Things have moved on since I last wrote and if you’d have asked me last year when I started this, I’d have been confident that it would all be over by now.
But the problem lingered and getting it all closed was hampered by a deliberate policy on the part of Susan and others to move to a new area for a while if things got too hot with social services and the police. So it was only when Arthur and Shirley moved back to North Yorkshire and he took a turn for the worse that things changed.
Arthur is diabetic and his condition was so badly managed that he ended up in Hospital after collapsing, in a very bad way physically and wearing badly soiled clothing – which prompted social services to move in and take Arthur and Shirley to a care home.
Arthur wasn’t very happy that he’d been moved
But he had no choice, he was in a bad way mentally and physically and his memory was starting to go. As for Shirley, it transpired that she was the bottom person in the twisted hierarchy within the house and was the last person in a strictly controlled toilet rota.
I had always assumed that Shirley was wheelchair-bound as she was never seen outside the house in Middleham but she’s actually quite sprightly when she has her walker (more of this later) and she has full mental capacity, which made her ordeal in the house even worse.
Social Services contacted me
To see if I was still interested in helping and I had a couple of phone calls and a scheduled visit to meet Arthur and Shirley and their care team. Shirley’s hands are badly twisted by arthritis but she is chatty and was quite open in her support for me helping them both out. I spent a few hours chatting to the team and to Arthur and Shirley and we agreed that I would get Lasting Power of Attorney for financial matters. I scheduled another visit to meet them again and waited for the paperwork.
Two weeks ago
I went back to the care home along with a friend and the dog whose name and ID that I’ve stolen. I collected the LPA paperwork and had a visit with Arthur and Shirley, who received her first flowers for many years and watched their faces light up when the dog deigned to let them pet him.
Arthur asked for three things.
An Alarm Clock
A trip out in the car.
I promised to go back in a fortnight and ordered the other items for him with Amazon.
We went back to the home, armed with magazines for Shirley and a dapper little dog who immediately greeted them both as friends.
I commented on Arthur’s watch and how nice it looked.
‘It was only cheap’ He said.
‘Erm not that cheap, I bought it’
His face fell for half a second and then broke into a beaming smile.
They were both dressed in their Sunday best and the staff of the care home were all smiles as we led them out to the car.
I rang my Dad from the car and listened with a smile as the two brothers chatted away for a few minutes
We only drove for a few miles
As I wanted to make sure that they had time outside the car and we went to ‘The Railway’ in Richmond, which is a beautifully converted old railway station. We talked of Arthur’s money and the people who have tricked him out of it. I was relaxed and calm and promised that once the LPA is in, I’ll sort what I can as I already have a contact at his bank.
We talked of old neighbours and better times but they were both clear that they never want to see Susan again. I’m going to move them to Cheshire once the money is sorted, so that will never be a problem.
It was good to see Shirley smiling and the look on her face when after telling me that she would like a new walker with a basket to replace one that was lost, I showed her that one would be delivered on Tuesday is something that I’ll treasure. The dog snuggled into her in the back of the car, making her smile even more broadly and I dropped them off with a promise of another visit in two weeks (the other weekend is reserved for visiting my Dad in hospital)
This isn’t over by a long way and the hard work to get their money back from Susan, Lionel, Brett and co. will take a while, but I’m not letting this go now.
I’ve seen them happy and want to keep it that way