At 1:30am I got a call from the personal emergency response system (PERS) for one of my clients. The message was cryptic and unsettling: “Person number one is not responding! Person number one is not responding!”
Hmm. So I called her and she was fine — bright as could be! I apologized for waking her up. She said – “you know I don’t sleep!”
I suspected that her PERS pendant — which allows her to push a button to call me if she falls or has another emergency — just needed batteries. But I wasn’t sure so I asked her if I could come over to her house and check it out. She said: “If you want to come over here in the middle of the night you’re welcome to!”
Now, I usually dress nicely for my clients, but this was the middle of the night! So I threw on my jeans and turtle neck, tried unsuccessfully to brush the “bed head” out of my hair, and got in my car. When I arrived she was in her pajamas, looking so cute!
We set about reading the PERS manual and figuring out how to change the batteries. She said: “you know, if you get tired of the stress of taking care of all these old ladies, you can get a new job changing batteries – you’re good at it!” I howled, brushed the sleep out of my eyes, and gave her a big hug. Then we started joking about what the neighbors would think if they saw my car in her driveway at two am: they will think you have fallen again! So we decided to tell them we were just having a slumber party. Maybe we should pop some popcorn and open the windows so they will get the full effect!
By the time I left I was smiling ear to ear. I have the best job in the world! All these little intimate caregiving moments: they are what makes life so sweet and what makes my work as a geriatric care manager so rewarding. Thanks for sharing your mom with me. She brings me joy at each and every hour of the day!
Ethelyn Waffle says
Hi there, just wanted to mention, I loved this article. It was inspiring. Keep on posting!