Here we are almost halfway through January and I am still getting myself organised for the year.
Christmas went well at the nursing home. They used to provide Christmas lunch for carers and visitors, provided you put your name on the list well in advance, and there was a wonderful feast of ham and turkey and mountains of food, and Christmas pudding and pavlovas and a whole smorgasbord of goodies. However, as sometimes happens, people make a welter out of a good thing, and so they had people turning up who had not notified beforehand, including family groups of up to 16! Consequently the last time they did it this way, they not only ran out of food but also places at the tables. This was three years ago, and it was a year we could not get Don home for Christmas Day as we usually did, and we were some of those who ended up having to sit in our own room with a last-minute sandwich rustled up by the kitchen staff.
Now they have a firm policy of no extra meals on Christmas Day, but they put on a big shindig a couple of days beforehand, on a come-one-come-all basis. They have an afternoon with entertainment, Santa, a marquee in the grounds with extra seating, and staff serving lemonade and finger food until everyone is practically waddling.
It went on for a couple of hours and I thought Don would be asking to taken back to his room as he normally does but this time he wanted to stay until the end. It was really well done and very enjoyable and the singer was excellent and got everyone involved.
You can see his hair needed cutting and in fact that did happen just the week after Christmas when he finally said it was too long. Up until then they had been trying to insist on getting him to the hairdresser but he was rather stubborn and said he wanted to grow his hair long. They wanted me to agree to an appointment and I just said, If he wants to grow his hair long what is the harm in that — it’s his decision.
This question of empowerment versus disempowerment comes out in so many small ways.