Tuesday, 11th June, 2024

[Day 1548]

Today has turned out to be quite a busy day. We made a somewhat slow start to the day as the carers were designated to start three quarters of an hour later than is usual for us so this rather delayed the normal start of the day. No sooner had we breakfasted then two nurses from Admiral (specialist nurses, trained to work with dementia patients) turned up to make a regular monthly visit which is always very welcome. One of the nurses spends some time alone with me so that we can discuss all aspects of Meg’s care including some concerns about myself whilst the other nurse spent some time with Meg, reading to her as it happened some of the many children’s books of which we have a supply. I am always pleased to see this couple of nurses who are incredibly supportive and can sometimes lodge an email with, for example, the GP practice where it seems to have more impact than if I were to make contact myself. It happened to be the eighth wedding anniversary of one of the Admiral nurses so I prevailed upon her to give her just the tiniest smidgeon of some of our damson gin which I keep on hand for occasions such as this. Evidently, I am not in the habit of plying care workers with alcohol but this was a little gesture to tickle the taste buds as it was a special occasion. The care nurses had not long departed when an especially large parcel arrived for me. This was a one-off vintage dining chair in which I secured it at a price of £15.00 plus transport and it came beautifully and carefully packaged. I have already given it a quick wipe to remove showroom dust but later on this afternoon when I have time I am going to apply some of my specialist polishes to it before it will occupy a position in our Music Lounge I have allocated for it. The chair I use in our normal lounge to access my lap top computer is actually one of the dining room set so the newly arrived chair will take its place, releasing the original chair back to the dining room which was its original home.

The carer arrived for her ‘sitting’ duties in the middle of the day, releasing me in theory to attend my Pilates class. But there are much more pressing things to me with this ‘released’ time so I welcomed the opportunity whilst Meg and safe and secure with the sitter she knew well to go to a large store in the centre of town that sells a range of household, cosmetic and medicinal products. I needed something from each of these categories largely to help the carers who are apt to hold out a hand whilst in mid-task (much like surgeon holding out a hand to have a scalpel slapped into it) calling out ‘Mike do you have a ….’ and then I have to act as a runner to hand over whatever supplies are needed at that moment in time. Some of the products of which I was desperately in need seemed to be missing from the shelves but I was relieved beyond all measure to find out they had been relocated to just around the corner to what I believe the supermarket stores call a ‘carousel’. Having located everything for which I was looking and at a price about 70% of the price at which I could have obtained these products on the net, I gratefully accepted the assistance of the store staff to help me to carry things to the car. Then, having for home, it was case of getting my fishcakes into the oven for my typical Tuesday lunch and whilst the dinner was cooking, I always enjoy a chat with the carer. The carer helped me to give Meg her lunch which is always much appreciated and even helped me with a bit of washing up before she had to depart to pick up children from school.

This morning’s session with the Admiral nurse bore some immediate fruit as we received a telephone call from Social Services which revealed that Social Services knew that they had not been in touch and that an awful lot of water has flowed under the bridge since they last saw and in affect assessed Meg. So the telephone call was to give me Social Services number and to inform me that once they had perused all of the available paperwork, I would receive another telephone call from a social worker and would eventually receive a domiciliary visit. But given the pressure that Social Services departments are under, this further visit/assessment may be some weeks further off. But the Admiral nurse had evidently done her bit as our advocate as she had spoken with the GP practice and had arranged an actual telephone conversation (given that the last ‘consultation’ was a one line text message to the effect of keep on taking the tablets) Also, the GP practice should be sending to the Admiral Nurse some indication of how far they were progressing/not progressing in forwarding a referral to the Wheelchair service for us. I expressed my profound thanks to our Admiral nurse contact because I really do feel that she acts as an advocate for us, particularly with the local GP who seem to adopt the most minimal and cursory of approaches whenever I approach them for help.

This week is ‘manifesto week’ where all the major players in the election are revealing their manifestos. Both the BBC and Sky News seem to have taken it upon themselves to fact check the various commitments made in the various manifestos. Many a sleight of hand is at work here because the politicians are apt to say that hey do not intend to take any actions to increase the taxation on the electorate. But what they mean by this is that hey do not intend to alter the rates of taxation as owing to the non-indexation of allowances and the consequent ‘fiscal drag’ then the level of taxation, and higher levels of taxation, is gradually increasing even if the politicians do nothing.