When my dad was caring for my mother who had dementia, I tried to get to get him to use a sitter when he needed to get out. He was always resistant, but he finally agreed to a short trial to see how he liked it. He didn’t like it and didn’t stick with it long enough to become comfortable with the arrangement. Now that I have had a sitter for Kate almost six months, I have a better understanding of his feelings.
That doesn’t mean that I am going to give up the sitter. It only means that I have not fully adapted to it just yet. Having cared for Kate for the past seven years, it is not easy to turn over some of that responsibility to someone else. Kate seems to have adapted much more easily than I have. Despite that, I feel a slight uneasiness just before the sitter arrives. I begin to wonder if Kate will be as accepting this time as in the past.
That has not been a problem. The past two times, however, she has not been as enthusiastic as she has been before. Thus, I wasn’t as comfortable when I left her today. Typically, when I leave, I tell her that I am going to the Y and will see her later. She usually says, “What am I going to do?” My answer is that she and the sitter can do whatever they like. I suggest that she could work outside, go to Panera, or stay inside and work on her jigsaw puzzles on her iPad. Until today, she has jumped at the mention of Panera. Today, she just took a seat with her iPad. When I returned home four hours later, that is where she was, still working her jigsaw puzzles.
After the sitter left, she looked bored. That didn’t surprise me. I would have been bored if I had been working jigsaw puzzles for four hours. It does, however, play into my apprehension about leaving her with a sitter. She often thanks the sitter and tells her goodbye when she leaves. She didn’t do that today.
I think I’ll approach this the way I do most things that come up. I’ll wait to see if this was just a bad day for Kate. Maybe when the sitter comes on Monday, she will be in a different frame of mind. Regardless, I am sure I will be uneasy when Monday arrives.