Ursula straightened the chairs in front of her small desk as she prepared for her next appointment. The last appointment had been difficult and she hadn’t been able to help the individuals she had met with. The case was still open, but she wasn’t hopeful. She didn’t like leaving things like that, but sometimes it worked out that way.
She sighed and walked over to the window. She had been working as a social worker for the past five years. Sometimes she just wasn’t sure if she was cut out for the job. She got too involved and felt bad when she wasn’t able to match a client up with the services that they needed. She sometimes wondered if she should consider switching careers. She was lost in thought when she heard people approaching.
“This way, Dad,” a woman said in a soothing voice.
Ursula moved over to her desk to pick up the Crowley-Webb file. She looked up to smile as a middle-aged couple came in with an elderly man.
“Hello,” she smiled, “Mr. and Mrs. Crowley? Mr. Webb?”
“David Crowley,” David said, shaking her hand, “This is my wife, Chloe and my father-in-law, Barney Webb.”
“It’s nice to meet you all. Please have a seat.” Ursula waited until they were all seated before she sat down herself. She opened the file and picked up her pen. “Now, before we discuss how we might be able to help, please start by telling me about your current situation.”
Chloe began by explaining where they lived and how the apartment was set up. Then she talked about David’s job and schedule.
“So basically, you, Chloe, are his primary caregiver,” Ursula said, kindly, nodding to Barney.
“Yes,” Chloe said.
“How many times does he get you up at night?” Ursula asked.
“Three or four,” Chloe said.
“Has he ever wandered off or left the house on his own?”
“Just once,” David said, “He wandered away from the park where he likes to sit.”
“We had to call the Police because we couldn’t find him,” Chloe said, sadly, “He was several blocks away trying to find his old store.”
“Store,” Barney said suddenly.
“Yes, Dad,” Chloe said, taking his hand.
“That’s not uncommon for Alzheimer’s patients,” Ursula said, “They often look for places and people they once knew. In their minds, those people and places still exist. What type of help are you looking for?”
“We wanted to hire an aide,” Chloe said.
“I think we can help with that,” Ursula smiled, “I have the paperwork from your father’s Doctor verifying his condition and his needs, and I have the paperwork from David’s insurance company detailing what they will assist with. Let’s talk about possible schedules for aides and what types of eldercare you might like them to provide for your father’s situation other than the obvious – watching him so that he doesn’t wander.”
By the time the Crowley’s and Mr. Webb left her office almost an hour later, they were smiling and feeling much relieved. Ursula herself had a smile on her face, pleased to have helped this family. It really made it all worthwhile when things went so smoothly.
Image courtesy of Pinterest