Sunday, June 2, 2013

There, not there: training aides

As I currently train new aides, my friends with disabilities are checking in on me to see how it's going. Other than the occasional crash, it's moving right along.

I try to avoid starting more than one new aide at a time, if possible.  I also try to go over the routine of the job in pieces rather than all at once.

I'm getting a chuckle at the number of times over the past few weeks items have gone missing in action.  Sometimes I just can't figure out where a new aide put something I need. Other times there are crashes because items I need are stacked over my head - and using a reacher just doesn't cut it.

But it can be dangerous if I don't watch new aides carefully.  I've stumbled across sharp objects unwittingly placed where I might be grabbing something I need.  For example, some aides dry the dishes and put them away while others leave them to dry in the dish drainer.  Unfortunately, a sharp knife was left at the bottom of the dish drainer by one. Since  I lack sensation and the dish drainer is higher than I can see, I cut myself.  So I need to remind folks that if they use and/or wash a sharp object, it's best to put it back into the drawer.

A cardinal rule is: what a person can see standing up isn't what I see from a  wheelchair.  The perspective is entirely different.

And I know the minute I have an aide who will work out - it's when we have our first chuckle about this.  Usually it occurs after he/she has placed a reacher out of my reach - and gone home.  Or- as one aide once did- rolled my wheelchair across the room so she could clean, then said goodbye and left.  She returned shortly after looking a bit sheepish, and rolled it toward me.

"Great," I said.  "I might be needing that."

It's all in the perspective. Hopefully the one thing I never lose while training aides is my sense of humor.

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