"Too late, my time has come. Sends shivers down my spine. Body's aching all the time. Goodbye everybody I've got to go."
I know that sounds terribly sad.
But I heard it properly for the first time recently. I mean I was aware of it before. But I really “heard” it this time.
Also, it reminded of something that was said earlier that day by one of the people I visit. I’m pleased to say that had a happier ending.
To explain, I went to see a movie with a few of the team from Care Outlook. As well as working together, a lot of us have become great friends. So it was good to have a night out.
The movie was “Bohemian Rhapsody” about the rock band Queen, their music, and the amazing lead singer Freddie Mercury.
It was brilliant and very sad, too. Mercury was a genius and, as the story told, his life ended far too soon. But we still have his music and those lyrics that moved me, too.
State of mind
Earlier in the day, I had been visiting Mr Williams. He’s in his early 80s and, after having both his knees replaced, he struggles with mobility, even around the house.
He’s usually in quite good spirits and chats away as I go about my various duties. In Mr William’s case, it’s usually standard things like some house-keeping, making sure his medication is up to date, and that there are no new hazards that could cause problems in the home.
On this occasion, I could tell he was not himself. All I got was a brief “hello” and he sat quietly in his armchair.
A key part of our job as care assistants is the state of mind of the people we visit. I learned this early on in my training that covered working in a person-centred way and awareness of mental health.
This is especially important as it’s very easy to be distracted by the practical tasks that keep us busy.
During the training, we learned about the “6 Cs” expected from all health professionals. The first two are:
Care - having someone’s best interests at heart and doing what you can to maintain or improve their wellbeing.
Compassion - being able to feel for someone, to understand them and their situation.
So, I stopped what I was doing, sat down, and asked Mr Williams if anything was troubling him. With a tear in his eye, he quietly said: “I’m done. I don’t see the point in going on. I’m in a lot of pain and am just a burden to people.”
Before I joined Care Outlook, I don’t think I would have been much use to Mr Williams at that moment. Maybe a shoulder to cry on but not much else.
Now it is different. I picked up one of the framed pictures he had of his grandchildren and asked him about each of them. Mr Williams gradually began to perk up as he spoke with obvious pride about the youngsters.
This led us to when they when they were next due to visit. It was the following day as it happened.
We then spoke about his physical pain and I explained he shouldn’t suffer in silence. Rather, now I knew, I would ensure a message reached his doctor. An adjustment to his medication or some other treatment could then be provided.
Mr Williams was now more like himself. And there was one more thing. I recalled that his daughter had given him an iPhone to keep in touch and suggested we gave her a call. Happier now, he agreed.
But, rather than using the call button, I chose video and, in an instant, there she was on the screen.
After a quick explanation from me, she was giving her Dad all the latest news. And, soon after, both of her daughters appeared chattering away. They were probably talking too fast for Grandad to understand but I could see it was filling him with joy.
And, so, I was then able to complete my tasks before leaving Mr Williams in a much better place than when I had arrived. That was why he came to my mind when I heard the lyrics to “Bohemian Rhapsody” in the evening.
And with regard to “Anyway the wind blows”? It does really matter to me!
Do you know any feel-good stories like this? Why not share with us and nominate a carer for 'Hero of the Month'?