I thought I had written about these people but maybe I didn’t! I was going to read while I waited for Mr. 95 year old and Miss Priss to eat but figured I would give you guys the scoop.
Original cranky client:
I have known this woman most of my life as she and her late husband are friends with my parents. My business all started because my Dad asked me to take her to a doctor appointment since he had to be at his own. I had been out of work for 6 months at this moment and needed any extra cash I could get. I drove her and she paid me. It was easy and 2 years ago, she was in much better shape than now. That was August 2015. Over the next 2 years, she has been diagnosed with dementia, fallen and almost died before the hospital decided to do back surgery which meant a LONG recovery in the skilled nursing center. Between myself and another woman there, we finally got her going again. Her son lives out of the country and comes once every 3 months to visit which is awesome. She was never a big woman. When I started driving her she weighed 115. Now she’s lucky if she weighs 90 pounds. My airbags don’t even turn on when she’s in the car. I call her cranky because she can REALLY be cranky at times. I’ll have to remind her to take “big steps” because she has leg and nerve issues and she will swat towards me or tell me to shut up. And god forbid if I tell her to eat! She says, “I will eat when I damn well want to!” She actually does that. Her caregivers could probably tell stories for months about her. I got her the caregivers when her son put her in assisted living and she fell twice and hated everything about the place. And let me tell you, she would tell anyone how horrible it was that would listen. Now she’s in an apartment with full time caregivers and happy for the most part. She just turned 86.
She also has a MEAN cat. He doesn’t have any front claws but he will definitely bite you! Usually he’s okay with me but lately he either hides or hisses at me. It might be because of my moms cats or it might be because he’s just a mean Maine Coon cat!
2nd ever clients – the couple:
After a couple of months driving this cranky woman, I thought maybe this could be a business where I don’t HAVE to find another job. I had told my friends and posted about it on Facebook. So when a childhood friend called me up one day, it surprised me since I had just started this. She said she was online and saw an ad where someone was looking to drive her parents. I called the couple’s daughter and started driving the couple in October 2015. Again, they were doing better than they are now but such is life since they are both 86! So a month after I started driving them, the man lost his wallet. Then they didn’t call me to have them drive for a few days which was unusual. I was so scared they thought I stole it! I didn’t so I called my Dad and asked his opinion. He said, “Just call and ask about it and ask if there’s anything you can do to help get his new ID or social security card again.” I did that and they have used me ever since. They are very sweet and I always try to do something special for them on their birthdays. They used to tip well but now pay exactly what they owe which is fine, I do miss those tips though! The man is in a wheelchair and can only stand for a couple minutes. He actually has a scooter on a lift in the back of his minivan that is awesome. He uses it everywhere too. That way he can go pretty much wherever he wants. The woman used to walk just fine but now doesn’t even go to the grocery store anymore. I worry about them constantly. They love my kid and always give him their spare change too. That’s just the kind of people they are. Very sweet! They have full time caregivers and when one cancels on them, I find them one. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t but I love that they trust me enough to put someone else there to care for them!
In January 2016, my parents square dancing friend was told she could not drive anymore. At the age of 70! She had hip surgery and it messed up her walking and coordination 2 years after her husband died. So I said I would drive her. While she lived at her home, she didn’t stink so bad. Once she moved into the independent living place, for some reason, she stank! And still does. It all started with me just taking her to therapy twice a week. Now I’m still driving her once or twice a week but it’s to the grocery store or to get her hair and nails done. Her step-daughter and I thought it was her feet or she wasn’t cleaning herself very well when she went to the bathroom. We talked to her doctor and her about it and she got socks. Well that helped but not much. So we asked her point blank how much she showered and if she was wiping well (I didn’t say these things to her but I had to be there – I was not happy about that!). She said she showers daily and she knows how to wipe herself but she was embarrassed, you could tell. Since I’m not “in charge” of her like I am original cranky, I can’t bring someone in to help her. That will have to be her step-daughters thing. The thing I don’t like is that every single time she’s in my car, my car ends up stinking. I drive home with the windows down (10 miles) and it’s still there when I get back in the car later! How do I fix that? I can’t tell my mom that I won’t drive her friend anymore because she stinks. I did mention the smell to my mom but she said she’s never smelled anything. Yeah, okay Mom, I bet your sense of smell is going too! So there’s that.
Mr. 95 year old:
My all time favorite elderly person to be around. He trusts my driving enough to take naps while I drive. I am the first person he calls to take him anywhere. He is friendly, he chats even though he can’t hear well, and is always open about everything. Hell, he even told me how much he paid his employees last week! Now I wish I could say the same for his “lady friend”, Miss Priss!
The woman drives me to drink, I swear. If I’m already booked and can’t drive her last minute, it’s the end of the world. If I am going 3 miles over the speed limit, she’s grabbing onto the door handle (like that would help anyway). One time she asked me to look up directions and then because I had to stop suddenly, I wasn’t paying attention to the road, I was “playing with my phone”. She makes plans to go places and waits until the last minute to give me a heads up. The ONLY time she doesn’t do that is when she is going to dinner with Mr. 95 year old. She’s 90 but looks a bit younger. I’m probably the only person that has ever seen her without her hair done or makeup on. I usually drive her to Galveston every few months so she can get away. That’s fine with me as long as I’m not busy!
