An exploration of the UK unpaid carer's world

Annual greeting 2015     there was  none last year                                                                 hidden page



This page is read by family and close friends.  It aims to provide an overview of Teresa's health and how we are coping.  The text as far as No. 11 on the contents list is going to some Christmas card senders as a printed sheet, itself without paragraph numbers or links.


We have reached the stage of receiving cards from those whom we have no idea why they have sent them.  That problem is compounded when the writing is minuscule and when there is no address.


If you do send anything next year, B will be a greater problem.


I am particularly keen to hear from readers who are unpaid/informal carers.


Teresa's family here. We went to Bletchley Park in 2012 which is why the MilitaryTrust has a page.  I have lost login info to edit the site.  We used our motorhome which was sold in September as Teresa couldn't make use of it.


  1. The story starts in mid-November 2014  admitted to A&E  
  2. "A bed has been found" 
  3.  unsafe discharge 
  4.  sorry no card last year
  5.  100% dependence on wheelchairs
  6.  canal-boat holiday
  7.  assessment ward 
  8.  Glamorgan Holiday Hotel  
  9.  onset dementia
  10.  tons of tough stuff
  11.  you’ll know what to say
  12. Pages referred to  
  13. Medication list and medical history   
  14. Keeping my head above water                       


1  The story starts in mid-November 2014

Last year no Xmas cards were sent.  The story starts in mid-November 2014 when Teresa was admitted to A&E. Teresa had a replacement right hip/thigh-bone in 1995. Such ops only last ten or so years and problems had been half-expected for several years.   Pain had started several months before November and had reached crisis point on 13 Nov.  We arrived at A&E c 1900. 

2   "A bed has been found."

Around 2100, we were seen by A&E nursing staff.  About 2200, a doctor came.  About 2300, news came that her pelvic socket had a crack in it.  0200 - A Dr came to say that Teresa does not need to stay overnight and that we can go.  I said no.  When asked why, I said that my wife is in no state to go anywhere but to a ward.  Dr disagreed so I repeated that we were going nowhere.  0400 - "A bed has been found."  It still remains that a lie was told about no beds earlier.  

3   unsafe discharge

Three weeks later, Teresa had a minor operation and was moved to the Ross cottage hospital.  There she stayed for two weeks and came out six days before Christmas.  That's five weeks in hospital after the ejection attempt.   It proves that this was an unsafe discharge.  However, we made no formal complaint. more

4  For those on our list, sorry no card last year.  Now you know why.

5  100% dependence on wheelchairs

The first few months of this year were spent adjusting to Teresa's 100% dependence on wheelchairs.  We have spent a small fortune on a made-to-measure electric recliner chair, another on a Sherman tank-type wheelchair, and a greater fortune on a special car to carry the Sherman.  Ours is a grey three-year old version of this.

6  canal-boat holiday

After the long winter, we finally managed to get away on a canal-boat holiday.  However, illness struck. Teresa was admitted to Worcester Royal Hospital (WRH)  A&E on Tuesday 23 June and discharged from the assessment ward on Thursday 25. She waited alone in A&E for over two hours as I had to retrieve the car. Triage had been done. That routine obviously included the “What year is it?” questions and she did badly enough to warrant WRH to declare delirium. It then pushed her into a crowded waiting room to be forgotten. No offer of a drink or WC. 

7  assessment ward 

The assessment ward did a good job.  A&E did a good job medically.  It's the Government which needs to sort out staffing ratios etc.  Problems such as identified might then be reduced in number, ideally in extent. more

8  Glamorgan Holiday Hotel

Holidays are very important for carees and carers.  After a lot of research, I found a disability hotel in Porthcawl.  It is the Glamorgan Holiday Hotel and we arrived on I August - our 53rd wedding anniversary - for a trial few nights.  We spent a week in September.  My name for it is the Glamorgan Hotel  - The hotel with heart.  here.  Para 5 expenditure came after the £1000/week stay so going back won't take place.

