lunch of a thick lamp soup on a slice of toast and this was an almost an instant, but more than adequate, lunch for us under the circumstances.

This afternoon we both watched, and really enjoyed ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ which is provided as part of our Prime subscriptions and there were some achingly funny moments, as well as memorable lines, that made this film a really good watch for us.