Douglas was 94 in March. Amazing as the family were all called to the bedside a couple of years ago for his final moments. He recovered and lives independently in his 4 bed home.
When his regular cleaner left his daughter Alison identified a friend in need of some income and suggested she might be suitable. From April Deb went a couple of times a week to clean for Douglas.
Douglas is a former teacher. He uses e-mail and manages all of his affairs but relies heavily on his daughter Carol 200 metres down the road for daily social contact. Carol and Alison were delighted that the twice a week visits from Deb relieved Carol of her visits from her father. She thinks he is great, but every day was a bit much.
Douglas announced that as well as cleaning the house Deb would be happy to tidy the garden, so her time with him has increased. In conversation whilst discussing current affairs and family matters Douglas will often refer to Deb's opinions. " Deb was saying" etc. All agree she has been a positive influence on Douglas' life.
Douglas was widowed 11 years ago. He visits his wife Catherine's grave and takes roses from the garden. One day in August as he and Alison took a stroll round the garden in the sunshine he announced that it was time for the rose bed to be lifted. He and Deb had discussed it! Alison agreed and asked if she could have some of the bushes for her family home 7 miles away to remind her of her mother. " I've told Deb she can have them all. I am not at all sure about you having any". When Alison suggested just one of the 10 bushes he confirmed " But I have told Deb she can have them all".
They continued walking and Alison bent to pull a weed from the rockery. " Don't do that Deb is weeding that next week".
Alison is smiling because now he has Deb in his life he feels he has more independence and can do what he wants. She did however, want one of her Mum's roses. As Deb is Alison's friend she asked her about the roses and Deb was delighted for her to have 3 - she didn't really want them all. Will Douglas recognise them in Alison's garden?