5th May 2019 All Rights Reserved
I followed Deb as she walked up to a short older couple who looked up when we approached. I don't know if Deb actually told them about me being there. But they know now that I am.
" Hello, Tony and Betty. This is Rene. She's going to be here for this visit and the meeting." Deb went on to say without actually saying who I was.
" Hello. It's nice to meet you both. And, who is this beautiful young lady?" I asked after I greeted the older couple who were looking at me with speculative looks before they looked at Deb. Then I slid around to the side and looked down to see a short haired very pretty girl/woman, who was patiently sitting there slowly moving her head from side to side while eating slowly her breakfast.
" This is Netty. She always likes to meet new people and have a chat with them." Betty said to me with a tentative smile. I think any mother would think that their children are beautiful. Even if they looked like something only a mother would be able to love.
Well, it's true. Sadly, some people do look like they were squashed coming out face first. But they were all beautiful to me. Not just their mothers.
Pulling my pencil thin skirt up with my hand so I can lift one of my black patent leather heeled shoes to rest it on the rear wheel and lean my hip against the wheel chair, I slowly moved my hand forward and gently clasped hold of hers and squeezed it softly.
" Hello, Netty. It is lovely to meet you. I am told that you like scrambled eggs and toast. Is that right?" I asked her with a smile once she managed to see my face in front of hers after I leaned down to speak to her.
She opened her mouth wide and smiled. She had half a mouthful of food she was still chewing and I giggled when I saw it.
" I hope you are not trying to say anything with food in your mouth. Only tricky people can do that without spraying it everywhere. Do you spray your food?" I asked her with a grin.
Netty started to laugh while trying to swallow. Her father was about to hop up and wipe the food that dribbled out of her mouth when I used my free hand to lift the large bib and wiped it gently away from her chin. He slowly say back down while watching every single thing I did with his child.
" I think, if it is all right with you and your parents, can I join you for breakfast? I can tell you all about my babies and little brother. Is that okay?" I asked her which had her smiling again and she moved her head to the side to look at her mum who was just looking at me with a funny look.
Not that it was funny. I am a stranger she has never met before and twice I have had her daughter laughing.
" Please. be our guest." Tony said as he stood up and pulled another chair to the table for me to sit down.
" I can sit here next to Netty, if that is all right?" I asked them with a genuine smile. I have clients back home who are like this and I have filled in at times when some of our workers were unable to at times for some unforeseen thing that cropped up.
" But.." Betty started to say.
" I am Deb's secretary today. But I also am fully qualified to care for special needs clients. So, you sit there and enjoy the rest of your breakfast and me and Netty can get acquainted with each other." I said to them with a smile as I turned to Netty and started to help her finish her own breakfast all the while talking to her about my babies and brother.
I spent the next thirty minutes helping Netty to eat while telling her stories of my boys when they were babies. I didn't mention how old they were at the moment. Not many people know that I am the woman behind Home Assist. So, to be able to help this small family in such a small way is, to me, a privilege.
After Netty was finished her breakfast, I looked up at the server and gave her a nod to let her know that I was also ready to have my own breakfast brought out. While that was happening, I discreetly asked the older couple how they manage at home without letting on that I very well might be able to help them in some way.
" The hardest thing is that we have to help each other to lift our daughter off her chair and lay her on the floor before we then have to lift her up and into a fully heated bath which helps her regulate her inner core to warm up." Betty was saying and I am surprised that they are still able to do that without one or both of them suffering for it.
" How do you manage any pain that results from doing that much work?" I asked them as my breakfast was put in front of me.
" Thank you." I said to the waitress with a smile.
Then I looked at Netty who saw that I had my own bacon and eggs with grilled tomato, mushrooms and toast.
" Excuse me, were you thinking of trying to take my breakfast. That is very sneaky of you." I leaned close to Netty and whisper loudly to her with a grin. She just laughed at me. Then I turned back to start eating my breakfast.
" We manage to get a fortnighly session with the physio therapist. We can't afford to miss one session, any one of us." Tony added to the conversation.
" Netty gets to have a session as well?" I asked between mouthfuls.
" Yes. The three of us all have fortnightly, one hour sessions to help with the spine injury in my case, and the muscles that freeze up in Netty's case and the overall muscle relaxants in Tony's case." Betty was telling me while she sipped from her cup of tea.
" What kind of help do you get that comes in to help at home?" I asked her as I finished chewing another mouthful.
" We only get someone coming in three times a week for three hours in the morning and two hours int he afternoon and that is just for Netty. I have a girl that comes in once a week to help with the cleaning." I frowned when Betty said that to me. I think she needs more assistance than that.
" What time does your day start with Netty?" I asked them as I stopped eating for a moment to have a sip of my coffee.
" We start at six. We give Netty personal care straight away so she is not uncomfortable. Then once we have done our stretches, we then bring her out to the lounge where we do more exercises before we have breakfast at seven thirty." Tony was then relating to me before Betty took over feeling relaxed enough to let me know what their normal routine was like.
Yep. They need more help than they are getting.
" Are you able to accept hired help to start the day with so that you are not the ones physically stressed to begin with. That would give you a short amount of time extra to get ready for the day." I asked them during my eating. Which was nearly finished by now.
" There is not anyone available that will come out even if there was someone." Betty said with a frown.
" But if the help was there, would you take it?" I asked her again.
" I suppose we would. But we would have to know who these people were. We don't let just anyone inside our home." It was tony who said that and I fully agreed with him.
" Of course. You would have to do an interview on them first and get to know them. Not just anyone would be able to come out and help you all with the needs you all have." I went on to say to them before Deb started then to speak.
" Why don't you put down on paper exactly what you want that you think will help you with any and every little thing you think you need. It doesn't have to be a need. Even if it is a want. It doesn't matter how small or how big. Just have the list ready for the meeting later at the Civic Hall." She said to them which I thought was a good idea since I was going to say something like it anyway.
We spent an hour with them before leaving them thanking them for allowing us to join them for breakfast.
" So, what do you think?" Deb asked me.
" I think I should not have eaten that last piece of bacon." I said before burping very unladylike. Deb laughed as she drove us along the street.
When she parked in front of a very large stately building, she turned the key off and looked at me.
" That family needs more help than they realize." She said to me quietly.
" And they are going to get it." I smiled back at her as I undid my seat belt.
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