The last time I'd been to this particular one was some months ago. It had been to take one of the people on my caseload there to live. She has advancing dementia and her husband, who's done an honourable job over the last few years, couldn't cope with her care anymore. As is usually the case, the woman herself didn't realise that she wouldn't be coming back to her own home again as she chirpily got in the car with me. If I had told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth that would have been too distressing for her. In these circumstances I never tell porkies per se. Instead I don't disclose very much at all. It feels just as dishonest. Lying by omission I think it's called which must be why it jolts my conscience so badly.
'Oh, I'm taking you for a coffee' I say breezily. And yes, we are definitely going to have a cuppa at our destination. I make sure of that. What's missing from the conversation though is 'And by the way, once you're sat down, I'll sneak out, leaving you locked up and you'll never see your house again.' Dreadful isn't it? The other way of doing it though where a person might perhaps be dragged kicking and screaming for all their neighbours to see, is far worse. At least using my method, their dignity remains intact. So it doesn't matter in the scheme of things that I'm left feeling like a complete and utter git, sometimes for a few days afterwards. It isn't all about me after all. I'm sometimes left thinking that my former life as a tax accountant was a whole bunch easier.
My lady was in the day room at the home. I'd worked with her for years and we'd had a fond relationship. When she was diagnosed she hadn't wanted to live anymore but she said that it was me that had helped her see that there was hope that she could enjoy herself for a while longer. I'd encouraged her to holiday and party until it was no longer possible. Even so, I didn't expect her to know me from Adam. But as she saw me, her eyes lit up in recognition and she rushed towards me to give me a great big hug and kiss. Phew! she hadn't remembered our last meeting when I'd been responsible for her incarceration. I was incredibly touched. It's moments like this that remind me that perhaps other people might think I'm doing a good job after all and that career swap years ago was undoubtedly worthwhile.