Jack hangs up his phone and looks at the clock and it says 08:30 but it feels like it is the early hours of the morning. Jacks phone call was from the agency and they have asked him to go and work in a small town called Brinklow. In the town is a purpose built bungalow that houses two gentlemen in their fifties’ and they both have learning disabilities. One of the men is known as Charlie and the other man is known as Chris. Charlie was born with learning disabilities and has a tendency to be aggressive at times if he is asked or told to stop doing something. The good thing with Charlie’s aggression is it usually stops when staff have to physically intervene, don’t get me wrong Charlie is not that bad. He is a loving and affectionate man, to affectionate at times, plus you can have a great time playing around Charlie. Now Chris is a cute man, he is cheeky, likes to try and play tricks on people and loves to wind Charlie up. He was born a healthy baby but when he was about five he developed a tumour on his brain. The doctors decided to operate on the tumour but this left him with brain damage but it was either operate or his parents would have to watch him die slowly. Chris is a gentle bloke but he has the odd occasion where he has aggressive outbursts. The two guys mostly have fun and settled days going out to parks, town, pubs for meals, college and in the next town over there is a disco held in the evening for service users. The nursing team always has to assist the guys with getting dressed, toileting, baths and cooking for the two guys. This building is built just for the guys and it has a big garden with high walls and Charlie loves to go outside and kick a ball about which seems to make him laugh. Whereas Chris just likes to sit in the garden on his own chair.
Jack arrives at the Bungalow in his car which happens to be a ford focus sport, with black and silver paint work. He has to drive about to find a parking space as some people who can only be described as bloody idiots have parked at angles and double parked. Jack finally pulls up into a space and jumps out of his car and turns and walks off to the Bungalow. As Jack nears the building he can hear screaming and shouting coming from the building opposite. That building is a house for adults with learning disabilities but it is for rest bight. So it is a short term basis to give their carers a break from a few days to up to a month at a time. Then all of a sudden Jack can see at least four to five men and women running from different buildings over to the house from which he heard screaming. So he continues to walk up to the Bungalow and rings the bell. He waits a few minutes and there is no answer so he tries again but just as he presses it he can see someone come from around the corner.
It is a woman in her thirties long dark hair and slim, as she walks up to the door she opens it with a stern look on her face and when she opens her mouth what she says comes out in a harsh stern way just like she is talking to a naughty child,
“What, erm can I help you” she says.
“I’m Jack from the agency and I have come to help you for a few hours” but thinks to himself with a smile on his face “bloody rude cow”.
“Come in, sorry for the way I spoke it’s that we have just had Charlie kick off a little bit and we had food thrown everywhere”.
“Ok not a problem” replies Jack.
“I’m Alison and I’ll be working with you this afternoon, come and take a seat and I will give you a hand over of this morning”.
The hand over takes about twenty minutes which to be fair is a long time just for two patients that have simple easy needs. So after Alison has finished she stands up and asks Jack to follow her in to the lounge where Chris and Charlie are sitting watching TV and playing with toys. Alison walks into the lounge with Jack following behind and turns to the other staff member Lisa and Chris and Charlie and says
“Everyone this is Jack he come to work with you this afternoon” saying in a loud voice.
Lisa turns and smiles at Jack and says “nice to meet you I’m Lisa”
“Nice to meet you too” shaking her hand and responding with a smile.
Charlie puts his toy down and just stairs at Jack then as he starts to get up he walks over to Jack and stands very close to him and gives Jack a huge toothless smile and hugs him. Jacks heart has just jumped about twenty feet from his body as he was not expecting that. As Charlie is hugging him all Jack can hear is
“mmmmmmmmmm” coming from Charlie
“OK that’s enough now let me go” is Jacks response to this show of affection.
