I was fiddling at my desk this afternoon, preparing to teach a session for the second time and wondering whether to switch round the activities. I wasn’t happy with the way it had worked earlier but couldn’t be sure whether that was due to the fire drill or my planning. I was feeling a bit flat and in need of a lift. As an email pinged into my inbox I glanced up, automatically.
I love it when Dylan’s care home manager emails me instant updates about his day. A friend told me this is something that happens on social media: people tweet ‘what I’m doing now’. That sounds like the sort of thing I wouldn’t have understood previously. I can see the value in it now though; these snapshots of Dylan not only reassure me he is happy, they help me to feel part of his life.
Today’s photo was taken at a farm which Dylan visited this morning. He’s often anxious about touching animals so I know that Dylan’s being brave here. I can tell from the photo that he is feeling relaxed though too. Photos don’t give us the whole picture, I know, but they can reassure us about some things. I can see, for example, that Dylan is wearing his heavier coat which shows me staff are helping Dylan to dress appropriately for the weather (which was colder today). That’s a small detail I wouldn’t have got from Dylan’s daily care record but one which reassures me he is being well looked after.
Photos can be illuminating too. I notice, for example, that Dylan is carrying his sports shoulder bag. I have wondered, recently, why Dylan seems to have stopped using the Nike backpack he used to carry everywhere and seeing the photo reminds me to ask care staff about this.
I love receiving these updates. Care homes are busy places and I really appreciate that staff make time to send me such photos in addition to the regular updates I get about Dylan. When I receive one, as I did today, I remind myself that I’m lucky.