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A very rapid response

Updated: May 27

24 MAY 2020

We have a very early start this morning, because Jean has performed her usual antics in the chair. But we don’t have to go over in the night which is a huge bonus. As I am already present in the Annexe I keep going with the ‘getting up’ routine, which at least will mean finishing a bit earlier. When I get outside I decide to employ Meave (when I get her back out of bed) with my extra watering tasks so I can try and make some progress elsewhere. I finally finish weeding the mount and when I go inside to grab some lunch I receive a telephone call from ‘Rapid Response’ and someone they will be with us in half an hour. I am rather surprised at the rapid response of ‘Rapid Response’ because it is a Sunday and we were only referred yesterday. Rapid Response arrives for what turns out to be a rather long visit. We have along chat about Jean’s situation and the particular problems we are experiencing at present. They watch us lifting Jean and moving her to the commode. They then explain that we shouldn’t be moving Jean in this way because we will injure ourselves (we were aware of this, but felt we had little alternative). They say that’s if we prompt Jean in the right way, Jean will get up herself. We did all look quite doubtful at this point… however, with a massive amount of encouragement and some physical support, Jean did manage to stand. We had been aware that she was letting us take the strain but in fairness she did break her shoulder at the end of March, and up until a few days ago her arm was in a sling so she couldn’t get up unaided. Also when she ends up flat in the chair it would also be impossible for her to get up without assistance. They look at the hospital bed to decide if it is a safer alternative to the chair, but it doesn’t go into a chair shape as I had thought, so he decides that we should have a different chair. There is much further chat about potential carers and even residential care if we can’t cope. I explain in the current ‘virus’ situation having a changing stream of carers would not be a good option and I doubt if care homes are even accepting people at the moment, even if we were prepared to risk it. They were very nice and it was very helpful to have advice on how to speak to someone with dementia in a way that they can understand. We have had no previous advice on dementia care or the physical aspects of caring for someone with Jean’s needs and were very grateful, but Jean was now completely exhausted and we were still quite dubious that we would be able to move her as instructed.


We then return to the garden and leave Jean in peace, and I decide to extract the climbers from the polytunnel that I intend to plant in the beautiful, big, blue glazed pots on the mount. The main plants are Tropaeolum Tuberosum which I’ve been growing in the tunnel and they are now quite large and horrendously tangled up… extricating them is quite difficult. I take 4 of them, 8 morning glories and 4 black eyed Susan’s up on the mount. Each container will have one each of Tropaeolum Tuberosum and black eyed Susan and 2 morning glories. Planting the climbers and carefully entwining their long branches takes ages – surprise surprise, but it does look nice when I’m finished. Whilst this is happening the tree clearance programme continues in the orchard and the progress is phenomenal. A great deal is either shredded or burnt on the fire and I am very impressed to see how clear it is now.

At bedtime we position the chair in a more reclined position on the advice of Rapid Response. Jean has not eaten (very unusual) and is not feeling good but seems in a better mood with us, I hope she will be ok with this new regime.

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