In the shoes of… | Gill’s Mum. A little common sense and compassion go a long way.

Mum’s life has been turned upside down recently. Like Geoff, in this story, she has suddenly lost a lot of independence. Until a couple of months ago, she was living on her own, catching the bus into town most days – it must be quite a shock coming to live with us as she recovers and we contemplate the future together.

Mum's books IMG_6963Mum is an avid reader. Books, the newspaper and crosswords keep her going. But I also encourage her to use her iPad and read different bits and pieces we come across – “yes, click the blue link in the tweet and a whole new world will open!”

I also encourage her to write. She has been doing quite a lot of writing recently, so when she had a strong reaction to the wonderful blog this week by Zoe Harris, that I re-blogged on Monday, I quickly brought her the trusted medium… pen and paper…

Mum writing response to Zoe Img_6252a

I have just read Zoe’s thought-provoking blog. It really rang a bell for me. I have always travelled into town on The Little Bus and have never found anything but kindness and consideration from the drivers. (Except of course the Grumpy Driver, commented on previously!)  Another bus company, which covers a greater distance, is not very helpful.

I was horrified to read that Geoff, after his horrible experience, would not travel at all on the bus and feel sure that this would not happen here. I don’t know whether the drivers have been given instruction on how to deal with people or whether they are just genuinely kind hearted.

I remember one man showing something other than his bus pass and being given help to find it in an mass of other cards!

Graphic by New Possibilities

Graphic by New Possibilities

Of course he was quite old and I wonder if the driver would have done the same for anyone, whatever their age. I feel if someone shows signs of being in distress, they would do their best to help. I recall one driver who actually got out and helped a middle-aged lady who was struggling with many parcels and bags. Unfortunately he has now retired, but he was everyone’s favourite.


It must be difficult for bus drivers to know how far to go to help but a little common sense and compassion go a long way.


About Gill Phillips - Whose Shoes?

Passionate about personalisation in health & social care. Creator of Whose Shoes? - an imaginative approach to helping people work together to improve lives.
This entry was posted in compassion, dementia, Gill's Mum, Guest blog, mental health, personalisation, well-being and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to In the shoes of… | Gill’s Mum. A little common sense and compassion go a long way.

  1. christie says:

    Mobility is such a critical part of our lives and when this gets restricted it can shut down all kinds of activities that people need to carry on with. I believe that all drivers buses, trains, taxis etc should complete dementia friends training


  2. zoeharris13 says:

    Thank you Gill’s Mum, for taking the trouble to respond to my story about Geoff and the bus. It’s a delight to hear about some more positive events that you’ve witnessed, and I’d like to think they are more the norm than the unhelpful approach experienced by Geoff. As you say, would the driver do the same for anyone, of whatever age? They should of course; this is not actually about people living with dementia or those over a certain age, it’s about extending a helping hand to anyone who needs it, showing common courtesy and a little bit of empathy. Keep writing, your observations are a pleasure to read! Best wishes, Zoe


  3. pippakelly12 says:

    What a lovely blog. Thank you Gill’s mum. I have just finished reading Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey. It’s a wonderful novel written from the point of view of someone with dementia and contains a little vignette about a bus driver who asks his passengers if he should let this person on when she can’t find her bus pass (happily, they’re unanimous in their decision that she should). I agree with Zoe: keep writing please! (Has your daughter told you what a fan I am of your brilliant turns of phrase?)


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