Patrick has been a busy bee these days! On Monday he had his first day as a volunteer at the adult day care center. This day care program is for those with Alzheimer's or dementia and is located in a neighborhood church. He is volunteering through the local hospital and there were a few hoops to jump through to get started, but Patrick did it with flying colors. His therapists personally recommended Patrick to the volunteer coodinator which was really great of them.
Patrick was adamant about working with the elderly, and this seems to be a great fit so far. I dropped him off at 12 pm and when I picked him up at 2pm he was just beaming. I am not really sure what he did, but I know he made friends with some of the clients. One lady said, "I really like him" to the day care coordinator. He was proud of himself and I was proud of him too.
He also had a first today- he rode the bus to therapy by himself. I had to work and we were unable to find alternative transportation so I told him either he learns to ride it or miss therapy. He hates missing therapy, so he agreed to learn how to ride the bus.
To prepare him for it, we did a "dry run" together yesterday. We walked from our house to the stop to see how long it would take. We then rode the bus to the stop closest to the therapy and "got off" (not really. The bus driver was kind enough to let us get right back on without paying again). We then took the bus back to where we started and got off.
We only had one minor issue. The bus driver would call out stops so I told Patrick to listen for the stop he needed for therapy. Unfortunately I didn't know he only called out specific stops, not ALL stops. We missed our "stop" and ended up one stop past where we needed to "get off". This made Patrick a bit nervous because he didn't get to see where he REALLY needed to get off, but I was able to explain it to him so that he knew when to press the stop button.
This morning I was off to work and a bit nervous for him. I eventually called the therapy office to find out if he made it okay and he had. I was really antsy to know because Patrick forgot to bring his cell phone so I had no way to make sure he was doing okay and he had no way to call anyone if he missed his stop, etc. I called the house later and found he did it with no issues! Thank goodness.
I asked him if he wanted a bus pass so he could go places while I was at work and he said, "UH-NO". I guess it is a little early for that. His therapists have been trying to get him to ride the bus for a year or more. I should be happy- and I am- with this success!
Patrick also had another session with his bioness therapist yesterday and she gave him some good ideas on what tasks he should be doing with the device. She is encouraging him to wear the bioness and actually carry objects (like a laundry basket) around. There is a program on the bioness called the "grasp" where you can press a button and it will stimulate your hand to close. You place your hand on the basket handle for instance, press the button, and the hand will hold it until you press the release button. Then the hand is stimulated to open back up. It's pretty cool. She also wants Patrick to go for walks outside wearing the unit. She wants him to practice opening his hand with his stride mimicking how the hand naturally opens while walking.
He has alot to keep him busy for a while!
Take Care All,