Deterioration & Dancing

It’s been a strange start to the week. I can never get used to weeks that start on a Tuesday, it doesn’t feel quite right. Plus I have this thing where Tuesday is the worst day of the week and those who know me well will know this. Yesterday just so happened to be a Tuesday and we were back at the fullest capacity we have been for a while. While we have been really busy, my duty of checking our longest residents for deterioration slipped a little with checks not being done as regular as we would like. Yesterday was the first day in several weeks I was able to get round and check all the people to make sure they were in a good condition and not just the longest or those of concern.

I expect you have two questions relating to that. Firstly, I bet some of you are wondering why people are with us long enough in order for this to happen. Sadly, all manner of circumstances in life and death can lead to someone staying with us for an extended period of time. Ideally, I would like to check everyone who has been with us for longer than two weeks on a daily basis however sometimes due to the workload this is simply not feasible. However, the vast majority of people do not stay with us for this long so this should get easier as the year progresses and both days this week this has been the case.

Secondly, I would assume you would like to know what happens to these people. Once signs of deterioration are recognised these are monitored. If someone can be released and picked up by their funeral director, for example, we would encourage this. This is usually not the case however, and we need to act in order to try to at least pause the damage which may occur (you can’t stop decomposition happening as such, but you can slow it right down). This is done by placing people in the deep freeze unit. At our mortuary, we have one deep freeze with 12 spaces. The people in there are usually there for some time but it could also be short term and to prevent any smells or unpleasant side effects of decomposition. This freezer runs at around -15 degrees centigrade and that’s really cold. I don’t like standing in front of the open door for long at all. Bear in mind our normal fridges run at about 4 degrees centigrade and they feel very cold to me some days!

Two more days left this week and I’m glad to say some very exciting events are lined up for this month and the next. In addition, I gave my third blood donation today and I feel dutiful to request that if you can donate please consider. Blood banks are running low at the moment in the UK due to the poor weather conditions recently and they are in desperate need of donors.

I’ll leave you with a little lovely thing that happened today. I mentioned the funeral directors who comes in with a little blurb about the person in a previous post. Today we had someone collected from us who was over 100 and up until recently still went dancing. I love that so, so much.

Thank you for reading, commenting and asking your questions. Please keep them coming and I will do a post answering them soon!

MG x

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