A Caregiver’s Struggle: Balancing an Elder’s Sense of Purpose with Their Safety
…One day, I hurried into his house at my typical visiting time and immediately sensed that something was off. Joe would usually sit at his kitchen table waiting for me to arrive, but this time there was no sign of him. I feared the worst and ran down the basement steps since he’d fallen there before. Fortunately, he wasn’t there. I headed back upstairs, where I heard a rustling noise coming from his bedroom. Joe, whose gait was wobbly at best on a flat surface, was perched halfway up a metal ladder. He was using needle-nose pliers to jab into a light fixture in his closet ceiling. There was no bulb in the fixture and the electricity was still on. Joe saw me and gleefully screeched, “Hold the ladder, honey! I’ll be down in a minute.”
I frantically grabbed my legal pad and wrote “GET DOWN!” in big letters. He just chuckled. This scene ended with me turning off the fuses in the fuse box, so he wouldn’t electrocute…
Continue reading on Agingcare for discussion about how to know when to step back or insist when activities seem unsafe:
Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories. “For anyone having to walk the last segments of life with a loved one, read this.” …Delores
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