How things have changed

I had such a lovely morning out drinking coffee with friends that I almost forgot the new normal that is my life nowadays.  That feeling didn't last long of course.

In a previous life Ash used to do the grocery shopping.  He would go through the cupboards, draw up the list, go to the supermarket, fill the trolley and do everything else that came with keeping us fed and watered including cooking all the meals.  Then we started going to the supermarket together, then he put the weekly basics on the list and I added the rest, then I drew up the whole list and on and on until we got to where we are now.

S is coming tomorrow and, because I'm having a very lovely and very busy birthday week, she's doing the shopping with Ash.  Of course I knew I would have to write out a detailed list, remembering to put every last thing on it rather than relying on having me to fill in the gaps as I suddenly remember an essential that isn't on the all important slip of paper that Ash carries with him.  What I hadn't thought of though is how much planning goes into every trip to the supermarket nowadays.  

I've now sent S an email with instructions just so that everything goes as smoothly as possible and I thought you might like to see it so here you are:

You do Lidls first followed by Tesco.

Ash collects the trolley and pushes it around.

He has the list and the pen and crosses each item off as it goes in the trolley.

You need to go through the self checkout in each.

You’ll probably need to tell him where to stand at the checkout (rh side where the bag goes).

You put everything through the scanner then hand them to Ash to put the item in the bag.

You can’t rush putting things through the scanner because sometimes he struggles to work out where in the bag to put them (which is the reason for using the self checkout).

I’ll leave bags for you to use but it’s best to only take one bag into each shop otherwise he gets confused and doesn’t know where to put what.

It's not a long list I know but every single step is important and, when I think about the part he used to play in all of this, I realise how things have changed and it brings me up short.

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CW said…
My heart aches for you ... Robert no longer goes shopping with me. He hasn't the stamina nor energy for the task. Thus, I go alone and it's my one time to be on my own, away from home. Although, that said, I worry about him while I'm gone. He doesn't like me to leave the house, yet he isn't willing to go along with me. It's always, "That can wait another day."
Carol S. said…
I’m thankful having read your account that my partner has never done the shopping and has no intention of starting now! Although I guess at least that it is an activity you can do with Ash to help fill his time. I don’t know what I’d do if we weren’t still able to take our dog for walks 2-3 times a day. My partner really doesn’t show any interest in anything else other than the TV . I’m doing an online course with Dementia Carers Count in a couple of weeks about engaging someone with dementia in meaningful activity and hope to get some tips there. I’m sure your list will have come in very useful for their shopping trip Jane. You do seem to have all bases covered.
Jane said…
During lockdown I went shopping on my own and it was wonderful having that time on my own and really taking my time to look at things other than food. Now it's not the same but we have got into a rhythm and it's ok. We also buy ourselves a treat to have with coffee when we get home so that's nice.

On the subject of meaningful activities that's something I'm really rubbish at. My view is that, if Ash is ok with doing nothing then I'm happy for him to do nothing. having said that, his time with S the new carer is spent doing lots of things and it really is doing him the world of good so I'm probably wrong there. Part of me though I think is trying to keep an emotional distance between the two of us because that's how I stay sane through all of this and that's maybe a subject for another day.