This is how to really care in Newtown
What’s striking me, as I do my best to visit every house in the ward, in which I’m standing for County Council (Newtown Llanllwchaiarn West) is the near infinite number of different issues facing people in the community.
Today, I had the pleasure to meet two of the Newtown’s nicest residents. Kindly being invited in, conversations started with some of the day to day issues facing residents in the town before hearing more about their lives.
I was so inspired by our conversation that I asked if I could write this blog about them. They agreed if I promised to keep them anonymous which is more to do with their modesty than anything else.
The gent, who I shall refer to as Tom, is in his late eighties with deteriorating health who lives alone. The lady, who I shall refer to as Jane, is also in her later years. Jane is Tom’s voluntary carer and friend.
Jane, who was sadly widowed over twenty years ago, travels by bus (15-minute journey each way) to spend the day with Tom offering him about seven hours per day companionship and friendship. During her visit she cooks, cleans, shops, takes care of administering medicine and every other chore that is required to look after an older gentleman and his household.
Jane also has her own life and has children with poor health who she cares for and worries about in addition to looking after herself. During our chat, Jane never referred to herself and her own problems just her concerns for other elderly residents in Newtown and how without a friend and carer Tom would be very lonely and struggle to cope.
Tom told me that he was very happy, well cared for and enjoyed life despite his difficulties to get around and his health. He had his telly, he has his books and he has his music and he has Jane.
I know that Jane and Tom are very concerned about health provision and loneliness of the more mature residents in our community and whilst happy they are worried for others who might be alone right now.
Not everyone can sacrifice their time voluntarily like Jane can; she volunteers about forty-nine hours a week and I’m not going to end this blog with a vacuous comment like pop in and see your elderly neighbour for an hour. Instead I’ll just leave it to you to hopefully be inspired by Jane and Tom and make your own decisions about whether and how you help and support your community.
Jane and Tom know that they are fortunate in many ways despite the hurdles in life that they face. On their behalf, and they will have read this and edited it before you are reading it, may you all be blessed with your own Jane when you need one and if you don’t have one don’t be afraid to seek one out.
Promoted by Simon Baynes on behalf of Mark Barnes, both of Montgomeryshire Conservatives, 20 High Street, Welshpool SY21 7JP