My Dad’s a Goldfish – trouble with feet update

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You may remember the problem we had when the NHS decided the Goldfish was no longer eligible for podiatry care: ‘We are NOT a toenail cutting service’.

Then, when one of his toes started bleeding because the nail was being pulled from its bed he was reinstated and received a very swift – next day – appointment.

I take the Goldfish to the health centre, remove his shoes and socks and point out the bloody toe.  I am assured it’s nothing to worry about. The podiatrist will sort it in a jiffy, which he does. Not only does he sort the dislodged nail, he trims all the Goldfish’s toenails.

Before putting his socks back on, I ask about what appears to be pressure sores on the Goldfish’s heels. His feet are examined from every angle. The pressure sores are of much more concern than his toe nails.

As the Goldfish can’t transfer from his wheelchair to the patient’s chair, which is higher, (and there is no hoist) they have to bring a stool to raise his foot to a height the podiatrist can work at. I wish I have my camera with me, though I probably wouldn’t have the nerve to take a photo. Three members of staff are now in attendance and one of them is actually lying on the floor beneath the Goldfish’s foot. The Goldfish looks only mildly discomfited and rather amused by the performance.

The problem has arisen because when the Goldfish sits for long periods of time in his recliner chair with the footrest raised his heels are pressing into it causing the pressure sores. If he sits with his feet flat on the floor the sores may be prevented from worsening but fluid will collect around his ankles.

The podiatrist says someone will do a home visit once a week to work on the sores – so from being considered no longer eligible to have a three-monthly visit to the podiatrist (to cut NHS costs) the Goldfish now requires a far greater input at a much higher cost.

To ease the pressure on his heels we buy him some very fetching slippers. Check out these bad boys!

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Are these not just the bees’ knees? Have to say they were great and the Goldfish rather approved of them.

My Dad’s a Goldfish – the fidget box

cropped-goldfish-87-1254566814ncva1.jpgAs the Goldfish seems to sink further into himself conversation becomes increasingly limited, as, of course, does his ability to engage in the games of snakes and ladders or dominoes which he previously enjoyed.

We find looking at old photos is no longer a useful thing to do. He shows little interest, perhaps because he no longer recognises the people in the photos. I make up scrapbooks containing pictures of animals and birds, which he enjoys looking at sometimes. Companies produce all kinds of resources including reminiscence cards and DVDs of times gone past but they are expensive and the Goldfish seems to have moved beyond such activities.

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A few bits and pieces from the fidget box

 

Almost by accident, I hit on what we came to call the fidget box. Into a shoe-box sized box I put a random selection of miscellaneous objects. They included a small trophy with the legend, ‘World’s Best Grandad’, fastened inside a clear plastic box; a Christmas cake decoration with Santa in his sleigh being pulled by a reindeer; a small block of wood, one side of which had been charred; a tiny brass spirit level; a small mandala; three small juggling balls; a plastic wallet containing  a dozen old black and white postcards of working horses; a golfing tiepin; a glass paperweight with a picture of a peregrine falcon and a bull’s nose ring.

This latter object puzzled us for a while as we could not figure out what it was. The Goldfish shrugged whenever we asked him. Then, one day in one those moments of lucidity he said: “It’s a nose ring for a bull.”

“It’s quite fancy,” I said, indicating the inlaid metal work.

“It’s for when the bull’s in the show ring.”

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World’s best grandad trophy – a bit the worse for being fidgetted with!

The Goldfish had great fun opening the little trophy box, undoing the cord which held the trophy in place and removing the trophy. Then he’d put it back in the box. The fastening disappeared, as did one of the handles but he didn’t seem to mind, or even notice.

One of his favourite pastimes was picking at the leather backing of the paperweight. He finally, after much time and hard work, succeeded in removing it. He could also spend hours with a coaster, attempting to split the picture on the front from the backing.

 

The fidget box did not work its magic every time we

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The fidget box

proffered it to him. Sometimes the Goldfish ignored it. If he did not want to rummage through its contents nothing would persuade him to do so. At other times he would pick up the box and remove the lid himself and be totally content for hours.

Many of the resources and activities for sale are excellent but are more geared to be used when people still have the cognitive ability to recognise artefacts, people and events from the past. I’d recommend a do-it-yourself fidget box.