Older Mind Matters

Harry, Joan and the heroes, part 5

Harry left respite soon after my last update and returned home, where he has managed well. He still hopes to move to an extra care sheltered flat. Friends have rallied round, but he remains unsteady and can’t always be bothered to eat. One incident involved his medication. He takes a number of tablets and left respite with a bag containing each tablet in a separate blister pack. Given his tremor and arthritic fingers, it took most of the first morning to pop out his tablets in order to take them. The pharmacy was reluctant to supply one multi-tablet blister pack until all tablets had been taken, as they couldn’t reuse them and it would be a waste of tablets!

Meanwhile, Joan remained in hospital with gradual slow improvement in her mobility. Last week Harry was told that she would be discharged home within days. Their son and daughter were surprised there was no mention of a home visit first, but a staff nurse told them that Joan had had a home visit 11 months earlier during a previous admission so one wasn’t needed! In fact a home visit did take place. Joan managed surprisingly well, although it took 3 people, and a struggle, to get her up the steps into the house. She was discharged home.

So the couple is now reunited at home with a post-discharge support package, hoping to move to more suitable, supportive accommodation. Friends and neighbours are tireless heroes. I’ve learnt from this saga that the system and people in it lack basic common sense and are amazingly creative in finding things that can go wrong!

What have you learned from Harry and Joan’s story?


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