Keeping up appearances?

By Meg Pinfield November 11, 2011

One of Ivan’s favourite TV programmes is ‘Keeping up Appearances’, with Patricia Routledge playing the awful Hyacinth Bucket (“pronounced bouquet”). He loves her ridiculous attempts to be correct in dress and behaviour for every occasion.

Perhaps his own upbringing has something to do with this; his mother had a posh dress shop, and used to be very cross if Ivan came home with torn or dirty clothes after being out playing.

He has always considered inward personal qualities more important than outward show. He never judges a sausage by its skin. When he was a senior catering manager, who needed to be smart at all hours of the day and evening, he relied on washable suits, drip-dry shirts, and a spare pair of polished shoes so that he could quickly change and smarten up if need be.

Gradually, with the onset of Parkinson’s disease (PD), he has simplified his wardrobe further. Nowadays he relies on jogging pants, polo shirts, baggy socks, and zip-up, slipper-like boots – whatever the occasion! This certainly helps me, and the other carers, when assisting him to dress and undress. It also means that he can retain some independence and take himself to the loo. [...] continue the story