Effects of care recipients' behaviour


She’s in a disabled suite that’s outfitted for someone who is sort of mildly disabled, but not someone who is getting more and more increasingly disabled with time as she is. So it’s not necessarily the safest space for her. And assisted living comes up, and comes up, and comes up, and she’s terrified of it and wants nothing to do with it. She’s had some really massive falls and she fell one time, almost broke her arm, and was lying there for 2 ½ hours with no one around. And one of her caretakers finally came, but didn’t have a key to the door and had to go knock the door down to get to her. And a) that happened, and so she’s clearly in a situation where she’s not safe, and b) she didn’t tell me about it for probably 5 or 6 days. I was going through something else at the time and she didn’t want to burden me, so she didn’t tell me about it. And funnily enough, I had called—I call her every day—I called her that day and I hadn’t heard back from her and I always get really concerned when I don’t hear back from her because every day I don’t know what’s going on, and I, at that point, had made a conscious decision just to not freak out and, “It’s okay,” and, “It’s okay if she doesn’t get back to you sometimes.” And I heard from her the next day, but then I go see her 4 days later and she’s black and blue on her arms and with a sling or whatever. And I said, “You can’t not tell me when things like that happen because my constant fear is that things like that are happening and that I don’t know about them. So you just validated that experience for me, and that feeling for me. So now whenever you don’t call me back, I’m going to think you fell down and hit your head, you’re bleeding out on the floor or something.” 

So, I still deal with that but I try to support her decisions as much as I can, and her wanting to stay as independent as possible and live where she lives. She used to be an interior designer, so her home space is extremely important to her—probably top of her list of priorities. So she wants to stay in a space that she feels as good and as independent as possible, and I want to support that for her, also knowing though, that she puts her life at risk pretty much every day. So that’s my view of it. That’s not her view of it, but it’s certainly mine. But that’s her choice and her decision that has a grave impact on me and my everyday life. So I’m sure that will be the battle until the day she dies, because that’s just who she is.

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