about writing and life and God

What’s in a name?

on February 6, 2014

Names matter. I should know – I’ve had several. Some I liked, others I was only too happy to divest. For the record, my favourite is Stewart. I’m not that keen on the Dorothy bit, though having plain Mary as a middle name is a redeeming factor.

Last time’s blog seemed to hook many readers on the title and spurred lots of discussion on the Ryme of the Ancient Mariner. Quite a far cry from concerns about a husband with dementia in a  care home.

And that’s an interesting name: ‘care home’. I was having coffee today with the friend who introduced us to Norwood House. We’re both convinced it’s pretty much the best place for miles around… because the staff genuinely care. And it’s that genuine care that is making such a huge difference to me and my husband.

After Sunday afternoon’s unhappy visit – and learning what lessons I could from it – I dropped by for lunch yesterday. A good idea. Food gives us something to talk about as well as focus on and eating it fills any gaps in the conversation. Staff come by and chat. And afterwards there was a live show of songs from the 40s, so I could take my leave without guilt.

As we sat in the lounge drinking our coffee, I was able to observe the other residents – chatting together, looking at newspapers, and being assisted from wheelchairs by cheerful young women who were clearly extremely well trained. The atmosphere was positive and cheerful – residents  were obviously relaxed and well cared for.

I’m telling this to publicize the fact that there are good care homes out there with excellent staff who really care. It eases the burden on relatives.

But it is still a burden.

As another wife said quietly to me as we signed out yesterday, ‘It’s hard’ and it is. It isn’t abdication. We’re not set free. It’s simply another stage along the road. A new variation on the same tune. But if you’ve found a real care home, that tune is sweeter and maybe a little easier to sing!

Meanwhile it’s still raining, so here’s a cheer-up pic for today!

Digital Image




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