The first visitor on my 72nd birthday just happened to be a young policeman who responded to a call from our “through the night “care alarm because I’d pressed my personal button because I got stuck in my rocking chair and could not lift myself out without risk of falling. He stayed with me until the paramedics arrived to make sure I wasn’t hurt (I wasn’t hurt, just stuck).
Over the course of the day there were 15 people in my flat for one reason or other bringing cards, flowers and enough olives as well as the person who comes in once a week to leave my place tidy and clean and the Co-op grocery delivery service.
‘Cherished’ is the word that comes to mind.
For some reason the Care service phoned my daughter in Galway, who couldn’t really do much immediately. Yes, she is my next of kin, but not really available at 4 AM. The protocol is that the police welfare are on call when no one else is available and I am very grateful to that young policeman for coming to my aid.
The other two people on my keyholder list just happened not to be available on Wednesday night which made me reliant on care services and thankful that there is a system. I had a busy birthday and good memories but I was mindful that at 72 I want to be active and as self-sufficent as possible, at the same time accepting that I am more reliant on other people then I used to be and I certainly won’t be using the rocking chair on my own any time soon.