Friday, 2 November 2007

Not what I expected (twice) and just what I expected.....

My mum is not very well. She is now old and lots of bits of her seem to be wearing out at the same time. Yesterday morning, I was in a bit of a state about what I was going to do to ensure that she continues to be safe and well, and that if assistance was needed it would be provided in a timely fashion. Her neighbours, friends and my uncle are brilliant, but I thought that something a bit more structured was needed. Last week I had made a phone call to Social Services and yesterday morning a young (well, he looked young to me) man turned up and did a very thorough assessment of mum's needs. He discussed his findings with Mum and me, and explained that in his opinion the best thing would be to arrange for a carer to call for 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening to check that she is OK, can get dressed (or undressed and ready for bed), and has taken her pills. He also thought that he could provide a handle to help her get out of bed safely and a device to help with the putting on of socks. He left us at about 1:30. At 4:00 he phoned to say that he had sorted the visits and they would start on Saturday and he would be round today to deliver and fit the equipment. He was as good as his word. He arrived when he said he would, fitted the bed handle and left the sock device after showing Mum how it worked.

So, Ladies and Gentlemen, a big hand please for Mr Chris Gibson of Social Services in Truro, who is an absolute hero. Thanks Chris, you handsomely exceeded my expectations.

Another organisation which really impressed me today is the Just Perfection hairdressing salon where Mum and her friend get their hair done. Rather than wait, I booked a haircut - "I can just squeeze you in" said Sarah the owner - and off we went to arrive for 2 p.m. We could hear gales of laughter and noisy chatter emanating from the premises before we got the car door open. Mum was treated like Royalty, while I was treated as any man would be in such an establishment - as something of a necessary evil. I got a good haircut and a nice cup of tea. In a discussion over my hairstyle, I was advised that if it was any shorter it would be "Choppy", but as I didn't really understand that term (and still don't, if I'm honest), I went for it anyway. I'm pleased with the haircut and the treatment I got was a joy. Thanks to Sarah and her colleagues.

The one thing I did expect was a piece of really prattish driving by an old boy in a Saab estate, who looked very much as though he was sitting on where his brain lives. He couldn't have made life more difficult if he had tried (perhaps he did, but I doubt it). I really wanted to get out and bludgeon the pillock to death with a wheel brace, but I'd left it at home. Lucky man.

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