After a couple of seconds after saying this Charlie lets go and goes back to his toys mumbling under his breath but to quietly for anyone to hear. Alison just looks at Jack and shakes her head as if to say don’t worry about that. Then Alison walks over to Chris and says to him
“This is Jack you going to shake his hand “
Chris laughs and giggles at Alison and then holds his hand out as if to shake his hand, so Jack holds his hand out in response to Chris and shakes his hand. While he does this Chris taps his cheek with his other hand and then Alison and Lisa laugh at what Chris did
“What does that mean” Jack asks them while they still laugh
“He wants you to kiss his cheek, he like you” replies Lisa
While Jack still has a hols of Chris’s hand he can feel a little pull from Chris, so Jack bends forward and presses his check against Chris’s cheek. Up on doing this Chris starts to giggle like a little kid and pushes Jack’s hand away, as if to say you can go now. Jack stands up and smiles at Chris and says
“I can see you are a cheeky one”
What seems like a grunt from Chris comes out of his mouth at the same time he nods his head as if he was saying yes.
Alison then turns to Lisa and says to her
“You can go home now if you want; I’ll still sign you here until twelve mid-day”.
Lisa smiles and thanks Alison and walks out of the lounge and picks up her bag from the office which appears to be somewhere he has not been shown yet. Alison asks Jack to follow her and then she continues with the tour. As she walks out of the lounge she turns right then right again and she is in the nurse’s office. Alison then quickly shows Jack this and then shows him where the bathroom and the toilets are for the two guys and staff. After his little tour Alison and Jack head off to the kitchen and sit at the dinning table. Alison asks Jack
“do you fancy a cupa”?
“strong, milk no sugar thanks” replies Jack.
So Alison stands up and walks off to the kettle and starts making the drinks.
“Chris, Charlie, come and get a drink”.
A second or two later you can hear a little giggle come from Chris and then what sounds like Chris singing Dupy do a few times over. Then both Chris and Charlie come wondering in to the kitchen but as they both enter Charlie pushes Chris out of the way. With Chris being a little instead on his feet, over he goes. Jack jumps up and goes to Chris’s aid, as Jack goes to help Chris he attempts to hit Charlie but misses as Charlie was to quick. Jack helps Chris up on to his feet but Chris has started to get upset with the whole situation. Alison turns to Charlie and raises her voice to a tone of mother and points to were his room would be, saying to him
“Go to your room and think about what you have done”.
Charlie just sits at the table and looks at Alison as if he has no idea what she is on about. Again Alison raises her voice and demands that Charlie leaves the kitchen. Still Charlie sits looking at Alison and then she walks over to were he is sitting and pulls Charlies seat from under the table and takes hold of his wrist. At this point Charlie stands and walks with Alison, while I am still with Chris. As Charlie gets near to Chris he sticks his tongue out and starts to attempt to hit Chris. When Charlie sticks his tongue out its a tell that he is about to be aggressive. Jack being a hero stands in front of Chris so he does not get hit. At the same time Jack grabs both of Charlies wrists and Alison pulls Charlie away from Chris. All of a sudden Chris screams out at Charlie and all you can then hear is
Jacks says to Alison ” Wasn’t expecting that” and laughs.
Charlie is taken into his bedroom and both Jack and Alison sit him on the bed. Carefully they let go of Charlie and back away towards the door. Jack goes off to the kitchen and sits with Chris asking him if he is ok. Chris responds with a little grunt as he nods his head and then looks at Jack with a cute smile. Alison continues with making the tea but instead of just three cups she makes four cups. She places the four cups on the table and then calls out
“Charlie, teas ready”
Jack hears a door slowly open and then shut, it takes another minute or so for Charlie to make an appearance. Alison says to Jack quietly
“Just look at him”
Jack doing as he is told just looks at Charlie who slowly appears from round the door and enters the kitchen. Just picture a naughty told off teenager who is looking rather sheepish, this is Charlie’s manner at the minute.
“Come and have your tea Charlie and be good” says Alison.
What can only be described as eeeeeeeee came from Charlie as he came and sat down at the table. Alison stood back up and walked over to the cupboard and pulled out a tin. Jack looks at Chris just to make sure he is ok and notices that he has a huge smile on his face. Just as if he knew what Alison has reached for.
“Anyone want some biscuits” asks Alison.
She turns round and sees Chris and Charlie smiling like a pair of Cheshire cats. Now this is a great sight seeing the simple thing please these two guys. Alison hands the tin over to Charlie and when she does this Charlie hands the tin to Chris as if in his own little way in saying sorry. Chris giggles at this and then Charlie starts to pick a huge handful of biscuits for himself.
