Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Heatwave. 48 Celsius in the Sun.

It was 48c degrees in the sun in my backyard on Sunday. It was so bad that it stuffed the thermometer. I thank the stars that I decided to put in a new air-conditioner last summer. Arthur kept cool and I made sure he drank lots of fluids. He went off his food, though.

I got a call from a lady from the Italian nursing home about my appointment to see the day respite program. I canceled the appointment as I didn't want any unnecessary travel away from Arthur in the heat. I told her I would call to make another appointment. I shall not hurry as I do not think their program will be suitable.

Savvas Cottage sent their forms and I will be doing them today. I know Arthur would just like to be left to be in his house but I do need some respite. I make decisions about going out and leaving him while I go to the shops and suchlike. He knows the risks which I reduce as much as I can. I turn off all power points except the fridge/freezer, his TV and air-con. I even turn off computer power points too. I leave his walker so he can get out of bed, which he could do if he had to, in an emergency. I make sure his emergency button is around his neck and my mobile number is on redial. Also he has my mother's number. (My Mum is not up to sitting in with him, with her health.) And the four yappping dogs will keep anyone out It is not ideal but it is the best I can do. I don't know any neighbours well enough to ask them to sit with him.

We talked about this, Arthur and I. To be perfectly safe and have 24 hour care, he needs to be in a nursing home. He will not go into a nursing home and I do not want him to, so some risk will always be there. I cannot provide the same level of care, supervision nor attendance that he would get in a home. He can only get the best I can do, as one person. So we balance the risk, and hope it turns out alright. It does not stop me worrying every time I go out, nor Arthur wishing I was home with him.

So I need the respite. I wish it could be in-home but there you go, beggars cannot be choosers so they say and in the aged care industry, the clients are definitely the beggars.

Better out than in.

Arthur was terribly embarrassed. He had been constipated and took a senna-type tablet the doctor prescribed. He took one two days in row, and had an accident, he couldn't get to the toilet in time. I changed him, he was apologising and I just dealt with it. I got him into the bathroom and showered him down. It was not as bad as the first time this happened when I got him into the bathroom and it just all kept coming and I had to wash everything down the drain before he could move. That time Arthur was upset, I was shocked but functioning and telling him it was alright and it was better that he had movement. I got him back to the kitchen for his dinner. I couldn't eat.

This time was not so drastic although Arthur was so embarrassed again and I lost my appetite again and he tried to apologise and I said it was alright, let's not dwell on it.

If I had the care package we wanted, there would be others to deal with this and Arthur wouldn't be shamed in front of his wife.