What’s that? There at the end of the tunnel. Is that a light? Why, yes it is. After a mere 3 months of struggling through bureaucratic red tape, we finally got my new roommate/client moved in today. The good news is that my paychecks will finally return to a normal level soon. The bad news is that, at the moment, he’s driving me a bit insane.
Richard is 56 years old and lived at home with his parents until they passed about 6 months ago. That’s when he first really encountered the social services industry all its glory. Despite his having clean credit and a set income from SSI it still took them that long to organize the proper paperwork to allow him to move in to The Caverns.
Richard’s been in a group home waiting impatiently and is incredibly excited to be free of there. Unfortunately, he’s also a bit lost in the new apartment, not sure where anything is or what to do with himself. Aside from the usual moving issues – unpacking, decorating, ensuring one has everything one needs, repeat trips to get the little things (like toilet paper) that were overlooked – he’s still a bit lost on what to do with himself. I spent about 6 hours with him today handling various moving tasks, but still every time I came upstairs to get some online work done he’d be calling for me within 10 minutes. I didn’t get as much as 30 solid minutes of writing time until he went to bed. When we first interviewed him for the room he was adamant that he no longer wanted to continue his makework “job” with HOPE Services. This was fine with me, but took some convincing for his caseworkers. The “problem” at this point is that he’s not really used to the freedom that living here affords him. He’s constantly looking for reassurance that what he’s doing is okay.
My previous clients were in their early 20s and very independent minded. With them, the job entailed more of a reminder service: did you clean your room? take your meds? have lunch? Richard calls me downstairs to let me know he’s eating dinner. I trust that he’ll become more independent once he’s been here for a few weeks. But it’s going to be a looooonnngg few weeks…