Providing support – Marlyn


Marlyn realises, during the interview, that problem solving is a big part of caregiving.


There the kind of things that you often don’t think of until somebody says something, because you—actually this is a point I didn’t make, and it’s perhaps one of the ways in which I have been most involved with the caregiving, and that is problem-solving. And that’s a big issue, because the person needing the care is constantly running into problems trying to do something. And so, you’re always sort of racking your brain trying to figure out, well how else can we make this work? What can we do, how can we adapt this, what could I buy? What different kind of water bottle might he be able to use? Because he has no use of one arm and he can only barely with a lot of effort force a bottle or something into a hand that just kind of sits there. And the other hand is losing a lot of strength, so there are a lot of things that he can’t do. And opening jars and just some of the water bottles that you buy all over the place—the reusable water bottles—have systems of opening or shutting them that may be fine for the average person, but for somebody with very little use of their hands and strength, it just doesn’t work. And so you’re constantly out there looking at what’s out there trying to see if there’s something that looks like it might fit the bill. 

So then I passed that on to other people. So there’s a lot of that kind of “How do you, what do you do, how do you do this?” You just sort of suddenly get flummoxed; you hit a certain point where the logical thing that everybody always does in that circumstance isn’t working, and you kind of hit a wall. You can’t figure out how you’re going to do it. And then you start asking people, and some people often came up with it before. But that’s one of the things that I have done a lot of, is just trying to do the problem-solving and trying to come up with things. When he used to be in a scooter, he would have a bag hanging from the front handlebars of the scooter and he could keep all sorts of things in it. When he progressed to a wheelchair, there’s nothing in front to hang anything from. There’s something in the back but he can’t reach it, and you can put a couple of things on the side, but he can’t really put one on one side because the joystick moves in and out. And the other side, you can only put so much because he’s still got to get through doorways and things, and if you start putting too much everything gets caught.
So I’m constantly trying to come up with ways of putting something that he can attach to the wheelchair somehow, somewhere, still be able to reach it and use it, but it not get caught in things. So, it’s that kind of thing that you spend a lot of time just trying to figure out how to do.

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