Anyone reading these Reflections could very likely form the opinion that I spent most of my married life to Pauline caring for her health rather than her personally. We had an excellent loving relationship founded on our committed Christian faith, and for 30 years were members together of St Andrew’s Church in Histon, just north of Cambridge, England. We enjoyed active holidays, a productive garden, and lots of friends and family contacts. My two step sons were close, although too old when we married in 1984 to consider adoption. They both lived or stayed at our home in the early years, until getting established in their own homes.
Pauline used to joke with me that the test of our relationship would be whether I would still love her if she “Had half a head and no legs”. I assured her I would love her unreservedly, little thinking that one day this would in reality happen to Pauline! With our strong Christian faith, and the support of our close friends, and medical practitioners as required, we coped with Pauline’s deteriorating health over the last 10 years of our marriage, maintaining good humour & joy in the company of each other. Pauline was my best friend as well as my Wife until her death parted us on 9th February 2016.
When we got married in 1984 I was professionally qualified as an Independent Financial Advisor (IFA), who left the investment company world to look after individual clients in a more personal way locally from an office in Cambridge. I worked at what was then called an insurance brokerage as the Pensions Director for 8 years. After our wedding a few months later the brokerage was sold and we decided to start our own IFA business in 1985, and enjoyed for over 23 years looking after a large number of loyal clients, until in 2008 we received an offer to buy our office from a local and much larger IFA company. The timing of this approach was perfect as Pauline was by now requiring a wheelchair and assistance with all transfers, due to a long standing back injury. My early retirement, at the age of 58, allowed us time together which was not always possible when running a busy consultancy. We thoroughly enjoyed this special time in our marriage, and made a point of going out somewhere each day to walk our dogs, with Pauline using a 4 wheel scooter to be independent.
To admit to being an uncaring organisation, at least in part, is unlikely to ever be made by NHS. The reality of being refused NHS healthcare funding is I believe a conscious decision made by NHS in order to control as far as they are able the amount of money given to the public each year. I know they have to be careful not to squander their resources but to achieve our Result took a lot of effort.
Tragically it is those in the greatest need of healthcare and financial assistance in their homes that are least likely to achieve the benefit of a PHB. They are very probably too busy nursing their loved ones, and are not sufficiently computer literate, or legally aware, to find cases on the Internet to support their Application for healthcare funding. I got lucky, and was determined to get Pauline’s “Needs” recognised by those in authority. I hope as a result of reading about our experience you can achieve your Rights without too much delay. Especially for people suffering from Alzheimer’s the quality of life we experienced with the help of Home Instead Senior Care was vastly better than being left on our own to cope with the illness.
It is my hope and that this personal perspective will be a lasting testimony to Pauline’s life spent caring for her family and friends. That it could help others trying to get help at a difficult time in their own lives would I believe be her enduring wish.