When What You Need is Driven by Necessity & Love
I (Chris Pink of PINKSAUCE Leasing) first became aware of Margaret and Arun on 7th December 2022 when Dianne from Sage House called to see if I could help as she was worried that they were currently cut off from the vital support, friendship, and activities that they enjoy at Sage House, due to transport that just wasn’t suitable for Arun’s declining mobility.
The new I3 which would have been perfect only a couple of months earlier suddenly wasn’t suitable for Margaret and Arun to be mobile, independent, and enjoy time away from their home.
Margaret says “When Arun was diagnosed with dementia, I felt the bottom had fallen out of my world. I had lost my soul mate and best friend.
Although I was a nurse and Arun was a GP this was like entering into the unknown. With the help and encouragement of everyone at Sage House Dementia Support, I have realised Arun is still Arun. His loving ways, bright eyes, wonderful smile, sense of humour, and naughty ways are still there.
Before Arun was diagnosed with dementia our lives, full of fun and wonderful memories, but the memories that are most precious and I will treasure forever are the ones after Arun was diagnosed with dementia. We still do everything, Spinnaker Tower, National Trust gardens, i360, speed boat ride, solar boat ride, Bluebell Railway and many many more”.
Margaret had looked at a short-term lease which would mean paying over the odds – but still, I know she’d consider this a small price to pay to provide Arun with his best possible life. She would have been looking at paying over £1000 a month. This isn’t unusual in the current market as shorter leases have higher monthly payments but when you need to add specialist adaptions, it increases further.
As a broker, I mostly look after business and personal contract hire clients, but I also pride myself on knowing the right people to contact when the time dictates. The many years of networking and creating lasting relationships were about to help beyond just a car sale, with probably the most impactful story of my 25-year career. After establishing that a vehicle via the mobility scheme was not an option, I had to use my trusted contacts to source a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (W.A.V.). I found a handful of suitable vehicles and went to check them out myself to make sure I was advising them right. In situations like this, it’s much more than a business transaction.
After a chat with Margaret and explaining all the stock and funding options, she decided to choose the vehicle now lovingly called the ‘Batmobil’. Within 2 weeks of my initial call with Dianne, we arranged to have the vehicle delivered to their home on the 21st of December, an early Christmas present.
I do like (when possible) to attend the delivery of a vehicle, to provide that extra support for the customer, help with any queries, or troubleshoot any issues. Attending this delivery was non-negotiable, the diary was cleared and there was no way I was going to miss it. And what a treat I had in store! Pulling up on the drive I could see Arun through the window looking gorgeous wearing his Santa outfit.
As Margaret welcomes me into their home, I can hear Arun singing a Cliff Richard song, and before I know it we are holding hands and singing and laughing together, like excited naughty boys waiting for the real Santa. A half-hour later the vehicle arrives, and this is the first time Margaret has seen it.
With the help of my supplier Jez, who kindly offered to demonstrate how to use the adaptions safely, we make sure Margaret and her care team know how to operate the winch, ramps, and clamps. The thought of Arun rolling out the back dressed as Batman with his cape flapping everywhere wouldn’t be ideal, although he would probably enjoy it.
Two weeks after the delivery, Margaret sends a message to say they are visiting Sage House for the first time in the Batmobil, so I can’t wait to meet them there, find out how they are getting on, make sure all is well, and answer any questions they may have.
As I walk into Daisy’s Café at Sage House, Arun already has an engaged audience because he’s that kind of chap. He lights up a room and has that glint of mischief in his eyes, so we fist pump and continue where we left off before Christmas. The main talking point is the video of him singing La Bamba and playing bongos so a quick rendition with me as backing vocals suddenly has half of Sage House singing too.
This brief moment confirms why Sage House is so important from all sides of the dementia support spectrum and why I choose to be and am proud to call myself a Community Ambassador for this amazing place.
Everyone at Sage House knows that Arun will turn up dressed at Batman soon but whether Margaret compliments as Robin remains to be seen. They are so much fun, that it wouldn’t surprise me.
Margaret told me “Without the contacts from Sage House and you Chris I wouldn’t have been able to buy Arun a W.A.V. (BatMobil) so that he can still go to Sage House, the place he loves, enjoying activities and meeting his friends. Arun can still go on enjoying his life. When the time comes, and I have to say goodbye to my soulmate and best friend, I hope I can put my hand on my heart and say I have given Arun everything and made every day happy. Thank you to everyone at Sage House and Chris without your encouragement I would not have been able to achieve my goal. I will always remember Arun’s loving eyes, his wonderful smiles, and his cheeky and naughty ways. I will be able to make a memory book full of photographs and love.
Thank you to everyone. Margaret”
I think I should be thanking Margaret and Arun for sharing their story with me and trusting me. I feel grateful to have learned more about dementia than I knew before.
One of my biggest takeaways is that they are not ‘suffering’ with dementia, they are living with it and taking every possible ounce of positivity out of their situation.
I feel honoured to have been a small part of their journey, and am hugely appreciative to have gained a greater understanding of a new situation.
Thank you, Margaret and Arun.
As Sage House would say, ‘Let’s Navigate the Journey Together’.
Chris Pink (Community Ambassador of Sage House) PINKSAUCE Leasing