Visiting with Patti Wednesday evening it was refreshing to hear her recount her shopping trip to Wal-Mart on Tuesday with several other residents from her care facility.
First of all anything ‘remembered’ is always impressive. When that memory includes details and feelings it’s particularly heartening.
Her facility maintains custodial cash accounts for residents in the business office. When able to arrange such outings, staff members or volunteers assist residents with shopping and transactions.
The facility vehicle has a lift. Wheelchairs simply roll in, are secured, and roll out. Transportation is effortless as NO transfers are involved unlike a passenger car. Transfers are stressful and it takes FOUR to go shopping via the family passenger car.
A ‘shopping assistant’ working for you IS different from a family member or friend who will always risk crossing the boundary of ‘patronizing’ behavior or attitude.
Shopping with family or friends, Patti is the ‘different’ one. Shopping with other residents like her, the able-bodied assistants are the ‘different’ ones.
She felt like she did something ‘on her own’, without needing to depend on her family, for the first time in years.
These are little points, but interestingly when added together they created a good time that Patti could also ‘remember’ and share. It was an opportunity of empowerment that seemed quite healthy and most important FUN for her.