Thursday, September 12, 2013

Forgotten

A week ago, Lyn's respite provider forgot her.

The provider forgot to pick Lyn up last Thursday afternoon to take her to bowling practice for Special Olympics.  This is part of both Lyn's and the respite provider's weekly routine; bowling and dinner.  Lyn was beside herself thinking that she had done something wrong to cause the provider to be a no-show.  After waiting 30 minutes, Lyn was in tears and the ladies at day hab worked to calm her down as they called Mom.  Mom arrived within 15 minutes to pick Lyn up.  It was too late and Lyn was too upset to even attempt to go to the bowling alley.

Mom suggested they go out to dinner together as Plan B.  "I always have a Plan B.  She agreed and we headed home.  On the way home she vented, repeating everything about 3 times.  As she went over everything some facts changed.  I tried to correct her but she wasn't listening.  I thought it didn't matter and I let her vent.  Halfway home the provider called and said she didn't know what happened.  She forgot.  At least there wasn't any type of family emergency.  I thanked her for calling, said I was in traffic & couldn't talk."  

This was the last straw with this respite provider.  Over the past few months, as Lyn's needs for assistance have been increasing, the respite provider has not been engaging and Lyn comes home angry and frustrated.  Each Saturday, Mom has had to look up ideas of things that Lyn and the respite provider can do together such as going to the Indian Cultural Center for the dances or going to a play.  The respite provider has instead just been taking Lyn to Old Town "because she likes it there."  When Lyn asks for assistance in steadying herself to sit or stand, walk down a ramp or step off a curb, the respite provider has been telling her "oh, you can do it yourself."  Lyn's unsteadiness was noticeable enough that a train employee intervened to help her down when her respite provider refused.  When they go to dinner, the respite provider has stopped helping Lyn review the menu and has told her to "just get a hamburger because that's what you always get" before pulling out a crossword puzzle to work on until Lyn's ready to go.  The respite provider has checked out and is just punching a clock.

Mom writes: "I know Alzheimer's causes any situation to become "twisted" when she relays it back to me.  I know Alzheimer's causes her to be more sensitive and perhaps misinterpret facts.  However, there is a basis for what she tells me and I have to believe her."

The respite provider was the main topic of conversation in the monthly meeting with Lyn's case managers on Tuesday.  Lyn has had a week of stewing on it and was ready to go.  Mom sat back, crossed her arms and said nothing because she's learned that there's no point in engaging with Lyn when she's in a confrontational mood.  When Lyn had her say, Mom let the case managers know it was time to find a more sensitive provider who can adjust with Lyn as Lyn's needs continue to change.

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