“Charlie” is snapped from Alison
With this Charlie drops the biscuits back in the tin and this time takes out just two biscuits. Charlie then hands the tin to Jack and so he takes a biscuit out and says
“Thank you Charlie” with a smile on his face.
For the next ten minutes there is silence while drinking the tea but then Alison asks Jack
” so what do you think of this place and the guys so far”?
” love it, this is the first time I have worked somewhere were it feels like a home not a hospital” replies Jack.
“so would you come back then”? Asks Alison
” without a doubt I would” responds Jack.
After everyone has finished their drinks Jack stands and offers to do the washing up. With this the two guys leave the kitchen rather quickly giggling to themself. Alison says to Jack that the guys are supposed to do the washing up, but as you offered they ran off. Jack can hear the humour in her voice as she talks to Jack.
The washing up has been done and is drying on the draining board and Alison has just made an entry in both the guys notes about Charlie pushing Chris over.
“Can you cook” asks Alison
” I’m good at spag bol” replie Jack
” ok great the guys love that, do you mind making it and ill help but keep an eye on the guys” responds Alison.
“Sure not a problem” responds Jack.
Alison walks out the kitchen and Jack hunts through the cupboards and the fridge for the ingredients for his version of spag bol. In from of him he has two large onion(salad onions), peppers, mushrooms, pot of gravy, chopped tomatoes and spag bol sauce. To start with Jack peels the onions then washes them under cold water. This is supposed to help reduce the crying affect when cutting onion’s into pieces. Does this work? The hell it does after cutting the onions Jack eyes are watering like a water fall and sting like nettles.
” What’s wrong, why you crying? Its ok” says Alison with some humour in her voice.
Jack finds Alison’s humour funny and laughs at what she said. With the onions cut Jack washes his hands then rinses his eyes just so he can see again. Then he makes a start on the peppers and mushrooms. Alison explains that the peppers and mushrooms need to be cut into small pieces so the guys can swallow them with no problems. Once these have been cut Jack fills the kettle up with water so he can boil it for a small amount of gravy and so he can have some stock to pour in with the mince beef. Once Jack has prepared this he looks for the deep frying pot and calls for Alison
“Where is the frying pot? I can’t find it”.
“In the cupboard next to the sink on the left” replies Alison.
Jack bends down to peer in the cupboard and finds the pan buried at the back, as Jack tries to pull the pan out and he is able to knock everything over.
“You ok in there”? Calls out Alison, with what sounds like laughter in her voice.
“Yes I’m fine I just knocked all the pans over”.
Jack leaves the pans for now and continues with the cooking, as he turns on the hob on the cooker and puts the pot on top but without any oil. He puts the mince beef in the pan and starts to cook the beef for about five minutes. As the mince starts to cook he adds the mushrooms, onions and peepers into the mince beef and continues to cook this for about another ten to fifteen minutes. Turning down the heat Jack pours in the spag bol sauce mixing this in he also pours in the stock and mixes it well. Leaving it to simmer for a while Jack asks if anyone wants a cup of tea, in walks in Chris and Charlie with big grins on their faces and Chris is repeatedly saying
“Tea, Tea, lovely tea”.
While they both take a seat at the table Alison comes in the room and tells Jack that she is going to do the washing up and makes a start with this. Jack moves all the equipment he has used and places it next to the sinks draining board.
“Thanks Jack, I’d love a cup of tea as well” with a smile.
“No worries, I’ll sort that out”.
Jack places the cups of tea on the table and hands Chris and Charlie’s cups on a table mat in from of them and ask them to take it easy and don’t drink it too fast. Chris being Chris doesn’t listen and takes a big gulp and all you can hear is a moan as if it hurt to swallow the tea. Javk checks the dinner and sees it is ready and asks Alison
“Where are the plates”.
“They are in the top cupboard next to the fridge”.
Jack opens the cupboard and pulls out four large plates and places them next to the hob. Jack turns and takes some crusty uncut white bread out of the bread bin and cuts about six thick slices and cuts them in half. Putting them on an extra plate and puts it in the middle of the table, looking at the guys Jack says to them
“Leave these for now until you have your food” with a smile on his face.
