Until sheltering came into our lives, we have had the same schedule for in-home care for the past two and a half years. One sitter comes at noon every Monday and stays until 4:00. That allows me to make my regular Rotary meeting, go to the Y, run errands and attend occasional meetings for the balance of the time. Another sitter comes on Wednesday and Friday between 1:00 and 5:00.
I have always preferred the 1:00 time for both sitters, but that wouldn’t allow me to make Rotary. Our club suspended its meetings in April, and I took advantage of the change to request that the Monday sitter come at 1:00 until the resumption of our Rotary meetings. I thought that had worked fine, but last week the Monday sitter showed up at noon just as Kate and I were getting ready to leave to pick up a takeout meal from Panera. It turned out that she had thought that we had made the change only for the month of April.
In our conversation, I discovered that she has other commitments after 4:00 and had only been staying until 5:00 to help me out for a short time. As it turned out, I haven’t felt the need for her during this time. I continued the service for two reasons. First, she has been with us over a year, and I didn’t want to risk losing her if I temporarily discontinued the service. Second, I didn’t want her to sacrifice the income in case she couldn’t find something else until we started again. When I finally understood the situation, I told the agency not to send anyone on Monday until Rotary begins its regular meeting schedule.
So, for the month of May, I only have a sitter two days a week. Ironically, I feel good about this arrangement. While sheltering, I have only run sporadic trips to the grocery or pharmacy and taken a short walk around the neighborhood. I’ve spent the bulk of the time at home. As a result, I haven’t worried about getting Kate up as early as I had been. Quite a few times, we have been eating our lunch when the sitter arrived. She would take a seat in the family room until we finished eating. After that, Kate usually rests for the balance of the afternoon, and I have worked on other things and made phone calls without any interruptions. I think Kate has been comfortable with the arrangement as well. This means there is never any abrupt time when I am leaving for an extended period of time. I generally say something like, “I’m going to run to the grocery and will be right back.” That is something she has been able to accept without any problem. Thus, I have felt more relaxed during our sheltering.
The question now is what is going to happen when Rotary begins. As it stands, the agency will return the same sitter when I tell her it’s time to change back to the noon to 4:00 schedule. That assumes that the sitter has not been assigned to someone else. I am wondering about the possibility of changing sitters even if the same one is available. I have never felt as comfortable with her as I do with the other sitter. On the other hand, Kate doesn’t require a lot of attention. She rests most, and sometimes all, of the time the sitters are here. Like most changes of this nature, I can’t be sure that the replacement would be better, perhaps not as good. Of course, I could try another one or several, but that would mean introducing Kate to more than one new person. I am leaning toward accepting the same sitter if she is still available, but I have almost two weeks before I have to make a final decision. We’ll see what happens.