Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Modern day heroes

I spent the morning on visits in Gravesend with a senior Occupational Therapist. The OT's job revolves around the provision of aids and adaptations to a person's home. which enable them -despite their disabilities - to live as near a normal life as possible.

We dropped in on three different clients, each of whom had very different needs; one so complex and severe that KCC's Occupational Therapy Bureau had organised a house move to a specially adapted bungalow.

However, our last call was to a couple in their eighties, where the wife had progressive vascular dementia; the blood supply to her brain was slowly but surely shutting down. Her husband had to do literally everything for her - dressing, washing, feeding and, since she ceased to be able to stand a few weeks ago, moving her around from room to room using a manual hoist with a chest sling.

Nothing was too much trouble for this dignified gentleman. At 84 years of age he was sprightly, cheerful, and very much in love with his wife, was a lesson in love and dedication. He was looking forward to the weekend, when they would have a drink together to celebrate sixty two years of marriage.

I returned to County Hall in awe of everything I had seen, wondering what more we could do to assist the thousands of modern-day heroes who quietly, daily, compassionately care for their loved ones.

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