Friday, December 24, 2010

Miscommunication

I thought I already wrote about this, but I guess not.

So as part of my course on Adaptations in later life we had to go volunteer for 20 hours with an older adult in the community. The first person I met with didn't work out..Check out the post .

One day I randomly get a call at work from a woman who works for the University, she wants me to visit her mother who is new in town. I would love to do more hours, so I agree. Go to meet her and her mother, take a TB test, fill out an application, the whole nine.

Here is the problem. Well, the first one. I'm pretty sure I told her this but, the week I agreed to do this was right before Thanksgiving. I met her on Thursday, agreed to come back on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but I had already made plans to spend all of Thanksgiving break at home. I guess I forgot or whatever and she calls me Tuesday evening IRATE... " I don't know whether or not I want you visiting my mother, and you said blah blah blah". I think she thought I was really in NEED of the hours, no, I already talked to my professor and she was satisfied with what I had done, I was just doing this because I wanted to. I just said there's nothing I can do right now, I'm at home. I wonder if she expected me on Thanksgiving too? Maybe.

So after she calms down she says she does want me to visit. Okay, so I make my regular trips, and every time I go her mother is sleepy. I talk to her about twenty minutes, and she asks me to leave because she wants to take a nap...um okay.

This happens EVERY TIME. So this is what I think happened. Her daughter is type A, get up and go,be active, be social etc etc. Her mom just broke her hip and her leg, she goes through intensive therapy, and just wants to rest. Which is why I think she kind of pushed me away. This was not communicated to her daughter.

So at the end of the semester, I'm glad it's over and I don't have to visit this crazy lady and her unresponsive mom until...I get an email

This is regarding a student who said she has you for class and has to do 20 hours with a senior citizen this semester. I actually connected with this student as I was trying to track down someone to visit my Mother at WWW because we had just relocated her from her long-time home in EEE and I wanted her to have some visitors.

The student seemed very excited to do this, I met her and introduced her to my mother and she even got a required TB test to visit her. The problem is that she was very unreliable. She told me she would visit every Tuesday and Thursday till the end of the semester from 1-3. This was only about 4 weeks ago. I told her that was fine but she needed to tell me when she couldn't be there. The very first week was the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and she didn't show up. When I called she said she was out of town and forgot to tell me. I told her at that time that I needed to think about whether or not I wanted her to visit my mother because she was waiting for her all afternoon.

My Mother was interested in getting to talk to the student so I called and asked again for a solid committment. She agreed. Unfortunately, she only came one more time at her scheduled time and then just dropped in for a short visit another time. This last week, she assured my mother she would visit on Thursday, and she did not show. So of the 8 times she committed to visit, it turned into 2.5 times.

As an instructor, I was concerned that she would get credit for doing a lot more than she really did. As a daughter, I am extremely sorry that I set my mother up in this situation.

I wanted you to know this and maybe you can figure out who the student is or maybe it isn't critical to the situation. I would love to have students in the future because my mother likes young people, but I was just disappointed in how this particular situation turned out.

I know it is not your fault in any way, I just felt I needed to say something.

Thanks for all you do to help train students work with older adults. I have spent most of the year as a long distance care-giver and now a short-distance care giver and I have learned SO much about the systems and concerns- I am so glad to know people are being trained to help future older adults (like me!)

Have a good Holiday Season.

My prof sent me this email...saying "I thought you should know" I told her about what I thought the situation was, and what I had actually done". I was immediately worried about my grade, but honestly I know my professor knows the level of commitment I have already. I've been involved in so many projects at work. So it didn't affect my grade in the end, but I learned a lesson: If people show you a hint of crazy, don't stick around to find a whole heap of it.

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