The two guys start to smile as Jack dishes up the food but give’s Charlie and Chris about two large serving spoons and gives himself the same to Alison. Alison hands the guys a serviette and they tuck it into their T-shirts so if they spill anything it hopefully go on the serviette. As the guys start to eat they tuck in really well but Alison says to the guys
“Take it slowly guy”
With the eating going on there is not a lot of noise or talking going on. There is a lot of eating and dunking the slices of bread in the sauce of the spag bol, to me this probably the best way to eat this meal. The meal takes about fifteen minutes to eat as the guys are not fast eaters and If anyone got up from the table Chris and Charlie would also leave the table and it would be a little difficult to get them back. When they both finish eating Alison takes their plates and puts them in the sink and Jack stands up and places his plate in the sink as well.
Looking at the guys Alison takes off their serviettes from the top of their T-shirts and this time Charlie has not spilt anything over his clothes which is good for him. Looking at Chris he has spilt a lump of mince down his top but Chris sees the mince and picks it up and pops it into his mouth saying
Alison and Jack laugh along with Chris, Alison then asks Chris to get up and go to his bedroom so he can change his T-shirt. Up stands Chris and heads off to his room followed by Jack just to assist him if Chris needs it. As they both pass the lounge Charlie is sitting on the floor playing with his toys and Jack thinks that Charlie looks so happy, which is nice to see. Entering Chris’s bedroom there is a big wardrobe at the end of his room against the wall and a big bed on the right side just behind the door and on the other side of the bed is a high chair for Chris to sit on. In the left corner of the room set up high is what looks like a thirty two in TV on a swivel wall bracket and the remote for this is on the bedside cupboard next to the bed. While Chris goes steadily over to his wardrobe he opens the door and pulls out a blue T-shirt with a pocket on the breast.
Jack asks Chris “do you need help changing”?
Chris replies with a nod and a grunt and Jack assists Chris with taking his T-shirt off and helps him put on his blue T-shirt. Chris smiles and thanks Jack then heads out of the bedroom and starts to head off to the lounge but Jack call him back and tells him that he has some dried sauce around his mouth.
“Come on Chris come to the bathroom lets wipe your mouth clean” Requests Jack.
As Chris stops walking in his tracks he starts groaning but turns round and starts walking to the bathroom. Jack opens the door to the bathroom and wets a flannel and gently wipes Chris’s mouth and makes him look presentable. As Jack finishes this Chris looks a Jack and then suddenly burps in Jacks face. Doing this makes Chris laugh and Jack also sees the funny side of this and to be fair it was a loud burp. Alison calls out from the kitchen
“Was that you Jack? Pig” said with humour.
“No that wasn’t me, it was Chris” replies Jack.
Chris wonders off into the lounge and sits in his high recliner chair in front of the TV. Jack goes into the kitchen where he finds Alison doing the washing up. Jack Takes a T-towel and starts to dry what Alison has washed up.
“Next I will have to give the guys their medication, do you want to help me”?
“Yes sure that be great” replies Jack.
Next to where they were standing is a big white metal cupboard which has a big lock on the door, in this cupboard with all sorts of medication in side. Alison dries her hands from washing up and pulls out a pen from her hip pocket and takes keys off her belt and opens the metal cupboard and takes out two blister packs of medication. On the blister pack is written days of the week with a starting date and morning and afternoon written on the packs. This is to make it easy for staff to dispense the medication amount and times of days. First to take their medication is Charlie and Alison says that Charlie might not come but we will see.
“Charlie come and get your medication please” shouts out Alison.
