Negotiating Changes


Negotiating Changes

salad-677910_640Well, it was a nice short week for Spring Break. I work in a high school so I have the school holidays as well as my vacation time for getaways. AwesomeHubby and I went to the coast about three hours away, well, at first, not just the two of us, but for one day we treated a single mom and her girls to a day at the Central Coast beach. We have met them through church and now that we have two vehicles, could take the six of them out for a trip! That was the start of the week. After that day, we spent some time on the north coast for several days at some beaches we had not visited before.

Upon arriving home, we found Elly to be fine. NurseySister greeted us in the driveway and said she had been called off twice and could spend lots of time with Grandma while we were gone.We can't really figure out what Grandma ate while we were gone besides soup--none of the freezer meals had been used!  Elly seemed happy and glad to have us back! We had one day of chores before Easter Sunday.

Easter Sunday we had a Salad Lunch Potluck with my sisters, FormerLivingRoomSon and wife and a couple from church. The salads were great and quite a variety. Grandma Elly walked out onto the porch and started down the steps with NurseySister's arm linked with hers. I only heard about this after the fact, but it seems Grandma headed for a face plant which was thwarted by the linked arms! I am so thankful NurseySister insisted on that support. Elly continues to want to be independent and resist normal caregiving strategies on our part. We all enjoyed an outside lunch without the drama/trauma of a fall!

After lunch, NurseySister let me know that she will not be providing Sunday Lunch for Grandma and us for the rest of the month and maybe into May. NurseySister has been scheduled for some Saturday or Sunday shifts (nights). We felt this may be happening so it is no surprise, and we are truly grateful for the cooking "day off" I have had the past year or so. Now, I am thinking about ways to negotiate some different arrangements to increase some time for AH and I to have flexibility and for Grandma to have more social interaction. My idea is to again ask (with insistence) LittleSis to take Grandma to her house for dinner every other week or more often. I am not always really good at this and tend to come across as bossy or controlling. This is what my AH tells me anyway. Our family has a history of having a parent who has been controlling, manipulative and bullying so we may be more sensitive than the average folk! Sunday Lunch is going to happen at our house but we will have to make sure meal planning is "spot on" since the plan is to be bringing in folks from church. In our own home, we would regularly have folks that were new or visiting come and have lunch with us. I need a normal but not sure if all the work this will take will be sustainable on my part. I have just a little over a month of work left before I am home full time for summer break so it seems doable to me now.

I spoke with my caseworker at Valley Caregiver's Resource and expressed my concern that Elly have more social interaction. He said he would look for a senior volunteer to come and visit, maybe like once a week. Most seniors don't want to travel very far so it may be difficult to find someone who lives fairly close to us but VCR does the placement of volunteers for Catholic Charities so there is some hope. My caseworker also encouraged me to try Oasis, the adult day care for Elly. I am trying to gear up gumption enough to talk to Elly about this. I may go and talk with the staff to see if she might fit in as a crochet or knitting instructor or "book club" leader. She really needs to know she has a job otherwise she will resist!

With the beginning of summer just around the corner, it means weeding again in the garden. I cancelled the service that was spraying the garden because of the $ so I need to catch the weeds now. My nephew will be home from college and he may be interested in providing some lunch once a week for Elly. All of our boys love to cook. :)

Sophie (the cat) and Elly are doing just fine. Elly had to feed Sophie while we were gone and it seems that Sophie keeps an eye on Elly. It is a good match!

Like this article? Share on social


Sign in to comment


What a good job you are doing at being attentive to Elly's needs. You all are a real success story.


Oh,nth at would be so great if she could lead a class or something! I think she would thrive since she's so social!


Good for you, EG, for continuing to find what both you and Elly need. I hope a volunteer and a visit to the adult day center will work. A caree's isolation is a worry but it's not an easy problem to solve. We just don't have enough services to help AND we also have to work through a caree's resistance. \r\n\r\nSo glad you got a break. And, how wonderful you gave the gift of a break to another. :)