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The Extras

I was visiting with a friend who lives at the retirement village where I work. We were chatting about family and the food here etc. Then she asked me about what I do, about what kind of services I provide. So I took her through a routine morning.

First, I arrive about 8:00 am give or take. Some people want me earlier, some later.

When I get there I help the person out of bed if they aren't already. Then I help them into the shower, make the bed, start to collect the laundry. I also get their clothes ready to wear. When they come out of the shower I dry them off, help with lotion, teeth brushing, basically help with their toilette where needed. Then help get them dressed.

Now, it's about 9:00, we're down stairs in the kitchen getting breakfast, the paper, news, laundry etc. Check the calendar to see if there are any appointments. Start to think about errands or when to leave for a appointment. Sometimes we go to the grocery store. After I clean up from breakfast it's time to think about getting into the car. One more check on the laundry. We grab the grocery list, they either come with me or not or we go off to an appointment. I try to make sure we're back by 11:30 so I can have time to make lunch and set it out. . At this point they maybe independent enough to clean up themselves. Sometimes too we'll walk the dog, that's always a fun thing to do. Then finished by Noon. There is generally a 4 hour maximum.

So I was explaining all of this and then I started to fill in some of the gaps with the extra stuff I do. I explained that one woman I took care of wanted us to soak her feet everyday. We had to get out the footbath, fill with hot water and epsom salts. Then dry her feet off and put on lotion which included a foot massage of sorts. My friend replied "oh I would love a foot massage everyday". Then I told her about how this one woman insisted on us wrapping her in warm bath towels fresh from the dryer as she stepped out of the shower. She said "Oh I would love that too, how extravagant". Then I told her about the woman who insisted we change and wash her bed sheets every day. That was always a lot of work. Her son and wife came by every night to have dinner with her and would ask us point blank "did you wash her sheets today?" I'm a terrible liar so I simply had to do it. I also told her that one time I repotted all of this woman's orchids, she must have had 15 or more. My friend was so impressed by all of the extra stuff we did for people. And she thought we just administered personal care, nuh uh.

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