National Storytelling Week - Lesleys Story

Monday.......Beep beep beep 7.30am

Whilst in the shower, I go through my schedule for the day. Dressed, breakfast eaten, cats fed and watered, I head out to my first visit. Outside my first clients house, I read through the previous notes for any updates but nothing unusual. I go in calling to my  client, ''Hi it's only me''. Hello dear she says. I ask how she is today and she replies,''   another day and I'm still here'', She laughs, ''and at 94, everyday is a bonus''.

This is the greeting every time I visit and it makes me a little sad but I put on my smile and carry on with my duties. Having made her breakfast, I then make the bed, empty the bins, clean the bathroom and put the hoover round. Throughout my cleaning, I pop back to talk to my client, checking she's ok. I make her a cup of tea and show her the Hydrangea in her front garden, as it's in full bloom. Her view of it is blocked by her car. She is really pleased to see it. I say my goodbyes and make sure the house is secure. Back in my car, I write up my notes.

On checking the previous notes for my next client , I see her stairlift wasn't working yesterday and was waiting for the engineer. I knock and go in, ''Hi it's me, I say. ''Everything ok, is the stairlift mended? ''Yes thank goodness, I had visions of me sleeping on the couch with a bucket'' We laugh. The toilet is upstairs. I clean the bathroom, hang up the washing and water the plants. She has very poor eyesight and before it  deteriorated, she was a keen gardener and knows all the plants names. She often asks how is a plant doing and I describe it the best I can, saying the flowers are as big as my fist or the bush is nearly as tall as her. My next job is to order her some   audible books via the RNIB website. As I am an avid reader too, we discuss authors and books we've read or listened to. Having done that, I make her a cup of coffee and leave. Back to my car to write up my notes.

I have half an hour until my next lady, so I park up on the seafront to eat my lunch. It's a beautiful day, sun shining, sea is calm and the seagulls are gliding around. I love the flexibility of my job and the satisfaction of knowing I am making a difference to people's lives. I have grown fond of my ladies.

Time for my last visit and as I am driving, I prepare myself mentally, as  she is very poorly. Once again after reading through the notes, I let myself in. I approach my client quietly and softly call her name, 'Hello, how are you today?' She opens her eyes and smiles at me and I take her hand and tell her what sort of day it is. I describe the sea and the seagulls, hopefully painting a picture for her to dream about. I give her a couple of sips of water and she closes her eyes. I sing softly for a while and she responds by squeezing my hand. I carry on with my jobs, tiding the kitchen, cleaning the bathroom. My client's family are constant visitors but when Home Instead     CAREGivers arrive, they go home for some much needed respite. I say goodbye to my lady but she doesn't stir. I secure the house and hope it's not the last time I see her. Back in the car, I write up my notes. I'm feeling sad and drained but quite proud knowing I have done my best for the ladies today.

Tomorrow is another day.......Beep beep beep 7.30am.
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