"That woman" would be the wonderful, patient care helper from the local authority. Who comes for two hours every week to get Okaasan dressed and out to a local supermarket by taxi.
Dear Son told his mother bluntly - NO, your mental condition is far worse than you know. You need help in going out and in winter is safer with a helper.
I thought about it afterwards.
Could she do it alone?
What could she do? Couldn't she do?
Order a taxi, get dressed, get handbag/phone/gloves/key/money - go shopping.
After shopping get another taxi and come home. Pay the taxi.
Well, to be honest it isn't that hard.
What areas would be difficult for her? End in confusion.
Ordering a taxi.
Would she just sleep the afternoon away? After lunch fall asleep and only when we come home at 5 or 6 pm, wake up? So, too late to go out? Probably. Usually her days are spent dozing with the TV, hour after hour blending into the same time. The actual decision "Now I will order a taxi and go out in 30/45 mins" - the ability to make that decision and act on it. Gone.
Even with a taxi company number and her telephone - I don't think she could do it. Have the conversation to tell the taxi company where and what time. And then be ready for the taxi when it arrives.
Get ready for going out - don't think she could do it alone. I think the taxi driver would be hovering in the hallway, with the car parked in a narrow snowy street while Okaasan fussed about gloves, or heater, or key, or phone...impossible for a middle-aged Japanese male taxi driver to come into the house and assist Okaasan.
After shopping - coming home by taxi. Maybe she could get a taxi, give them the address to come home. Would she have enough money to pay each time, or would she have used it all for shopping?
And then if there was no taxi outside the supermarket at the moment when she emerged, would she try and walk home in the snowy, icy streets...
Yes - we could arrange it ourselves. Pre-book a taxi to come every Wednesday at 3 pm.
But we'd have to telephone her at 2.30 pm ...and 2.45 pm to make sure she was getting ready.
And still I worry about the poor driver having to hover while she fussed.
Mainly the problem is Okaasan WANTING to go out or not.
I can easily imagine a pre-booked driver arriving at the front door - and Okaasan peering out at the snow and saying: "Oh, a bit cold today, I don't feel like it, thankyou....I don't want to spend that money".
Part of the day helper reason is the cheerful conversation and interaction she gives Okaasan. Monday to Friday in front of the TV alone isn't good. If I am working nights, the amount of conversation with me is limited to a few sentences about the weather or the heater as I rush in and out.
So. We use a day helper.
That is the breakdown of why we don't think Okaasan could order a taxi and go shopping herself. Impossible to explain that all to her, of course.
And in fact, we are VERY lucky that - until now - she hasn't tried to do any of this. She has a phone, she usually has some money, there is probably a taxi company number on a city public service newsletter - she could decide to head out independently. But she doesn't. Usually sleeping with the TV.
* And in happier news today.
I managed to get her into a bath, then she climbed out of the bath alone and I got the timing precisely right for me to go into the bathroom and start washing her hair. While she was sitting on the edge of the bath.
Just marched in, took the shampoo and set about it with what I hoped was a day service helper kind of brisk, friendly efficiency.
Now I've given her lunch.
And I am going out to a local cheapo steak place to gorge on steak. I have a cold coming on and my European body-in-the-land-of-tofu is craving MEAT. That will make a difference.
Head cold. Injured cat. Old lady and her bath.
Will just have to open up yet another Adam Lambert video on YouTube and make myself happy.