Friends

04 December 2016

VISITING THE ELDERLY


I had never heard of this organisation until I saw a leaflet, yet it started in the early 1960s. I can’t remember if the leaflet came through the door or was an insert in a magazine. Whichever, I saw it and discussed it with Rosanne. She has a brain to die for so when she suggested I ‘go for it’ I did. All I had to do was fill in a coupon and send it off; if I didn’t like what came back I didn’t have to follow it through.

The idea of the organisation is in the name – Visiting the Elderly, predominantly those who live alone. In no time at all I received a lovely letter with a request that in double quick time, after completing another more detailed form, I received a phone call from Janine, one of the organisers who was starting a group in my area.

I was a bit apprehensive when another call came making an appointment for Janine and her colleague, Fran, to visit. I was nervous, you see, not knowing what would transpire from their visit. I needn’t have worried. It was all very informal. I think my nervousness came from the fact I was now officially an old person being offered help. It’s not something you think about until faced with living alone but I wasn’t the sort to dwell on my circumstances. I did things, that was fine. I was okay.

Janine and Fran arrived and they couldn’t have been nicer. I was invited to afternoon tea one Sunday afternoon. At someone’s house. With my own driver (Fran) who would be my regular chauffeur. I was given a schedule of dates for afternoon tea once a month, always on a Sunday. Apparently, there were seven of us, not counting the volunteers, which they said was a good start.

I have just been on my first one and enjoyed every minute, especially the drive there and back in a fabulous sporty blue Mercedes with gadgets everywhere. Just imagine owning such a thing! I can tell you, I was in my element. Marvellous! And to think I shall be going in that beauty again. Yes!

The tea consisted of a variety of fancy sandwiches, various pies, trifle, and cakes of all description – cup cakes, slab cakes, fruit pies and tarts, followed by chocolate sweets to die for. I knew I shouldn’t have had such a big lunch!

The company was great, some fab conversations and plenty of laughs. One lady, who bragged about being 94, had a terrific sense of humour and told us plenty of funny tales about her life and family. Another one told us tales about her cat, so I whipped out my phone to show pictures of Charlie. It was all very light-hearted and enjoyable and I can’t wait to go again.

Fran brought me home (in THAT car) and asked me to contact her if I need anything. I won’t be a nuisance but it’s nice to know that there is someone I can ring if I need to. I have since told a friend of mine about it. She is older than me and lives alone, so maybe there’s a group in her area that she can go to. I know one thing, she would never regret it. 

16 comments:

A Cuban In London said...

I think I know exactly what you mean about your nervousness. It is perhaps what we should be teaching the younger generation. One day we will be on our own unable to do the things we take for granted now.

Beautiful and nuanced post. Thanks.

Greetings from London.

Ron said...

Valerie, I was smiling while reading this post; so excited and joyous for you! What a MARVELOUS organization! I wonder if we have organizations like that here in the US? I will have to Google to see if we do.

"Another one told us tales about her cat, so I whipped out my phone to show pictures of Charlie. It was all very light-hearted and enjoyable and I can’t wait to go again."

Oh, how faaaaaaaaaabulous! I am sooooooooo happy for you!!!!!

"especially the drive there and back in a fabulous sporty blue Mercedes with gadgets everywhere. Just imagine owning such a thing! I can tell you, I was in my element. Marvellous! And to think I shall be going in that beauty again. Yes! "

You GO, girl!

I bet you can't wait for your next afternoon tea!

Have a lovely Sunday, my friend!

X

P.S. Love the picture of Charlie on your sidebar!

Mac n' Janet said...

That's wonderful, so glad you contacted them.

Valerie said...

CiL, thank you. I agree that it is essential we teach the younger generation,but in ways that don't 'put them off'. It did my heart good to see the way the younger folk of, say, half my age and more treated us all.

Valerie said...

Hi Ron, I'm glad I made you smile. It really was an excellent outing and the next one is coming soon. Next weekend, I believe. I've passed details to a colleague who is older than me and lives alone. It might help her. Hope you have a terrific weekend, dear friend. Looking forward to more photographs!

Valerie said...

Mac n' Janet, thank you. I feel I got something right by contacting them and lots more to look forward to.

Katie Eggeman said...

Oh Valerie, this sounds wonderful. I am so excited for you. It sound just perfect. I do have a 90 year old friend, is still doing Meals on Wheels.

S. J. Qualls said...

I am pleased for you! We are in the US, and I don't know if there is such an organization here or not. My cousin has someone who picks her up every now and then to take her and a couple other ladies on outings. Jan is 78 and absolutely bubbles after an outing. I'm so glad you have found some special fun!

Carole said...

Oh, that just sounds so wonderful! I don't know of such a thing here in the US, but what a great idea. So happy for you Valerie. Enjoy every moment!

troutbirder said...

What a great idea! Me and the Mrs. have joined a three time a week exercise group of about 25 women and 2 men. It great fun and I get lots of teasing being the youngest one there at 75 and out of shape...:) Keeping socially active is important along with the stretching etc..

Valerie said...

Katie, congratulations to your friend. I don't I'll be that good at that age.

Carole, thanks. It was so good I just had to boast about it..

Troutbirder, keep it up. You're right, being socially active is so important.

kden said...

What a great fit for you to join this group. I think you have just made a new circle of friends :)

Valerie said...

Hi kden, yes. I Next get-together is this coming weekend - I can't wait!

Jenny Woolf said...

What a great idea! It is always a good idea to make new friends, and it sounds as if everyone, including the "chauffeur" has fun. Glad you went for it, Valerie.

Valerie said...

Hi Jenny, yes I am pleased I went for it and I am looking forward to the next one - this coming weekend. I shall look forward to a ride in the car as well.

Mr. Shife said...

That's wonderful, Val. Glad you had a good time and enjoyed yourself. You certainly deserve it. Take care.