Friday, August 25, 2006

Caregiving: scootering

     Caring is more often than not intuitive. Physical and cognitive symptoms can easily intimidate you if you only look at cause and effect. 

     Medical professionals sometimes seem to hang an albatross around their own necks with their dependency on empirical evidence.  Quality of life is an entirely different fight than medical treatment.    

    For example, “scootering” or going for rides on her electric scooter for whatever reasons empowers Patti and makes her FEEL better. 

     Patti is legally blind, easily confused, and quickly forgets what she is doing. These are not logical credentials for operating an electric scooter.

     It falls on me as caregiver to find a way to make it possible.  


     City Island is a mile long island in the middle of the Susquehanna River. It is many things to able bodied people, however above all it has a road (closed to the public) that encircles the island. Here on non-peak times Patti can roar away without risk of running into crowds of pedestrians or off a narrow sidewalk.


     On narrower sidewalks or paths I have to walk along side her and operate her scooter controls. This not only takes away the empowerment of scootering but invites outbursts of frustrated emotional lability.


     Some parks can be OK but even grassy fields have the potential of holes, rocks, etc that she is unable to see and can abruptly halt the scooter, risking catapulting her out.


     Progression of cognitive symptoms has lessened her ability to respond correctly to verbal cues, such as “veer right”, etc. Now I often use a more mechanical variation of “running with the bulls” for directional help, “Patti, just drive toward my voice”. … and prepare to dodge the oncoming whir. Charging at me for a target seems to add to Patti enjoyment <grin> and keeps me limber.


     It's doubtful a medical professional would endorse such behavior but the bottom line is it empowers Patti and improves the quality of her life. Feeling good, I believe, is good medicine. (Unless of course, I dodge the wrong way <grin>)


  1. awww, you're wonderful, I don't think Patti for one minute would run you over.  I like the sound of the road..........freedom. Rache

  2. Patti sure picked a good one....B. Lynne

  3. .........there are times when you can accidentially throw yourself in front of a "moving scooter/power chair" trying to correct a problem!  This is not good for toes I found out! lol
    .........there is power  in those vehicles...and it does enpower!

  4. that is soooo sweet that you let Patti charge you with the scooter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Patrick, you really need to write a book or a series of small stories or something. You have such a way with words when describing the challenges you face in giving Patti a great quality of life based on her abilities. I can just picture the two of you out there maneuvering, scooting and driving that scooter. What an adventure; I'm sure never a dull moment :)



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