The tail end to last Tue’s Tale: After only one week, my mother wound up firing the aide in the brightly flowered pants.
Maybe because said aide, after that initial interview, never again showed up in bright clothing, but in the typicial drab gray baggy cloth garb of health care aides.
Why is that? The drabness? Why can’t their “uniforms” be bright and colorful, flower-patterned, sun-flowers, or ladybugs, or smiley faces? Because bright patterns don’t say medical? Deteriorating? Dying? They’re not reminder enough to an elderly ailing client that said aide is taking up space in their private homes to do drab things like help them shower or empty wastepaper baskets?
Or maybe my mother fired said aide for something she did: “She didn’t do anything.” My mother had to instruct her on emptying the over-flowing wastepaper basket beside her bed. On how to boil an egg and not peel it so it would not grow cold in her egg bowl. To pick up a book or clothes fallen on floor that she couldn’t pick up herself.
Meanwhile I would get morning texts from said-aide about pills with pics: “What should she take today?”
More like: “What should she have taken that she didn’t take?”
The clearly-printed daily-dose directions were a little small for me to read in texted pic, but I’m sure said aide could have read it better, as it was right there in front of her on kitchen counter….
“She just wanted to talk,” my mother lamented. Defensively as she knew I would not like hearing that said aide had been fired after only one week.
If reluctantly, I admit, there may be truth to her lament; our experience with agency aides thus far has been that rather than counting pills, emptying garbage or even watering parched plants, they’re far more eager for endless chitchat about their grandchildren, their youngest’s upcoming HS graduation….As if all elderly, even the lonely as my mother may be, prefer meaningless chitchat to the quiet of following the drama of birds flying in and out of burning bushes out her bedroom window, while someone else might try to put together a meal other than the usual lentil soup.
When on-going crises begin to throb like a dull toothache (not quite bad enough for Percocet but for daily doses of ibuprofen) I hope for the best. Best being the least daily-texting possible about pills, wasterpaper baskets, and cold eggs.
So angel-of-an-aide, the one we’d thought of as a blessing, quickly lost her wings. Discarded them as a toddler might, ripping off an itchy uncomfortable angel costume. While I got to get an earful from starched gum-chewing gelled vice-president of said homecare company about if I’d only called, we could have worked out the “kinks” – I felt as I did in nursery school, when once reprimanded for rudely yawning during deadly boring story-time by being made to leave the little rug circle of more-eager tiny listeners, to go sit with my head down at my table.
So we’re back to catch-as-catch-can well-intentioned folk from local newspaper ads, who come and go, but in colorful if often too skimpy shorts, and in shirts with slit metal-studded sleeves.
And when the well-intentioned fails to materialize into effectiveness – when I am one finally to drag back unemptied-wastebasket garbage to my own garbage pails – those well-intentioned folk must continue to come and go; and with each departure and new arrival, I want to dig a deep dirty hole as does the dog in the middle of the lawn and bury my damn texting phone.
Still, in my nightmares those text bubbles keep coming; to rise up loftily, one after another and then another, to snag on trees and choke dolphins in our polluted oceans.