We took delivery of the fall detector, which the Goldfish wears round his neck. If he falls he can press a button (or the step-monster can if she’s around and the Goldfish is out cold and can’t press it himself) and if there’s no one around to press it someone will come on the line.
Wee-sis and I are first responders for the door alarm (which the step-monster refuses to use) but I’m not sure what happens if there’s no response when care call tries to talk to the Goldfish. I mean, if he’s out cold on the floor it’s going to waste time if they have to ring me and/or Wee-sis and one or other – or both – of us is working. Must ask the CC about this. Have to say our local social services have been great, mainly because we have been very lucky in having the CC we have. She happened to be on duty when the referral for the Goldfish came in – luck of the draw.
We’ve only had one false alarm with the pendant but mostly the Goldfish seems not inclined to play about with it or press the button. He seems rather proud of it and showed it to me one day, saying it belonged to him. “My mother gave me it,” he said.
The decorator has been brilliant as have the carpet fitters, managing to get everything done with the minimum of fuss – even helping to move furniture around. The living room looks really nice now, though it took the Goldfish several days to notice the carpet. One day he said: “Oh, have we a new carpet?”
“Yes, we have. Do you like it?”
“Very nice. Must have cost a few pennies, though?”
“Well, it wasn’t so expensive and it’s much better than the old one. Besides, it will last you a lifetime.” I winced as those last words came out of my mouth but the Goldfish laughed as though at a great joke.
I’ve had Power of Attorney for some years but, as the Goldfish was able to manage his finances himself, I didn’t act on it. Even when I began to worry slightly I was reluctant to take away his independence. It was only when I was flicking through his cheque book stubs and noticed he had paid half the step-monster’s car insurance, made a substantial donation to the church roof fund (something I knew he was unlikely to do) and paid for the flowers for the step-monster’s friend’s funeral that I began to take a closer interest and, finally, begin to handle the Goldfish’s finances.
The DH arranged a new package for an additional television channels so the Goldfish can watch more nature and wildlife programmes, which he really enjoys. Wee-sis said they’d watched a programme about orphan elephants which she said the Goldfish and really enjoyed, so they watched it twice. I started to watch it with him but had to miss the second half of the programme. When I next sat down to watch it with him he suddenly turned and said: “Is there nothing to watch on this television apart from bloody elephants?” Nice to know he doesn’t totally forget everything!
I managed to secure a nice little tax rebate for the Goldfish and we decided to use it to buy a chair
which reclines, has a foot rest and, more importantly, tips to make getting out of it easier. He is delighted with it; even tries not to spill coffee on it. Not sure how long that will last but the woman in the shop says the fabric is very robust and can be scrubbed. I’m sure it will be scrubbed many times.
The step-monster will return to a lovely, freshened-up house with a smell-free bathroom and a husband who is more alert than he has been for a long time. He loves playing dominoes and we’ve been playing cards with him, looking through books which prompt memories and generally keeping him stimulated.