The Fourth Sitter

I am happy to report that Kate accepted the new sitter without any problems at all. As I reported in my previous post, she was sleeping well this morning. I let her sleep as long as I thought I could before waking her. Today I had a meeting at 11:30, and the sitter was scheduled to arrive at 11:00. I wanted to make sure that Kate got her muffin and a sandwich before I had to leave. I also felt I need just a few minutes to brief the new sitter.

Finally, I woke her up about 9:10. She was ready to go to Panera at 10:05. That made the schedule a little tight. I ordered her muffin for her to eat there and a sandwich and sliced apples to go. We arrived home about 7 minutes before 11:00. The sitter had arrived and parked on the street. We drove in the driveway, and she followed us to the back door. I greeted her and introduced her to Kate. The sitter handled the introduction beautifully. She greeted Kate warmly, and Kate did the same. We came inside and provided a bit of orientation.

I suggested that Kate show her around the house. I went back to our bedroom. They followed. I had told the sitter that Kate likes working jigsaw puzzles on her iPad. That led her to ask Kate is she ever worked on coloring books. The sitter said that she loves them. I was glad to hear that as I have suggested coloring books to Kate, but she has not been interested. I hope that this sitter will encourage her to try them. When I left they were getting along well. In fact, they were doing so well that I called the agency from the car to say we got off to a good start.

I returned home about 10 minutes before 4:00. The sitter was sitting in the family room. Kate was in the back. I assumed that she was resting. I asked the sitter, and she said she was. She said they had gotten along well. She told me that she had noticed that Kate is a wanderer, noting that she moved around to different places in the yard. She also said that Kate didn’t eat the sandwich I had gotten for her. I told her that was not unusual, that Kate never seemed to eat what I left for her.

That led to a brief discussion that bothered me. She said, “That’s the way they are. They don’t eat.” I went on to say that Kate usually eats but that she doesn’t eat what I leave at home. The sitter tried to explain to me that Alzheimer’s patients are like that. I stopped her and tried to tell she didn’t need to explain a lot to me. She also told me how alert Kate is. I told her I think she is in Stage 6. I told her that Kate’s memory is very poor. She then told me that Kate was able to take her around the house and identify the people in the pictures. I told her that Kate still has long-term memory but even that is short on details.

The bottom line of this discussion is that I thought she was too quick to make judgments about Kate and offering sweeping generalizations about people with dementia. Otherwise, I like her. I believe I will say something to her about this next time she is here because I think she could work out.

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