Folks have been asking me how the nanny search was going. Well, today was Sarah’s first day. We’ll be starting slowly with one day a week. I received a referral a couple of weeks ago and we did a short interview last week with Jerry present. A friend happened to stop by while she was here, so I was fortunate to get her input also. At our interview, I observed Sarah’s manor with Jerry and his with her. She was not reluctant at all to talk directly to him. I liked that. Even though he was unable to verbalize much, his eyes lit up when she bonded with Montana. Today, the time flew by. We began by going over my expectations, then we discussed a daily schedule. We decided she would write a daily log, so we could track what works and what doesn’t. We went over a few of his habits...like, when I bring his plate to him, if he gets something on his fingers, he looks at me as if “go get me a napkin, Sue.” Then Sarah said, “Sounds like a man!” She was quite familiar with Alzheimers. She suggested they begin with a dog walk, then come home and spend some time doing a puzzle, or loading a dishwasher (some sort of occupational therapy) in the morning while he was fairly alert. I stayed down in my studio and could hear their “conversation.” Her voice was very upbeat but soothing and I could hear her encouraging him. When he wasn’t able to do the task, she still was very positive and respectful. Sarah has a little laugh that keeps things light.
They went to a local hamburger joint for lunch. She handled it like a charm when he didn’t know what to order or when his sandwich fell apart. (It takes two hands to hold a hamburger. Jerry only uses one hand.) She wasn’t embarassed, wiped his mouth discretely, so as not to make him feel self conscious. She said she was already becoming attached and that Jerry reminded her of her father. That’s good. Once they came back, I could tell Jerry was worn out and just wanted to watch TV. So Sarah turned on the military channel and he eventually went to sleep.
Interesting, in the short time they were together, Sarah managed to get him to respond to Alabama football and the military. Even in those short moments, she managed to glean that he was in a traumatic accident when his men were killed in a training exercise in the 70’s. That accident still is fresh in Jerry’s mind even though it happened 40 years ago.
So, I’d say it was a good day. Six paintings were started. The website revamped AGAIN. Jerry was happy. Sarah was happy and Sue was happy.