There is always a solution if you look hard enough
Not only do I have Ash to consider but there is also my mum. She is 89 (shh don't tell her I told you) and hates being on her own. She lives in a village, goes out for lunch three times a week and has friends to talk to but no-one can take the place of my stepdad who died nearly three years ago. I have tried everything from getting her to take up sewing again, persuading her to organise a scrabble group for her friends, suggesting she phones friends who have moved away etc etc. Each one has worked really well briefly but then fallen by the wayside until I was at my wits end. Luckily I don't give up easily so last week, after putting my brain into overdrive, I suggested we looked for a care home where she could go one day a week to join in activities and chat to people. Now she might be 89 but she in no way considers herself ready for sitting in a corner of a home unable to think but she agreed that I could look (mainly I think to shut me up). Well I would like you to know that I surpassed even my own expectations and found a very smart care home about 8 miles away from where she lives. I phoned them to see if they provided the type of respite where mum could just go one day a week. 'oh you mean day care' the lady said. As mum was sat next to me at that moment I had been trying to avoid calling it that and hurriedly said so. Luckily the lady caught on and suggested that we called round at some point to have a look round. I bundled mum into the car and off we went. It was like visiting a 5* hotel. All of the 'guests' were smartly dressed, there were activities morning and afternoon with a 3 course lunch (inclusing wine) in the middle and, best of all, she could afford it. Today I took her at 10am, picked her up at 4pm and inbetween I took myself into the city to look round the shops on my own. While we were both enjoying ourselves in these different ways Ash was busy at home painting our neighbour's wall so for once everyone was happy and occupied. Keep your fingers crossed it lasts at least for a while.