Joshua began the school holidays with a long weekend in respite and over a month later, he is back there this weekend and his last stay seems a very long time ago.He had stayed for three nights for the first time, while we had gone to Ireland to scatter Mum’s ashes and the stay had gone very well. I am in the process of completing the diary so that they know what to expect with him this weekend, although I will of course also brief the staff when I drop him off at midday today.
When he had stayed at the end of July, there was already a hint that Joshua was not impressed with his wheelchair and it had been the only incident of that weekend. That aversion to being wheeled, in preference to walking everywhere, has evolved more over the summer, such that we have only taken it out with us once in the holidays and even then it was only used on a late night out when he was tired out. While it is great for his physiotherapy, for his exercise and his independence, on occasions it would have been easier to have him in his wheelchair. But on this issue, Joshua has certainly called his own shots!
I will need to let them know that scampi and chips has become a new favourite meal, so that will give them another alternative option to try. Initially we were all concerned that he was not eating there, but because chicken strips and chips went down well at Donalds, they stuck with the same theme when in the home. But more recently, they have experimented and had success with pasta dishes too and he even ate a Sunday roast for them, indicating to me that he is getting more comfortable there and with the staff. He has generally had a great appetite over the summer, seeming impossible to fill some days.
Given that he only started going to this place in the Easter holidays, I have been delighted by how well he has settled in as he is showing that he is enjoying himself there and they are trying really hard to occupy him with activities that he enjoys. I like to call each night around 9 pm, when I expect him to be tucked up in bed – I had the same pattern with his previous respite provision. At that time, I am able to speak to the member of staff who has been working with him during the afternoon and hopefully they can report the day’s events, but I can be reassured that he has completed his day and is ready for sleep. That helps to put my mind at rest as just because I am not responsible for his care, does not mean that I can forget about him and leave them to it. I like to hear the stories and answer any questions that they might have and as well as hearing about it over the phone, I like to read about it after the event, in his diary and it is a great record of the progress that he is making there.
Have a great weekend Joshua Fred, we have domestic chores to crack on with while you are away, so you will be in the best place!