It is important, when a loved one lives in a care home, to establish a good relationship with the care staff, and with the home manager. However, even when one does, things can get a mite mangled if messages and instructions are not passed on in person. For the past few months, Jan has always been in her special chair when I have visited. I asked that this be the case, because I find we have better communication that way, such communication as we can still manage. The alternative has been a 'soft room' - a padded room - where for the first 6 years at the home, Jan was able to crawl about, or simply lie back - and I was able to join her. Late last year, it really wasn't working when I joined her there, as she can no longer even crawl. I would find myself sitting away from her and watching, rather than being part of her close up world. So I asked staff to try and make sure she was in the chair when I visited - not an easy thing to ensure because I don't go at fixed times. I have thought how well they have managed it because Jan has always been in the chair for my visits. Anyway, I popped to the manager's office for a brief meeting today to talk about Jan's care, and I asked when Jan was in the soft room these days. The reply: "she isn't - the care staff said you didn't want her in there". Aaaargh! I only said for that to be the case when I am visiting! I have now asked the manager always to check directly with me for any matters directly relating to Jan's care, and I'll do the same by seeing the manager, not the staff, or the nurse in charge. Actually, having arrived home, I am also going to commit these things to paper, so they have a reference copy. While there I was asked to sign some new parts of Jan's care plan - formally to request no resuscitation, and also to indicate when I want to be informed of any critical happenings - my reply, 'any time, day or night'. I don't think these are imminently needed, but I'm pleased they have formalised things. Live and learn, the order of the day!