A flight of festive fancy
Christmas Past: It’s cold outside but inside the care home the star atop the tree beams its rays of hope onto the faces of residents, families and staff, all radiant with inner human warmth. Pressed into service as a Santa, the handyman’s ‘ho-ho-hos’ are perhaps not quite what they might be but his eyes twinkle nevertheless as he delves into his sack and produces a gift for everyone. The radio carol service recalls to the residents the many past Christmases they have celebrated.
Christmas Present: The trees’ lights, leaking in to the manager’s office show her face creased in concentration as she catches-up with the paperwork. The team of inspectors has recently departed, leaving the staff dispirited and behind in their work. “Will The Cedars celebrate another Christmas?” they wonder; there have been rumours that it will close in the Spring with residents having homecare packages from the local authority trading company. Somehow, the cold outside has found its way in past reception without signing the visitors’ book.
Christmas Future: A premonitory vision of a gravestone among the weeds on a stormy night. A momentary flash of lightning shows six carved initials in two lines: C.Q.C – R.I.P. and the surrounding headstones mark the passing of the hundreds of care homes which have closed. Outside the cemetery, a lighted window reveals an elderly lady disconsolately nibbling a mince pie from Tesco, wondering if she will manage one more trip to the toilet on her own, before going through the painful rigmarole of undressing before going to bed. To one side of her, a glossy white robot adorned with a scrap of token tinsel helpfully reminds her to take her medication.
- The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.