helping hands

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I’m sitting in my stepmother’s kitchen, sipping on some coffee and contemplating the day ahead. I have a bunch of notes to write up for the incoming caregiver and I need to get myself packed up so I can leave for the airport around 1pm, with a stop to fill up the gas tank on the rental.

Before I leave I will walk across the street to meet the neighbors who have been so very helpful to give them my gratitude. I’m thinking I’ll craft something for them once I’m home as a thank-you gift. Not sure what yet.

There is still a lot to be done, so I’m looking at another trip down, possibly in early January.

The Keurig coffee maker seems to be one of the successes of this trip, making her coffee easier now that she’s got the hang of it.

And we did get 5 days/week, 4 hours per day with an in-home caregiver set up, plus Mobile Meals delivery 5 days/week, getting coverage for all 7 days out of the mix. Someone will visit and talk with her every day of the week, except on holidays, and I don’t have to worry about her getting food and stuff regularly.

It was good to touch base with her medical support team. The only doctors I didn’t meet were the oncologist (I met the oncology surgeon and their staff) and the neurologist. I did however talk to all of them.

I recognize this is a stop-gap measure, and that we need to start looking at what comes next. I just don’t want to push her into big decisions this close to such a major trauma. If we can keep her stable through to next year, we can come together as a family to help her transition into assisted living and deal with the house and such.

Yesterday was less than stellar and my exhaustion is beginning to make itself known in a short temper and crankiness, so I think it’s good I’m headed home today. It takes some special people to deal day in and day out with Alzheimer’s patients. I am not that kind of special, at least not long term.

I am, however, grateful my father was as prepared as he was, even if there are odd gaps in that preparedness. And I am grateful for neighbors who care enough to help, friends from afar who call to check in, and all of the folks I’ve been leaning heavily on in the last weeks.

I’m looking forward to the next 3 days at home in my own space with my cats and my dog. I have housework to do and laundry and the mindless good of walking Athena.

Okay, one last cup of coffee before I get myself organized for the day. Happy Turkey day to those who celebrate. Save me a slice of pie!

Photo by Maya GM on Unsplash

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