Kindness and laughter = Kevin!

I often write about kindness on my blog. I remember a client of mine used to say ‘It’s nice to be important but far more important to be nice.’  I guess this runs parallel with kindness.

This morning my fab neighbour offered to pick up a few bits for his immediate neighbours. Which he did, but when he left items on doorsteps he also left a bunch of daffodils on every lady’s doorstep how kind was that?

It is the small acts of kindness that people will remember and let’s face it that’s the least we can all do at this time. Just to think about pleasing others and try to make life just that little bit easier. We must be mindful that some people will cope better than others and that some people who are not coping may pretend that they are so stay in touch.

Also we all know that laughter is the best policy and is ‘as good as a tonic‘ – say the older folk. Yes it certainly is and thank you to those friends and family members for circulating  amusing jokes and photographs. By the way the same neighbour is keeping our spirits up with his cheerful manner and great sense of humour.

Every street should have a Kevin! Well done great neighbour.

As ever my mantra Kindness is a strength’

Keeping fit and keeping calm

Aside from the recommended daily walk which is something I’ve always tried to do there are so many ways to keep fit in the absence of going to one’s gym.

My daughter, so much fitter and younger than me got me joining her for exercise in the garden. It was a Joe Wicks online session which is really good. Obviously, I did not do all the press ups etc she could do but for those difficult sections I did running on the spot. I have no doubt as cold as it was outside it really did me good.

Later in the afternoon said daughter had arranged an online yoga session with her usual yoga instructor. She laid down her pink yoga mat on the lounge floor and was quickly joined by one of our cats much to the amusement of her yoga instructor. Lenny, our cat was of course doing the downward mog instead of the downward dog position! I thoroughly recommend yoga to help all the aches and pains, keep that calm balance and inner tranquillity.

At times like we find ourselves in now anything that can keep us calmer and fitter gets my vote. I suspect a lot of people who may have been too shy or even embarrassed to go to a class can try these new activities in the privacy of their own home and will in time join and/or re-join their gyms.

I have reminded my elderly clients and relatives to keep their circulation going by taking that daily walk and when sitting on the sofa to kick off the slippers and pretend they are playing a piano with their toes -as any physio will agree even the slightest of movement helps the blood circulation which is vital.

Keep fit and healthy.

Great neighbours

Where I live I count myself extremely fortunate as I have great neighbours we are friendly and helpful to one another. Obviously we all went out to clap our amazing NHS workers last night which was emotional all over the country I’ve no doubt.

Beginning of the week we set up a watssap group and I cannot begin to tell you the fun we have had communicating with one another. We are sharing all sorts of silly jokes and photographs then one neighbour came up with the idea of posting a live quiz at night which we then all had to answer this was hilarious at times. We now have this every night and my own daughter added a few animal quizzes too.

The beauty of modern media is we can communicate so easily just to let people know we are thinking of them but groups like the one I’ve outlined above are a brilliant distraction. Realising in this unprecedented times that yes, we are all behind closed doors, but working together keeping each other’s spirits up.

I will mention the elderly as always please ring that elderly aunt or neighbour that may live alone with just their fears and memories to mull over. The slightest interruption to a long day in isolation will mean so much. In times like this the biggest gift we can give is our time.

Whilst people are home based time to catch up on all those overseas emails too…anything to avoid the ironing pile! Keep safe, keep well and keep positive.

Bring me sunshine…

We all know the words to the song from the Morcambe and Wise show ‘Bring me sunshine’ a happy little song and one that I fondly remember singing to one of my dementia clients which was always met with laughter.  I guess today with the blue skies and sunshine it will help make people feel a bit happier as we face the challenging times ahead.

I also remember my own amazing mother talking about how people really pulled together during world war II. So come on Brits show everyone what you are really made of… ok some of us have been a bit stupid and selfish but let’s get past that now. The only way we will survive this if we are sensible and as always kind and patient with others who are vulnerable.

My time today has been mainly speaking on the phone to elderly relatives, neighbours and clients. As I tactfully explained to my ageing aunt today, ‘nobody likes to be told what to do, but at times we need to listen when the advice is in our best interest and definitely where our health and well-being is concerned.’ Her dilemma was whether or not to let in her cleaner…No No No! As I joked she hasn’t got rugby players running through her wee house with muddy boots on!

However, and joking aside as our parents age we do experience the role changes of us caring for them – but don’t expect this to be plain sailing as older people do not like their children barking orders at them and/or taking away their independence.

