What I have been up to lately…. AKA JOANN’S STORY

My across the street neighbor is an 88-year-old retired teacher, with NO family.  As neighbors, Carol and I, have been trying to help clear all of the clutter that surrounds her and is responsible for more than one of her falls of late.  YES, you could say that she is a bit of a hoarder!

Since Covid 19 has shut down her work as a housecleaner, Carol has spent a large part of her days, helping to declutter Joann’s home,  While she has been doing that, I have set up a ‘folding station’ on her deck, using a card table as a flat clean surface on which to work.  Until the restrictions are lifted, we are just stockpiling the carefully folded bags of pieces of her wardrobe,  She must have been a real fashion plate, working as an elementary school teacher!  Most of her wardrobe comprised of many designer pieces by Ralph Lauren and other more recent designers.  I hope to take these items to Dress for Success, which supplies appropriate pieces for ladies trying to break into a career that requires a more sophisticated attire!

Any pieces that don’t fit their requirements will be taken to the Salvation Army, or another receiver of good clean clothing,  As a career focussed lady, Joann never washed anything herself, instead, dropping everything off at a dry cleaner.  But until the ‘stay home’ orders are lifted, the clear bags remain on the premises, easily identifiable as NOT garbage

Once all items of her former working wardrobe are packed up and will be dispatched to a charity with a mandate to supply professional clothing.   After this is all packaged up,  we can start dealing with the vast amount of papers, those simply need to be recyled, or hauled to the dump.  The young fellow that fixed up her second bathroom offered to stop by weekly or as needed, to haul items to the dump for her.  But until we can see our way clear to do this, nothing has been identified as disposable!

We are trying to get a ‘conservator’ identified for her, and will be arranging for a new caregiving association for her ASAP.  The group that had been assigned to her was making it difficult for us to help her, and actually called the police on us, saying that we were interfering with THEIR work, and attempting to swindle this senile old bird!  She most definitely NOT senile, just mildly affected by dementia.

Given her druthers, she would consume just ice cream and burgers with mustard and onions.  If she is given a salad, she will eat it, but it isn’t her preference.  During this period of isolation, Carol has been bringing her a portion of the dinner she prepares for herself, her husband, and her son.  Joann gets a weekly delivery from ‘meals on wheels’, but she needs a caregiver that can deal with that plus a few ingredients like peanut butter and ice cream, and some pieces of fresh fruit, and supplied by neighbors (Carol and I).

Another neighbor has just enlisted the help of a caregiving service for his parents that have bought the unit behind him.  Carol spoke with them, and then I added the caregivers that used to help my friend Cathy, until she moved further north in the state, so she could have a small ‘Granny Unit’ built on a cousin’s acreage.  I got to know the folks that came and helped her out, with things like meal prep and bathing.  So, I contacted this company, ‘Aloha Born Caregivers’ and asked the owner, Albert,  to stop by on Sunday later morning, to meet Carol and Joann, to see what kinds of services they could offer and at what price.  THEN we can discuss and decide who to hire!



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