One of the things I have to remember in the morning is to remove yesterday’s socks from the couch and affirm with Mom that she get clean socks every day. Sometimes our weekend routine is lax, which is why I’m guessing this photo shows three pairs of socks, but hey, at least the message of “clean socks every day” seems to be getting through. Mostly.
This morning, I go to the couch, move Mother’s purse aside (she tries to hide them from me), and see–no socks! I look around to find that she’s got them on the seat right beside her and as I move toward them, she covers them with her hand and gives me a look. I take them from under her hand, and once again, affirm, “Clean socks every day!”
Most days, after Mom has her morning coffee and cookie, she moves to the couch and manages to fall asleep for the 10-15 minutes she has before it’s time to get dressed. I’m doing stuff around the house, the time slips by me, and suddenly it’s almost time for her ride to arrive, and she’s still sitting on the couch in her gown, dozing to the morning’s news.
It’s only taken me a year to figure out how to fix this.
Mom used to wear slip-on loafers, but now, with her congestive heart failure, her feet swell during the course of the day, and if the loafers fit well enough to not slide off, then they get too tight later. Before our Thanksgiving trip, I got her two pairs of velcro sneakers, one white (above) and one black (currently on her feet). I was afraid that she wouldn’t like them, but she thinks they look nice and appreciates the fact that they are more comfy than her other shoes had become.
This morning, I stood behind her as she struggled to put on her socks and then her shoes. The diuretic she takes each morning for her CHF helps, but leaning over to reach her feet gets her winded and wheezy. The driver had arrived a little early, and was patiently waiting outside as Mom fumbled around trying to find the black-on-black velcro strap on her 2nd shoe. I helped her find the strap and resisted the urge to move to the front of the couch and put her shoes on for her, to hurry the process along.
During our above-mentioned Thanksgiving road trip, I helped her get dressed every morning and helped her in all the bathrooms on the way. We were gone from home for about 12 days, and the first morning back, she sat on her bed, waiting for me to come help her get dressed. I pointed out to her that since we were home, she knew where her clothes were and could dress herself. She was happy to take up that task again, but I realized that she would also be just as happy to allow me to do everything for her. And so I don’t end up doing just that, I have to give her the time and space she needs to still do those things she is able to do. Even when the bus driver is waiting.