Slowly and shyly Charlie walks into the kitchen with a little smile on his face. Charlie walks over to Alison as she bursts the blister pack for this time into a pot. She tips it into Charlie’s mouth as he has a history of throwing his medication around. Charlie takes his medication with assistance from Alison and sips down some water to wash it down. Charlie walks off back to the lounge and continues to play with his toys. Alison calls out to Chris
“Come and get you tablets Chris”
Hearing a few grunts and groans Chris walks into the lounge and sits at the table waiting for his medication. Chris has to sit down when taking his medication as he would topple backwards if he took his medication. Alison hands Chris’s medication to him in a small pot and Chris swigs it back like a shot. Taking his medication Jack hands Chris a small drink of water, swigging that back jack slams the cup on the table and stands up and wonders off to the lounge and sits in his chair. Once Alison has done this she puts everything back in the metal white cupboard and locks it back up placing the keys on her belt.
“Come on let’s go and sit in the lounge with the guys” says Alison.
“Ok, so what is next then to do”” asks Jack.
“For now there is nothing to do until about three o’clock when we will go shopping” responds Alison.
So Jack follows Alison into the lounge and sees Chris sitting in his chair but he has reclined it back a little and he appears to be falling asleep. Over in the corner is Charlie sitting behind a chair playing with Lego just putting them together but not really making anything.
Alison says to Chris and Charlie “come on lets go shopping, Chris take yourself off to the toilet before we go”
Chris presses the button on his chair to sit himself up and heads off to the toilet. Once Charlie is done in the toilet he calls out and Alison says to Jack
“Could you just help Charlie get his trousers up please?”
“Yes sure not a problem replies Jack.
Jack helps Chris with his trousers and head off to the main entrance of the bungalow and waits for Alison and Charlie. Once they are all together Chris opens the door and takes Jacks hand and heads off to the car park towards their own vehicle. They have a big black family wagon with tinted windows and a pull out step for Chris to help him get in the vehicle. Jack helps Charlie and Chris into the vehicle and puts their seat belts on and then climbs into the front seat next to Alison who is driving to the supermarket. They pull out of the car park and head up the road and the journey takes about thirty minutes to get to the supermarket. During the journey Charlie has had his face pressed up to the window with the window slightly open and he must be able to feel the breeze blowing through the crack of the window. Entering the supermarket Alison gives Charlie the trolley because if he did not push the trolley he would wonder off and pick and break things. Once he has hold of the trolley Charlie’s concentration is all on pushing the trolley so he will not wonder off and cause a problem. Chris is able to be left to walk by himself, but Jack and Alison have to walk slowly so Chris can keep up. While wondering around Jack keeps an eye on Charlie just to make sure he doesn’t crash the trolley into anything or anyone. Once Jack and the team have filled up the trolley with food for the next two weeks they get to the till Alison gets Charlie to help take things from the trolley and place them on the conveyor belt. Chris stands with Jack at the end of the till and they both start to pack the shopping. The lady at the till speaks to Alison and they appear to know each other and what is great, the lady at the till is also speaking to Chris and Charlie as well and they seem to be enjoying the attention from the lady. Jack seems to be doing the packing by himself now and Alison is unpacking by herself as the guys love attention from others. Once packed up the shopping costs about £180 which isn’t too bad for two men and two staff for two weeks. Once Alison has paid the lady at the till she gets Charlie to help her push the trolley back to the vehicle. At the vehicle Jack gets Chris and Charlie into the vehicle and puts their seat belts on and then helps Alison pack the shopping into the back of the vehicle.
Once they get back to the bungalow Jack jumps out and opens his side passenger door and gets Charlie out and then undo’s Chris’s belt and he shuffles his way over towards Jack and gets out of Jacks side.
“Why didn’t you get out your side”? Asks Jack to Chris.
Chris just smiles and walks off towards the bungalow and follows Charlie to the door. Charlie tries to open the door but Alison calls out to Charlie
“Hold on Charlie I’ll open it in a second”
Alison takes some of the bags out of the boot of the vehicle and heads towards the door of the bungalow, she places one bag on the floor und unlocks the door and Charlie picks up the bag from the floor and carries it in. Whilst he carries the bag in Charlie knocks it against the door frame and against the walls as he carries it into the kitchen. Jack takes the last three bags of shopping and enters the bungalow and takes the bags into the kitchen. Chris walks off into the lounge and heads straight for his chair and plonks himself in the chair and reclines it back. Charlie hands things to Alison from the shopping the bags. Alison thanks Charlie for helping her and tells Charlie that he can go and play now but Charlie just sits at the table watching Jack and Alison. Now Alison starts to make a drink and asks if Jack would like another drink and fills the kettle up and gets four cups out on the counter. Once the kettle has boiled Alison makes four cups of tea and calls for Chris to come and get his drink but no reply. Jack gets up and wonders into the lounge and sees Chris in his chair laying back and it appears that Chris has fallen asleep. The long walk round the super market must have worn him out. So Jack decides not to wake him and just lets him sleep, to be fair he does look peaceful while lying back in his chair. So Jack goes back into the kitchen and tells Alison that Chris is asleep and he didn’t have the heart to wake him up.
