Norman Dunn's 'Hebburn and our Neighbours Forum'
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Re: Over 75 TV License - for George
Now that's a thought Liz. As my neighbour lives in Gosforth it's unlikely Gateshead will help. He has a brilliant sense of humour and would love what you said. George is not without some assistance but he should really be in a place where he could have constant care. His doctor is aware of his condition as is the hospital to which he has made frequent visits throughout his life. However, George is a remarkable man who is determined not to be a burden in any way more than is absolutely necessary. Since he was a child he has known he would eventually lose his sight completely and does not accept he is in need of "care". He gropes around his house both upstairs where his bedroom and one toilet is, and downstairs where his kitchen and TV and radio are. He does this very slowly but provided he concentrates, he does it very accurately. Occasionally he does lose his bearings and has a "fob" which when activated reaches a help line called Ostara who then call one of three neighbours who have access to his house. Living only two doors away, I am usually the first person to be called. I have found him in some odd places, such as in the wrong corner of a room, where, once he is corrected, he is off again. This can happen when he is disturbed when making his way from A to B. The disturbance can be something like someone scoring a goal on the radio when he is shuffling from his kitchen back to his favourite seat in the living room. There have been many such instances which have caused me to doubt the "arrangements" but who am I to destroy what is left of this wonderful man. My main concern is the time I spend with him is becoming less as my commitments to my wife increase. Don't misunderstand me, it is no problem for me to do as I am in urgent cases. It is the ordinary chat time I cannot give him now. One thing which I learned recently from the Ostara people is if George refuses me to call an ambulance, that is his right unless life is threatened. George is absolutely terrified of being placed in a home and losing his property to pay for his keep. He asks for no help except from his friends. Of course there is much more to this but he deserves his privacy. Liz, and anyone else who reads this, I want you to know that George has a wonderful sense of humour and only asks for help when HE considers the situation requires it. George has virtually no money except his pension but he says he doesn't go far, has no car to pay for, has enough to eat, almost no electric bills. He has a washing machine and manages this. George has been assessed for needs and handrails have been fitted where required. He even manages to send donations to charities of his choice. "We lot", including myself, should look at what we have - not at what we haven't and stop moaning about trivial things. That does not exclude chasing our dreams. Mine is the implementation of the Brexit for which I voted.
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