My induction into home care work covered a two week period, the first three days in a class environment with other newbies, getting to grips with health and safety, hoist operation and resuscitation. It also included whistle blowing in a positive way! At the end I received a certificate.

I was employed to stand in for full time workers on their days off and therefore needed to cover a range of areas. My next few days were spent based in Windermere with Julie, a married lady in her late thirties who had been in the job several years. We travelled in Julie’s car and our first client was a gentleman in his late seventies who lived on his own in an old terraced cottage down a lane. Julie had been a few times mainly to make his breakfast and help him dress for the day. This time though his son had requested that she give him a bath and dress him in his newly washed underwear, a pair of new trousers and a jumper he had bought him. I must admit what I saw in his clothes drawer were extremely scruffy and worn.

Malcolm was still in his pyjamas and leaving him sitting on the side of the bed we went to investigate the bathroom and run the bath. There sitting near the plug hole was a very large black spider! 🕷. Julie gave a half scream and rushed to the open door and I followed her! We stood peering from a distance at the unmoving but very much alive spider who had obviously inhabited the bath for many weeks. 🕷🕷🕷🕷🕷

Malcolm was definitely not going to be of any help, Julie neither and I have a distinct aversion to 🕷but neither of us were willing to turn on the tap and run it down the plug hole. I gritted my teeth, found a large glass in the kitchen and a piece of paper, went stoically back to the bathroom, opened the window wide, and not giving myself time to think placed the glass over Sid, whipped the paper underneath, rushed to the window and flung him to the ground! Julie still hovering outside the bathroom door was most impressed!

We filled the bath with lovely hot water and ushered in and undressed Malcolm. He protested all the time, not wanting a bath, just a wash but after much persuasion and encouragement he put one foot in, more encouragement, the other foot and lowered his body into the water. The look on his face was pure pleasure as with a sigh he relaxed his body into the warm water. we let him soak for awhile whilst we prepared his breakfast and tidied up.

After he had washed himself and we had helped him dress he looked quite smart and I am sure his son approved!

When I met Julie again a few weeks later she reported that he always looked forward to his once a week bath!


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