I have Power of Attorney for Dylan though I’m not sure if it is ‘Enduring’ (which was a question on one of the forms I had to complete recently). I should probably find out what the difference between enduring and unenduring is and whether I have the appropriate sort.
I have PoA for Dylan as he ‘lacks capacity’ and therefore needs someone to act for him in relation to matters such as health and finance. I could have transferred this to Dylan’s care home when he moved into residential care but decided to continue as PoA which is, apparently, what most parents do. From time to time there are forms which need signing (usually to renew such things as passes and passports) but on a daily basis the main responsibility is managing Dylan’s (modest) monthly income. This involves ensuring the care home have a cash float so that they can keep Dylan’s purse topped up with spending money for the week and budgeting with what remains for the personal items Dylan needs.
Recently I have been building up Dylan’s money so that he could buy himself some new clothes. Although he enjoys choosing clothes, because shopping can be quite stressful for Dylan we usually only do this twice a year. Today was our Autumn/Winter shopping expedition and, happily, it was a success – in fact I think we might have cracked the formula.
A crucial ingredient is choice of shop. When I take Dylan clothes shopping I often think of the scene in Rainman where Raymond (Dustin Hoffman) wants to buy his underwear from the store he always uses. His brother Charlie (Tom Cruise) is scornful: K Mart sucks, he tells him. Dylan also heads to the same store for his underwear, always, and as we climb the steps to M&S I always try Charlie’s line.
Usually the familiarity of the store helps Dylan but today he seemed overwhelmed by the range so I had to find a way to help him. Dylan can confidently choose between either/or so I held up two items at a time and asked Dylan This one or this one? Each time Dylan expressed a preference I discarded the other and offered a new alternative. This way we worked through a variety of examples until Dylan repeatedly chose the same item. In the end, today’s selection of PJs and underwear was probably the swiftest and most efficient ever 🙂
Afterwards we headed for Dylan’s other favourite shop: Fat Face. Here, the fitting rooms are ideally positioned for privacy and spacious enough for me to offer support while Dylan is trying clothes on. Dylan always finds something he likes in the store; today it was a pair of jeans and a hoodie. I took the photo of Dylan in the shop to use on his visual timetable when we go clothes shopping again in the Spring. The photo I’d used for today’s schedule wasn’t specific enough for Dylan, it turned out; he had thought we were going to the city to visit his favourite museum rather than to shop for clothes 😦
Happily, there was time for both: here is Dylan dancing for cutlery dragon and mesmerised by a light installation. It was the sort of day when acting for Dylan was an enduring joy and a privilege.