At the beginning of last week, I looked at our booking chart and saw that we were free on Saturday. During May Spring Bank Holiday, Sis had tried to travel south to see us and pick up a wheelchair for Mum, who has Alzheimer’s Disease. Unfortunately, she had to turn back because Mum flooded herself midway during the 3-hour drive down. As we had Saturday free, Hubby and I decided to close shop and drive north with the wheelchair for Mum instead.
Sis was really pleased to see us. Firstly, it saved her the hassle of trying to get Mum into the car and journeying south. Mum’s Alzheimer’s is now in the red zone i.e. severe, and we do not think she relishes long rides. Secondly, Sis was really appreciated Hubby gardening for her. My husband enjoys gardening but we do not have a garden for him to potter around. Helping Sis to trim and tidy her garden made him feel good and took away this extra work from her already frenetic life of working full time and looking after Mum. Thirdly, we got to see our son, who was staying with Sis.
We were not going to stay overnight originally, but Hubby thought that we should. Thinking of it, this made sense as we had so much to accomplish whilst in Edinburgh. By the time our guests had left and we had cleaned the rooms, it was near enough noon – the hour we set off from Blenheim Lodge. On the way, we found that we had to negotiate some roadworks. We also stopped en-route for a tea break.
It was 4 pm when we reached my sister’s place. Hubby and I unpacked the car, and then he started in the garden. It was not until 8 pm before he had finished trimming the hedge and conifer tree. Meanwhile, Sis took the opportunity to go grocery shopping whilst I looked after Mum. Caring for an Alzheimer’s patient is almost like looking after a very young child – one cannot leave the person on his or her own in case an emergency occurs.
We had wanted to treat our son that weekend by taking him out to a restaurant. However, he said that he preferred a takeaway, and proceeded to order £80 worth of Japanese food to be delivered to the house. Actually, that was the better choice as Hubby had just finished working in the garden when the food arrived, and eating in meant that we could also provide for Mum and Sis. About a fortnight ago, one of our guests had given us a lovely box of chocolates as a thank you gift. Hubby thought we should take it up north with us to share with the family, so we had eclairs for dessert and chocolates with tea and coffee.
Sleeping arrangements were not quite as easy to organise as visiting my folks. Zack was being very protective, and kept looking out of the windows to bark at pedestrians and cars. Maddi, being older and more interested in food and sleep, was easier to please. Zack, however, paced up and down the hallway and kept me awake for much of the night. Eventually, he settled down for a few hours and awoke before 6 am on Sunday. So much for sleeping in!
Nevertheless, our weekend was a success. It was so nice to see Sis, Mum and our son again. I felt that our visit gave Sis a little break because Hubby was able to help with the upkeep of the garden and I could take over some of Mum’s care. Bathing, toileting, feeding, dressing, encouraging and providing a supporting arm to Mum so that she is able to walk (actually it is more like shuffling) – these are all part and parcel of caring for someone with this awful debilitating disease.
All in all, Hubby and I are really pleased that we had managed to find the time to venture north. We are looking forward to the next time we all manage to see each other again! Meanwhile, we are open at Blenheim Lodge for Bed and Breakfast breaks in Bowness-on-Windermere as usual.