“Not a problem, I’ll make him one later when he wakes up”. Alison says to Jack.
Jack sits at the table next to Charlie and sips his tea; Jack thinks to himself that Alison makes a great cup of tea. While Jack sips his tea Charlie passes over a tin filled with biscuits and Jack takes out two biscuits and enjoys dunking them in his tea. Unfortunately Jack left his biscuit dunked to long in the tea and as he takes it out of the tea it falls back in the cup splashing out. Alison starts to laugh as well as Jack as to be fair we have all done this at some point in our life.
Charlie finishes his tea and walks off to the bathroom. Alison follows Charlie and calls out to Jack to give her a hand with taking Charlie to the toilet as Charlie could be a handful and her being a female. Jack follows them into the bathroom and assists in toileting Charlie. Once this was done Charlie walks off to the lounge and stands staring at Chris as he is asleep and takes a few steps towards Chris. Jack gently takes hold of Charlie’s arm and says
“Charlie leave him alone please” smiling at him.
Charlie listens to Jack and goes and sits on the sofa and looks at Jack while pointing at the TV, so Jack turns the TV on and Alison who just walked in hands one of Charlie’s DVDS and asks Jack to put it on. Charlie is trying to see what DVD Alison handed Jack but he cannot see which one it is. Once it starts playing Charlie starts to bounce up and down clapping his hands together while sitting on the chair. Alison tells Jack
“This is Charlie’s favourite film”
Charlie loves to watch The Frog Princes but also likes other Walt Disney films as well. It goes on for about a hour and half and during that time all Jack can hear is laughter coming from Charlie. Hearing this makes his shift and job so worthwhile.
As Jack takes the DVD out of the TV he puts on another one for Charlie. Chris had already woken and gone off into the kitchen with Alison as she went to make him a cup of tea, the one he missed when he was asleep. Also Alison stated making the evening snack which consists of sandwiches and a few cakes.
The door bell rings and Jack goes and walks to the door and sees a tall man standing there with a rucksack on his right shoulder. Jack slowly opens the door and says
“Yes can I help you”?
“I’m Tom I’m the night nurse tonight” replies the man.
“Come in Tom, I just made a drink you want one” calls out Alison from the Kitchen.
Jack opens the door and smiles at Tom to which Tom smiles back at Jack and walks to the office which is opposite the door. Tom places his bag in the office and shuts the door behind him and heads to the kitchen. Sitting at the table is Alison and Chris and seeing the excitement in Chris’s face must mean that this bloke Tom is a decent guy and Chris likes him. Jack sits at the table with the others and drinks his tea and Jack turns to Alison and asks if she could sign his time sheet for him.
“Would you fancy working again tomorrow morning Jack” asks Alison.
“Yes for sure, I have loved it today it has been nice and peaceful shift “replies Jack.
Jack stands up and takes his time sheet out of his back pocket and hands it to Alison and she takes a pen from her pocket and signs his sheet. When she hands it back to Jack she says to him
“I’LL book you in now for the morning, the shift is from seven am until one pm is that ok”.
Jack responds with “that’s great, thank you very much for a great shift and I’ll see you in the morning”.
“Thanks very much Jack, see you in the morning” replies Alison.
“Nice to meet you Jack, see you in the morning” says Tom.
Jack says goodbye to Chris and Charlie and then heads off to the car park. Jack thinks to himself that the shift was great looking after the two guys, watching DVDs, cooking and going shopping. Jack is happy to be going back to the Bungalow tomorrow and wonders what sort of shift he would have.