Wednesday 19th December will be a day I will always remember – it was the day me and our Martha moved me Mum into permanent care at a specialist dementia care unit.
For me the day was only made possible by the support of friends and family and the kindness of strangers.
My sister and I had to make my Mum’s room as homely as possible which meant two things . First, putting up pictures of me Dad, her 3 children, 7 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren - Mum has difficulty knowing who we all are nervertheless the pictures' presence comforts Mum so, they needed to be in her room.
The second was having her African Grey parrot – Jacko – in the room. Jacko was brought in 2004 as replacement for Joey the family African Grey who had been in the family since I can remember and sadly died in 2004.
Jacko’s move presented a number of challenges. He needed a new, smaller cage as Mum’s new home was much smaller and he and his new cage needed taking to the home on the day in time for Mum’s arrival at 3pm- all this when my Sister and I only had permission for Jacko from the home on the morning of Mum’s transfer day.
I rung around the pet shops of Liverpool eventually found a cage at Lister Drive Pets .We drove over there. Drove past it twice as it doesn’t look like any pet stuff warehouse I know or expected – as it’s a converted public baths. One of the two pools is still used to stock fish. Most times I would have enjoyed the building but ‘time wasn’t my friend’ as old friend of mine says.
We almost immediately found the cage we wanted. The problem was how to get it and Jacko into the room before Mum. Phil the manager at Lister Drive Pets was simply brilliant. As I explained what I needed to be done and why :
My Mum’s moving from a temporary assessment care home to a permanent home Mum needs to take her parrot with her but I need to buy a new parrot cage as the current cage is too big for Mum’s new home I need the cage to be delivered to Mum’s old home the parrot transferred to the new cage then the parrot with its new cage to be delivered to Mum’s new home .this all needs to be done now before me Mum arrives in her new home this afternoon....
There were several pauses for deep breaths and tears held back as I explained. Phil listened. Said "Give me 15 minute and I’ll do it." More tears.
Phil and his young assistant were just great they did exactly what I wanted – there and then – and all in the price of the cage no extra!
Mum’s initial reaction to the home – "It smells nice here." equally Mum's response to her room , her pictures and Jacko were all positive and accepting, as we have feared the worse that Mum might reject and react to everything, but that wasn’t the case. She even managed to smile a couple of times.
All in all a very difficult day for all concerned but with a very comforting outcome, only made possible for me thru the support of friends and family and the kindness of strangers
Especially Phil and his young assistant at Lister Drive Pets they helped with such good grace and helpfulness, extraordinary customer service and the kindness of strangers made manifest.