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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/992148-Guardian-of-the-Van
Rated: E · Book · Community · #2231133
A collection of stories about when I was a caregiver
#992148 added September 2, 2020 at 2:04pm
Restrictions: None
Guardian of the Van
One thing I often noticed during my time as a caregiver is that many coworkers were more prone to tell clients what was going to happen and then if the client did not respond in the way they had wanted, it became the client's fault. Many of the people I worked with were downright bossy and felt it was the client's responsibility to do as they were told. My approach was different. It was well known I would often let the clients offer suggestions and tell me what to do.

Every Friday Rodney received his weekly allowance and he and I would head to town for a bit of fun and adventure. Our first stop, as always, was his favorite burger joint. We had just entered the lobby when I realized I had forgotten to lock the company van. It was regulation that the van was to always be kept locked.

This presented a possible problem. If I tried to get Rodney to come back out to the van so I could lock it, I ran the risk of him becoming combative and upset, thinking he was leaving without his hamburger. However, If I left him unattended and ran back out to lock the van, well, it would be the same as leaving a toddler to wait. Who knew what he could get into?

I decided to ask Rodney what I should do.

"Rodney, I have a problem. I forgot to lock the van. It's the rules that I have to lock it. Do you want to wait here for me or come with me to lock it?"

Rodney looked at me then out at the van. Then in a slightly sarcastic, disbelieving tone replied: " Do you really think someone is going to steal the retarded van?"

He had a point. Not many wheelchair accessible vans get carjacked, especially in a small town.

"What do you think we should do?" I asked him. He suddenly got a huge smile on his face and said," let's get our food and sit by the window. I will watch the van for you while we eat!"

I decided to go with it. He was proud to have come up with a solution for his forgetful caregiver, and I didn't have to worry about possible negative responses by trying to get him to do something he probably would not have taken very well.

As easy as that, the problem was solved. No drama. No behaviors, and best of all, Rodney felt like he was doing something helpful. He solved the problem. True to his word, he never took his eyes off the van and he had a big smile on his face the whole time.

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