For 2 weeks Betty phoned early in the morning to confirm " I am not at all well!" Only 2 options in sheltered housing: Call the Dr or call me. My response, advised by the Dr is that he does not need to be called. So the next option for Betty is to call the warden to support her opinion. The warden on duty might change, but they all got involved. In the end the Dr was persuaded that there might be something wrong and we went to the hospital for a geriatric assessment. I accompanied Betty into the appointment. She failed to recall exactly how long she was a smoker . When reminded of the 40 years from 20 - 60, it was hard to realise that she gave up 26 years ago. She had not realised that the chest and heart problems started 8 years ago and that her mobility has reduced over 3 years. According to Betty everything has happened in the last 12 months.
I was sent away for two hours. ECG, Heart and chest checks. The diagnosis was a racing heart and depression. The drugs would take 7 days or more to lift her mood.
I asked if we could have a walking frame and the team arrived to assess Betty's ability to go home independently. Exaggerated tales of preparing salads and light meals persuaded the team she was ready to go home. They suggested day centres, meals to be delivered, companions and interests.
When we arrived back at the sheltered flats it was a different story. Betty did not want to be independent. She checked the warden was available and hailed a next door neighbour to request support in an emergency. The neighbour reminded her that the red pully is available to call a warden. I had a feeling that this was not going to be easy. Betty was attention seeking.
"Are you sure I am OK to be left?" " Yes Betty, the Drs have confirmed you are fine."