Caregiving Journal - Making Time

The big outing for today was a 2-hour shopping trip to the grocery store. Now this may sound silly, but you don’t know Ma.

Ma can become cantankerous on shopping trips. If she’s not hurling complaints about the store itself, she may likely wander off in a place like Costco, where she can be impossible to find at the petite stature of 5 feet 2 inches.

But today was different. Ma was walking slowly, pacing herself through the store. We deliberated on each aisle, reading what it contained, and then deciding if we needed anything on it. She reminded me of things we needed that I’d forgotten. We negotiated and came to an agreement to pass on foods that weren’t diabetic-friendly (I relented on the Gluten Free Waffles.) We talked about veggies each of us liked, that neither of us knew the other liked (and threw some in the cart.) I asked her which meats she liked and she picked out a few types. And, as we finally ended up at the register with a full cart that took both of us to push, she was still in good spirits.

She chatted and joked with the cashier, then told her how she normally is forced to rush through the store, but today she got to experience it fully. Although this statement didn’t surprise me, as we usually do rush through the stores, it got me thinking.

Was all our rushing around causing her displeasure at the stores? If we simply gave her the time to shop (taking it slow to explore everything) would she find shopping pleasant, maybe even enjoyable? If this one trip was any indication of how to do it right, maybe it needs to be the guide for all future shopping trips.

What I learnedAllow for the time on the things your loved one enjoys - it may improve your experience and your interactions.

  What do you rush through that a loved one might want to take more time on?