This is an 80 year old woman that I really enjoy spending time with as well as her getting on my nerves. She lived in a beautiful condo in a high rise with every service available to her upon request. For some reason, she felt like she needed to move to independent living. So she sold her condo and moved. She has not stopped complaining about this decision! And she went back and forth about the move for months before finally telling me she was definitely moving. She hates the food, all the people there are older than she is and no fun (duh), it’s not as big as her condo (duh again), and blah blah blah. Her next thing was, “Should I sell my car?” NO! Please don’t! Then I’m really stuck driving you everywhere! I don’t mind spending time with her, helping her with her files (I spent a month redoing everything how she wanted them), and driving her to a few places. It’s been about a month since I’ve seen her but she still calls to tell me how horrible everything is and how she will have me back again soon. Okey dokey! Whatever! I got her from my Mom’s cousin.
Pain in the rear. I’m sorry but that’s the only way I can describe her. She’s been like that my whole life. She and my Mom grew up together. She married a doctor who was a widow with twin girls. Then she had 4 more kids. She actually kept their inheritance from them saying “You’ll need it later in life. You should let ME invest it until then.” Well, they sued her over that and won so I guess that wasn’t a good plan! Note being a pain! Her kids would agree. Her husband is still alive (barely) and she doesn’t want to spend the money to put him in a skilled nursing facility but wants to pay me $20 to come program a tv remote. Yeah, THAT makes sense! She’s the one that told my Mom it was a horrible idea for us to move in so I haven’t called her back about programming her remote. I would tell her to ask one of her kids but they don’t even talk to her!
I’m don’t really know what to call this sweet gentleman but he’s always happy so I’ll go with Bubbly. I take him with Mr. 95 year old to dinner at the country club on Wednesday evenings. I also drive him to the airport when he’s going out of town which is about once every 2 months. We always pass this gun store on the way home on Wednesday’s and every single time he asks me if I’ve been in there. One of these days, I’m going to go in there just so I can say yes. He gets so excited talking about the new guns and antique guns they have there. He’s 91 and worked at the same oil company my Dad worked for in the 80’s so we get along great. We actually have a $1 bet right now. He doesn’t think I can get my place sold in 45 days. I think it will sell. Guess we’ll find out!
Once a year (thank God for small favors), I do the bookkeeping for this man. He brings me all of his credit card statements, his bank statements, and receipts and has me put them into Quicken. It takes me about 12-16 hours total to get through everything. It’s slow. Very slow. But I do it. My neighbor used to do it for him but with her memory issues, I told her I would take over (this was before I had all these clients though). Now I hope he won’t have me do it next year. He keeps saying he will retire but I guess I’ll find out!
She’s very sweet and I’ve known her since I was about 10 years old. I’ve watched her go downhill in the past 15 years that she’s been my neighbor. I only drive her when her son and grandson are too busy so not much. By being there though, I am the one that fixes things, helps her, takes her home cooked food and goodies, and listens to her. Her memory has gotten really bad on some things but others not bad at all. I hate to move away from her but technically I’m only going to be a mile away so I can still help her and go by to chat with her.
My new clients that I haven’t had a chance to name yet:
1. Ms. N – she seems sweet. Her house didn’t really flood that bad in the hurricane but her ceiling fell in on top of her bed (thankfully she wasn’t there!). She had called me about driving her before the hurricane and never followed through but now asked me to help her pack and move out of the house she’s been in for 40 years. Since I am not good at that and honestly too busy to do that, I enlisted my ex boyfriend to help her. She’s paying him $20 an hour and she has someone to chat with for 4 hours a day. Not bad for either of them!
Mrs. S – she was an attorney and now has dementia. I just met her today actually. She seems very nice although she did ask me my name 3 or 4 times and kept saying she will not be in this assisted living place for very long, she’s moving back into her house (which thankfully didn’t flood either!). Her stepson has hired me to go by every day for an hour to check on her and her cats. This should be interesting!
The client I had to fire:
This man. Oh my! He would grab my butt, try to kiss me, told people that I was his date (he would take me to really nice dinners), and call me ALL the time asking where I was and why hadn’t I been to see him lately, even when I had been there a couple hours before that. Dementia hit him in the crotch I guess! I wasn’t the only one either. His caregiver before me quit too because he said he was going to marry her and sleep with her the first chance he got. He had me take him for massages and I had to remind him not to be inappropriate. I had to scold him for grabbing my butt. I didn’t like these things so I just had to quit. His son was not happy but understood.
So there you have it. A mini book about all of my clients. I’m only one person and can only help so many people. I really hope more people will take my idea and get to helping more elderly people! One more thought. What is it about elderly women and cats???