Thursday, January 13, 2022

Come Visit - It's Been Awhile

 January 13, 2022

Well the Bug keeps raging on.  Now it's the omicron variant of the Covid19 virus that is spreading like wildfire. 

Ross and I have had all three shots.  I try to remember to make sure we wear our masks, which I have now switched to the KN95 version of, when we go into a store. 

I try not to go in to many places and have been avoiding eating out.

I woke up this morning thinking how nice it would be to go out for breakfast.  I am getting tired of preparing 3 meals a day.

I try to avoid the news channels because I am tired of all of it.  The so called "breaking news" should be renamed to be "breaking bad news". 

So instead I spent 40+ hours binge watching "Yellowstone".   Was it better than watching "breaking bad news"?  I don't know. 

As time goes on my current care-giving situation is more challenging.

A couple of months ago I tried a caregiving service.  It is expensive.   Three times a week - 3  hours each  day.  The services provided included  help with whatever physical needs Ross had, such as dressing, showering, bathroom, etc.  In addition the person would prepare meals, do Ross' laundry, food shop.  The person would stay with Ross if I had to go out.  "It would give you a break, " They said.   I was very hopeful. 

But it didn't work out for several reasons.  First of all the caregiver was a woman. (I'll call her Tess) It was immediately obvious that Ross was uncomfortable having a woman help with his physical needs. 

Although Tess was a nice person, her personality wasn't compatible with Ross'.   She was quite chatty.  After the first day, I knew her whole life history and we would get a running commentary on her daily life each day.   I think Ross was bored with her.  LOL

Her way of occupying Ross' time was to put the TV on, old movies and TV shows and then sit herself down to play games on her phone,   Needless to say, not very interesting for Ross.   

The biggest problem, though, was Ross was wary of her.  I'm sure the Alzheimers' paranoia contributed to this. 

As a trial, after she had been with us about a week, I had gone out a couple of times   Each time I was gone maybe an hour, which seemed tolerable for Ross.

After about the fourth week, I attempted a longer time away.  I think I was gone for maybe 90 minutes when the caregiver (I'll call her Tess) called me to say that  Ross was very anxious and that he kept asking where I was and when I would be back.  She assured me, though, that I was not to worry and to take my time. I immediately left my shopping cart filled with items, left the store, got into my car and headed home.

I won't go into details, but Tess was unable to handle Ross' anxiety.   

Of course after that incident I cancelled the service.  I received a phone call from the owner of the agency.  and I explained why I was not happy with the service.  To tell you the truth, at this point, after my experience of hiring a caregiver, I realized that having someone in the house with us had caused me and Ross more stress.  

Perhaps as time goes on, I might have to try again.  

As a caregiver I will offer a bit of insight into my needs.  If you want to offer support, and have not been in my position, your advice will probably cause me more stress than appreciation.  What would be appreciated by me is for you to listen.  That's all,  just listen.  

Phone calls and video chats are always welcome, for me and for Ross.   Invite us to lunch or drop by. 

Ross may not be able to communicate as well, the words just don't come very easily, but he still loves social intercourse.  

In a previous post A Caregiver's Dance I wrote "Regarding my caregiver situation, many of the comments I receive from friends, family, and internet buddies are some variation of this one, "I don't know how you do it".  

My answer, said with a wry smile, is usually some form of this one, "I don't think about it, I just do. " 

Now, as I catch myself watching Ross, perhaps trying to memorize him, I realize the answer to the question of "how I do it?" is simple.  I love and am in love with him.