I couldn’t get along as well as I do if I didn’t have eight hours of care for Kate seven days a week; however, in-home care also has its stressful moments. One of those occurred Saturday when I received a call from the agency that provides our caregivers. They were letting me know that our regular weekend caregiver was on vacation and that they were having difficulty finding someone to fill in.
As it turned out, they were able to find a “floater” (a staff member who works on the grounds of our community and moves from place to place wherever needed) to come in for an hour to help me get Kate dressed and up for the day. They also had someone who would help feed Kate at dinner as well as help with getting her to bed.
Every Saturday, I meet three other guys for coffee off the grounds. I was disappointed about having to cancel, but it gave me more time to be with Kate. I decided Kate and I would make the most of the day, and that turned out to be far better than I could have imagined.
On a typical day, Kate gets breakfast right after we get her dressed and out of bed even though it is lunchtime. While she is eating, I go out for lunch. This gave us an opportunity that we had never had before – having lunch together in the dining room downstairs.
The lunch could not have gone better. We sat at the table where we eat for dinner each night so it is a familar spot for Kate. The dining room is always the quietest venue on the grounds, and Saturday lunch is not busy at all. I don’t know if that matters to Kate, but it does to me.
I fed Kate as I ate my own meal. Kate was in a cheerful mood, and the staff gave us a lot of attention since they weren’t as busy as usual. It was a very special time for both of us, and we celebrated the occasion by splitting one of my favorite desserts, a strawberry cheesecake. We spent almost two hours there.
It was a beautiful afternoon with temperatures in the low-80s, a break from the mid-90s we had had recently. It seemed like a good afternoon to go outside. We sat for another hour under the portico at the main entrance to our community. It was shady with a gentle breeze, and I used my phone to play music that Kate loves. She was fully engaged the entire time. She never stopped smiling. It was a very special moment.
We finished the day with dinner in the dining room where another caregiver met us. After dinner, the three of us returned to our apartment where we got Kate ready for bed.
Kate was tired and went to sleep right after the caregiver left, but we had had a very special day together. That’s one more thing for which I can feel grateful.