9  onset dementia

And now the tough stuff.  Difficult, primarily because Teresa has been confirmed as suffering from onset dementia. more   Most of the time, life for her is fairly normal but she cannot work things out as well as she used to.  She is easily confused.  I am constantly working on keeping her mind alert.  Last winter she would not go out much at all.  This year, she is.  We are going to church most weeks.  A three year project of mine to arrange Bible reading at home came to a conclusion.  here

10  tons of tough stuff

Teresa isn't allowed to know about tons of tough stuff.  Using cuts  as a cover for incompetence within caree/carer provision, life for me is one long nightmare.  The local Memory Service has been atrocious. [[see 12.5]] Social services staff not much better.  Teresa's assessment is in its fourth month and still not complete.   It involved twenty four pages to be filled in.   My current one hasn't been started.   Teresa has just started one day a week at a day centre here..  Being with others in her general situation is vital.  Achieving that has been a battle.

District nurses come three times a week for dreadful moisture-lesions -  bed-sores in days of old. . Teresa sits all day in her recliner.

11  you’ll know what to say

Do phone me - 07952 060 505 for more info.  One land-line well-meaning caller spoke to Teresa and said "Sorry to hear you've got dementia - that must be awful."  Very helpful, I don't think.  If you speak to her, I’m sure you’ll know what to say.  The phone number is 01989 567001.

Best wishes for Xmas and 2016.  Will try to send a card.  Thanks for yours.

Alan                               17 Dec 2015

more at  [for the hard-copy version - no paragraph numbers].

end of newsletter


12  Pages referred to and with additional pages as appropriate: 

  1. unsafe discharge.  see 3
  2. Canal-boat holiday here  see 6 & 7
  3. Glamorgan Hotel  here    see 8
  4. To the Bishop of Herefordshire  here  see 9
  5. I contacted the Hereford Memory Service - HMS -  re participating in Teresa's care.  It is Dept x here.  No response from the page here.  I created the Person-centred Tests Home page here.   Until regular contact took place, I went to sleep immediately at bedtime and, apart from Teresa's nature calls, slept well.  That had changed drastically until a week ago when I stopped the interaction and sleep is starting to get better.
  6. 2gether  Letter to caree 16 03 15 here

TDH (Mrs) - Medication list and medical history herehere

14  Keeping my head above water
  1. Elder daughter Rachel provides my main support.  The assessment in 10 above after a while was helped by Rachel having Lasting Power of Attorney over Teresa's health and £.  It's in place for me when needed.  

  2. The local Memory Service has been atrocious.  See 10 in this list and 12.5  In the end, Rachel took over the arranging of a meeting. 

  3. A couple four doors down continue to be very good friends and often step in when things need to be done and when Teresa needs looking after.  If walls have ears the walls there would resound with my "I'm at th end o f my tether."  

  4. We have used a cleaner for two years who has gradually become a carer.  With no such training she is streets ahead of all the dom-care staff.  Although mainly occupied as a cleaner, she is the main stand-in for paid carers and at weekends.  She helps with DIY including cementing, painting, etc.  She's always finding things and generally being so helpful that she is indispensable. Sometimes, she covers for me for an afternoon and Teresa enjoys her company the most within visiting carer situations.

  5. The day starts at 0700  4/7 , 0600 3/7 and 0830 1/28 .  An hour later, and we enjoy music and songs from the long list used for something else here.  Currently, Carols page here.

  6. It's increasingly difficult to arrange cover for local shopping trips.  Morning carers 10 - 11 but often too much more to be done.

  7. It's over a year that all the computing equipment was moved to the sitting room.  Teresa watches endless Cops, Upstairs-Downstairs, Heart-beat etc programmes.  Half the time, I'm half-watching, half computing.  Every day after tea, I fall asleep.  See 9.

  8. 1/7 it's church together.  I am atheist in outlook but it's important for Teresa to go.  See 9.

  9. Occasional meetings to do with this website  here   5 Nov  If you attended the Herefordshire Council session on carer strategy today, click here.  [from the Updates page]

  10. Songs and music for adults with special needs here, I do 30 mins every week.  I do an hour similar but no theatricals in a care home once a fortnight.  Tanya, younger daughter is with Teresa.

  11. The supposed respite time  is spent doing the main shopping in Hereford.  Currently Weds afternoons 1 30 to 6 30, there's new provision to replace it via the cuts.  Teresa goes to a day centre as in 10 above -  ten until 3 30.

  12. I am doing a fair amount of reading relating to here and will put the link to my latest website later.

pagetop here    Annual greeting 2015 here

                         2gether  Letter to caree 16 03 15 here