George enjoys seeing me each day. He is still aware of who people are and seems quite settled.
When the carers ask who wants to go through to another area for an activity I have noticed that George just sits there. I suspect he doesn't know what is going on. I encouraged him to go one day this week when I was there. It was some entertainers who come in each week, they sing and the whole thing is very interactive to include the audience. George loved it. I have told the care givers to tell him to come so he doesn't sit back. He loves these things but needs the encouragement and support to go.
This week I have set up two support groups for people. The first one is for people who have someone in care. There are six of us at this stage and we meet in a mall. Our buses go between all the malls in the city and are free for those over 65.
I made sure I was there a few minutes early to greet the others. The first to arrive was a woman who recently put her husband into care and is suffering from feelings of guilt and is rather depressed. Her face lit up when she saw me waiting. When we left she told us all how much better she felt after the time we spent together and really she had a spring in her step as she left, so worthwhile. Everyone felt that they wanted to keep the group going so we have arranged monthly meetings.
The other group I set up is for parents of some of my old pupils. I found out by accident that one of my old parents is suffering from depression and not going out. She would also lock her doors and not answer. She really wanted to be able to out. I organised for another one of my old parents to pick her up and the three of us met for coffee and a chat. She loved it and felt very comfortable. We have organised to meet weekly. Many people here are still traumatised and suffering from depression after the earthquakes. I realise that people who have not been through some of these things would think 'get over it'. It is not that easy.
So good we can share information, have a laugh in a relaxed informal manner and build up a rapport to support each other.