Yesterday the home health aide came but Dad didn’t need a shower (at that point) and didn’t want his nails done. I was home so she didn’t need to make his lunch. She made his bed and then came to me.

“I need to do something,” she said to me. “Can I clean?”

Can you clean?!? Can you clean?? I couldn’t believe my ears. Yes, I was thrilled.

I worried that my response would be too over-the-top so I took a deep breath, smiled, and said, “Sure! That would be great!”

I showed her where the vacuum cleaner was, which was the first thing she asked for. She wheeled it into his bedroom and I heard its hum as I went to find Laurel to help her with her math.

We were deeply ensconced in the back room studying ratios when she came looking for me again.

“I’d like to dust his bookshelves,” she said. “Do you have any spray?”

I couldn’t remember the last time those shelves had been dusted. No, I am not a housekeeper.

But I knew there was some Pledge or something around.

We started looking.

And looking.

And looking.

It wasn’t anywhere.

When something is missing, I often say, “It’s always the last place you look.”

Mary hates that saying.

“I’ll just use a rag,” the aide said and headed back to his bedroom.

I went back to ratios.

Look behind Philip's head. There's the Pledge!

Look behind Philip’s head. There’s the Pledge!

Then I saw it. On the bookshelves in the backroom. We had dusted when we got the room ready for Christmas, but left the can of Pledge sitting out on a shelf.

See? I told you I’m not a cleaning person. I don’t even clean up the cleaning supplies.

I was delighted to hand the can to the aide, who, in turn, seemed delighted to clean my father’s bedroom.

Maybe she’d like to tackle clutter, too.


10 thoughts on “Dusting

  1. We had a wonderful aide help my Mom. She did light chores but her main job was just chatting with my mother, so simple yet so important. As for dust and clutter, when you read accounts of people in hospice, and their regrets, I’ve never read a single person who said, “I wish I had cleaned more.”

  2. I am my moms home health aide so when the aide from hospice comes to bathe her I wish the aide would ask me if there is anything else she could do. Maybe just sit her with her so I can run to the store or go for walk. I’m with her 24/7 and I do all the house work.

    • Good aides are wonderful, but unfortunately rare. I’m so thankful for the ones we have.
      Does hospice limit what the aide can do? Sometimes there are rules that limit what they can and cannot do. It might be worth the conversation, though, to ask if you can step out for a few minutes. Being a caregiver is so hard. I’m sorry that you don’t have more support.

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