While Jon and his family were on their trip, I had a part-time caregiver, a wonderful woman who is kind and efficient. But she wasn’t here every day so I was alone with Bo for three days…in a row. Three days over the Fourth of July weekend.
Those three days emphasized, once again, what caregiving 24-hours a day means: Always on watch.
Luckily, I now have a baby monitor so I can watch him from downstairs while he’s still sleeping upstairs. I can sit on the patio or do yard work by keeping the monitor with me. But I can’t take the dog for walks or drives, go to Starbucks, shop for a few groceries, or run to the bank. Can’t take a nap.
I need to be there when he gets out of bed , walks from room to room, goes to the bathroom. (He fell out of bed last week.) I fix his meals and sometimes have to feed him or even awaken him if he falls asleep over his plate. I shower and dress him, make sure he gets his pills and enough liquids, and usually hold his hand to aid balance when he walks. Most of all, he doesn’t feel alone when I’m with him.
Jon’s better at giving him a shower; I end up completely wet and have to clean up the bathroom then change my own clothes and wash all the towels after dressing him.
Entertainment is, for me, the biggest issue. How can I add some interest to Bo’s otherwise uneventful, sleep-filled life? He can’t watch TV or read books or even have a conversation, but he does enjoy car rides. Today I drove for 2 1/2 hours with Johnny Cash, Beethoven and Madonna. Bo liked it. Emma dog liked it.