Caregiver's Diary: A New Year

Now, it is a new year and things are looking up. We can all put 2010 behind us. Kathie Rose is back on her regular schedule of five visits per week – I believe that her company is just as important to my father as her cooking and light household chores. The festering wound has meant steady visits from cheerful VON nurses, and a referral to a wound specialist and the use of compression bandages has really helped. He had a lunch invite this week. He has made some decisions about his grand piano and his vast music collection, and while they are not the decisions I would make if I were in his place, at least they are decisions.

Best of all, we have placed his house in a listing with a no-commission real estate company. How we got to that is instructive for me and I can see how this technique might prove strategically useful in the future. My father uses the occasional services of a no-nonsense, small-town lawyer who he likes and respects and I encouraged him to make an appointment to talk about his affairs and his house. The lawyer recommended the man who owns the local franchise of the real estate company, and my dad likes and respects him too. This man recommended that Dad retain an appraiser to appraise the house, and Dad likes and respects this man also! Each one of these professionals has been caring, courteous and straight-up with my father and the end result has taken him to a place I could not get him to myself. His home is now listed at a realistic price on a popular website and the yard sign is about to go up. For an extra $348, we can place the listing on the MLS if we feel it is necessary, and he has agreed to evaluate this in about a month.

My father has also asked me to start getting quotes from moving companies for his move date of April 1. He has not rejected outright my idea of moving his car so that we may make the journey on VIA Rail and see the country between the Atlantic ocean and southern Ontario. This was a journey that I wanted to take with my mother but we ran out of time. He inquires regularly about the progress that Donnie and I are making on the duplex, and is delighted to learn that we are putting in an accessible shower, a higher toilet, and grab bars in strategic places. I have put on an order of white wine at my local home brew joint so that it will be ready for his arrival, which pleases him.

I am now planning my next foray to the Maritimes – to watch the Superbowl with him, liven up his world a bit and start the task of parsing through a lifetime of collected books, papers and music. The next ten weeks are going to fly by.

Keywords: caregivers, diary