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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Thrower

An unplanned opportunity

Anna Chaplain Eileen Simmons

Today has been beautiful in sunny Leigh -on-Sea (Essex), and this morning I walked up to the post box at the top of my road. As I walked back down the road I came across an elderly lady, who seemed a bit distressed.

She had just got off a bus and had managed to cut her shin on her own shopping trolley. It was bleeding profusely and she was using paper tissues in an effort to stem the flow.

I was concerned and said could I walk home with her. She was pleased to have my company and so we walked together, with blood still soaking into her socks. Finally it was stopped with still more tissues.

During our conversations as we walked, we talked about reading The Times daily and she asked if I completed the crosswords and other puzzles in it, but I told her that was my husband Geoff’s routine. Her husband had already died and we talked about loneliness. Her son lives in Exeter and she has no local relatives. I waited at the edge of her property and made sure she got into her home safely. She told me she was 99 and 100 in December when a big party is planned. It was such a positive experience.

If I were not an Anna Chaplain would I have responded in this way? I think probably yes, but over the AC years I have learned so much about older people and certainly I am more sensitised to the many issues they face.

Eileen Simmons




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