Like many of the special generation we call our parents, my mother suffers from dementia, part of her care package involves daily visits by wonderful underpaid, overloaded in-home carers who make sure all is well daily. One of the carers tells the tale of an episode pre-Christmas.
Overloaded as usual she received a last-minute call from HQ saying, “We know it’s out of your way and you’ve a lot on, but we just MUST visit a new patient this evening to deliver his First Time Package, please can you visit Mr Smith at 4 Park Crescent,”
Ok. As a favour to you. I’ll do it, but you owe me
She drives the extra miles, knocks on the door to be met by a sprightly 60-year-old:
Yes, good evening can I help you?
Right Mr Smith I’m Susie from The Care People, I’m here to deliver your first-time care package, I need to get you into your pyjamas and ready for bed.
What? he says, confused and angry, it’s 7pm, who sent ye? I don’t go to bed until 11pm, was this my bloody family?
She thinks, ah, common reaction first time, rejecting the idea of carers, poor fella, he doesn’t recognise that he needs the care package, I’ll get him into his jammies and get off as quickly as possible.
“Right, let’s get into your jammies.”
Patient, I don’t wear jammies, I sleep in the buff, always have done!!
- Well I need to get you into some sort of night wear, Them’s the rules, come on let’s get up the stairs and find you something.
Patient: But I’ve a bloody chicken in the oven.
- Never you mind, I’ll sort that out.
Patient: But I don’t wear jammies….
OK, a tee shirt and shorts will do…
Patient: I have no shorts,
Well, what do you wear on holiday?
Patient: I’ve a pair of old beach shorts in my suitcase,
Right let’s get the suitcase down, you put those (very colourful) beach shorts on with that tee shirt and I’ll go and sort out your chicken in the oven.
She emerges from the kitchen to see our man in garish orange and purple knee length beach shorts and a red tee shirt from his holiday collection.
Right sir, that’s my job done, you’re officially ready for bed. I’m off, my colleagues will be in to see you tomorrow at 8 12 3 and 6…bye now.
The old fella shouts after her …. who sent ye? Who sent ye?
Phew she thinks day done at last ……a mile or so down the road she checks in with HQ,
“Favour done, I’m finished, Mr Smith at number 4 Park Crescent is in his jammies and ready for bed…
WHAAT THE?????? screeches the Boss, Park Crescent? I meant number 4 PARK DRIVE, you’ve done the wrong man in the wrong house!!! you better get back and apologise or we’ll get sued.
She turns the car around…pulls up to see the wee man in his house surrounded by disbelieving family whom he’s regaling with the tale of the lunatic woman who made his strip of and get into Magaluf kit.
She walks in the front door, susses that the family clearly think that he has indeed lost it and are worried about his mental health, he jumps up and yells
” That’s her there, that’s the crazy woman who made me strip off, that’s her.”
Cue rapid embarrassed explanation, mass relief that a perfectly healthy man had not lost it and a rapid exit.