The LSO and I finally have made a much needed visit to a Care Home near us. It has a five star rating and is spotlessly clean. Rooms are bright and clean, all with an en-suite and the meals do look pretty good and the menu is varied. Staff are thoroughly pleasant and the atmosphere is upbeat and all kinds of activities are arranged from light gardening, musical evenings and more as well as weekend outings for the most mobile of the residents. There is also a hairdresser who visits once a week and all situations are catered for but the cost for the AP would be £1050.00 per week. There are no grants available and she will have to fund this herself. It really is an eye opener as we, if we live long enough, will be entering the same rip off zone. Thank you Margaret Thatcher who introduced the whole idea of the ordinary man in the street buying his home to fund old age care. Indeed I have no doubt there are cheaper homes but I am also equally certain that the less you pay the less you get in every way. This particular home did not smell of mince and urine and indeed, there was no mince on the menu for that day.
It saddens me when I hear people complaining that the elderly are taking too much out of the NHS, that they are bed blockers in the hospital. Maybe in some instances this is true but it certainly isn’t true of the AP who has taken little out of the system and nor have we and all of us have worked throughout our lives up until retirement.
After our little excursion I felt a real sense of despondency because at the end of the day our visit was not successful. Yes, lovely Care Home in many ways but it was the sitting room that made us realise that we actually couldn’t put the AP there, not unless we were genuinely unable to cope with her living with us and not just fed up with her continual shadow hanging over our lives. Out of about thirty residents three maybe, exhibited a spark of life, it truly was God’s waiting room and I have no doubt they are all the same because the situation is just what it is.
The AP is now back from Scotland and my sense of gloom has not lifted, in fact if anything it is probably worse because I just feel there is nothing to look forward to, no light on the horizon and just a deteriorating situation that can only get worse. The fact that the LSO and myself have been fighting a strange virus hasn’t helped either. We have both had aches and pains that have moved around our bodies causing stress and discomfort and the AP, well she just continues to sail on like a galleon totally self orientated and unaware of anything but herself, making up stories and inventing situations that never happened. Visitors come and go and everyone remarks about how wonderful she is as she busks her way to glory until of course the visitors have left and we are left feeling empty and drained of emotion. She is a remarkably fit, very old woman due to the excellent and continual care she receives from us, and that is despite the moments of spleen and stupidity that we witness at intervals. The AP has made it abundantly clear that she does not want to go into a home and has agreed to accept help with her shower and personal care. So we are looking and hopefully will find some help out there that might just take some pressure off us too.
Few ever witness the true situation and no-one really has a clue how we have truly lost five years of our lives. They think she must be such a joy to look after but nothing could be further from the truth.