Be grateful

Let’s be grateful and thankful for all those NHS staff, and, all emergency workers on the front line. Don’t forget the local chemist I personally was very pleased they were open this morning to take my call and confirm my blood pressure pills are in and I could collect them shortly. Great now I can support those around me that need an injection of positiveness and appreciate words of comfort from a counsellor. Aided by the pills and the large bar of chocolate my kind neighbour treated me to I will do my bit. The phone was a great invention so let’s use it to ensure we speak to those who may be living alone and just a little bit anxious.

Stay calm, stay safe everyone and keep communicating. As down as we may feel there are people out there who are much worse off whether it be emotionally, financially or health wise.

Remember the farmers

I will close my blog today reminding all those shoppers desperate for their milk save a thought for our wonderful farmers doing all they can to get that milk to us all. And, no kids, milk doesn’t arrive magically in a plastic bottle it comes from a real life cow…who I happen to think are pretty amazing and somewhat beautiful creatures.

Think of others….

Please, please think of others why are people still being so selfish and stockpiling food unnecessarily? I am saddened by what I have seen and heard -we are better than this surely? Please think of all the emergency services that are working flat out to look after our loved ones – that may be your family member next week. Those who are on low incomes and freelancers who may have lost work need to buy food too so don’t buy food you don’t need just because you can afford to!

Then we see how local people can be really kind to those in need whether its offer of practical help for the elderly or being supportive in positive caring ways. Make that phone call to let others know you are thinking of them especially the elderly and may be living alone or those that are fearful as they are vulnerable health wise. Positive words of reassurance really helps.

I was also reminded today how hard farmers are working to ensure we are receiving our milk and food products. Let’s be grateful to those that are working in supermarkets and no doubt feeling depressed at the chaos they are witnessing.

Stay well, stay safe and please think of others -do we really need reminding that kindness is  a strength.

Empty shelves…stay calm

Only last week I was sharing the worries and thoughts of many on how we should be sensible about food hoarding. Think of the elderly and those people who work long hours and end up shopping late at night.

I always try to encourage friends, family and especially my clients in need to try to stay positive. This is difficult in such trying times as we sail through unknown territory but we do have a choice to make use of our spare time or enforced spare time to help others or keep occupied. It’s always the people who are the busiest that do the most -but now is the time for everyone to shine…just a little bit.

I confess me the eternal optimist and positive person that I too felt slightly depressed last night as I went late night food shop with a friend and professional colleague (who also works some evenings). Yes many shelves and most of the freezers were empty – mainly due to our timing but it just makes one shop sensibly. I did manage to grab a few things and in the face of adversity treated myself to a large bar of chocolate and tub of ice cream. The meat and poultry counter were depleted but I managed to buy Aldi’s crispy duck and pancakes which I will enjoy later this week with a friend and neighbour who is the first to offer to help anybody.

So what are we learning from the Corona virus situation? To love and value our relationships, act with kindness and consideration to others is what’s important not how many toilet rolls we have in our house… that we will take for ever to use! I am not going to join in the panic as my wonderful mentor used to say ‘panic is a soul destroyer’. This was a woman that refused to go in the air raid shelter as the streets of London were bombed… but chose to sleep in her bed.

I will close my post by saying I salute Aldi in donating to one of the elderly support charities and hope a few more supermarkets follow suit. I also hope sensible rationing of essentials comes into force and people stop over stocking – it helps nobody.

Looking after carers

I often find my work with and supporting families meeting the challenge of dementia very awarding but also feel saddened at what I see on a regular basis. Never a week goes by where a carer confides that they have become excluded from previous circle of friends.

We are. as a country, getting better about awareness of this cruel disease but we have such a long way to go. We need to educate more people about what having dementia actually means and the impact of the extended family. A lot of exclusion comes about from fear of the unknown and if I want to be completely honest ignorance. It has never been easy to access information which may just help you feel comfortable spending time with a loved one or friend.

Yes, dementia does steal our loved ones from us gradually but with the right attitude, patience and understanding any of us can tap into their loving character which still exists. Triggers to restore memories can be easier than you think, by playing music, showing old photographs and just talking through good times together.

Please, please do not abandon people with dementia, and/or especially their carers as their lives have changed beyond recognition…but golly they stick with it. As always I recommend visiting the Alzheimer’s Society’s website where you will find amazing literature and advice. Their array of literature is superb with great tools to help with positive engagement.