One client. For the first time in years, I don’t have twenty or thirty people calling my name. It’s an adjustment. This new adventure comes with its own set of challenges and teachable moments.
First, the environment is totally different. Sounds like a no brainer, right? OF COURSE it is, Alice! A home verses a facility? Duh! I expected it to be different. I didn’t expect it to be quite as challenging to maneuver around those differences. Small bathrooms. Carpets. Less space. They all require different transfers and tricks in mobility than in a facility in order to keep my client as safe as possible. And I’m learning by doing. It’s much more of a team effort too. In a facility, as much as we like to foster independence, due to time restraints, I had to do the bulk of the work for the residents. One on one care is different. I don’t have to rush and it’s an entirely new pace for me. I have time to learn what my client is capable of doing for herself and with what activities she needs extensive assistance. It’s a very different scope of expectations and I feel a bit like a fish out of water.
I’m blessed to be working with a family who is both very invested and committed. This is new for everyone involved. It is their first experience moving an ailing loved one into their home and it’s my first experience working within a home. We are all learning this together, which is equal parts exciting and terrifying. There are physical therapy visits and occupational therapy visits. It’s a brand new environment for all of us.
The woman for whom I am caring is funny, feisty and for the most part oriented to her surroundings. In fact, considering all of the constant changes, she has been handling the upheaval remarkably well. I attribute that to being surrounded by a family that loves her very much.
Right now is a time of transition for me and that feels overwhelming but I am excited and optimistic about this new experience; both what I can bring to the client and her family and what I can learn from them. It’s very different, but no one ever learns from staying in one space. “Different” may be just what the doctor ordered.