October 30th, 2010 at 9:18 am
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Rogue Elder Busted Trying to Run Away From Home

by Isabel Fawcett, SPHR

Okay, I must admit that my mother was not trying to run away from home when she set off my home security alarm in the wee hours of this morning. Did I mention that I was fast asleep when the alarm pierced the still of the night? I was. That’s a minor detail. I’m just my mother’s round-the-clock caregiver. I’m prepared for wee hours care developments.

Prior to the alarm’s hysteria, I could have been reading, if only my eyelids would have cooperated with my love of late-night reading. Instead, I had dozed off. On some late caregiver nights, I relish reading and a night-time power nap that revives me to handle potential overnight swing shifts in caregiving.

On such nights, Mom is usually seated in her lift chair by choice, perhaps waiting for the Great Pumpkin’s arrival – who knows? Only the Great Pumpkin knows for sure, but if the activity is safe, and it also offers me the perks of occasional respite, it’s clearly an elder-caregiver win-win.

If Mom is seated in her lift chair, she may be watching late night Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon types, which are amusing and lighthearted. Other times, she may turn the volume down to enjoy silent television. Sometimes, Mom is energetic late at night. When that happens, she makes sure that the kitchen passes her elder’s white glove inspection before she reluctantly yields to her tired, achy body and increasingly heavy eyelids. Occasionally, she becomes the neighborhood late-night watch, peering out the blinds every so often, making sure that all is right with the world. God may need a little help now and then, maybe?

Last night, while, uh, reading in my bed, I heard the high-pitched beep downstairs. For some reason, though, I thought the beep was not inside our home. I didn’t budge. Then, I heard touch-tone type short beeps, followed by the extended beeeeeeeeeeeeep, more touch-tone short beeps, ad nauseum. I continued reading my Stephen Colbert book – until it dawned on me that Mom was playing with my home security alarm keypad in a futile effort to cover her tracks. Mom’s clever that way.

I leaped out of bed and sprinted down the stairs. Sadly, I was not fast enough to beat the shrill home security alarm. Though I’d known the alarm would go off at any minute, it still startled me when it went off just as I made it to the last step. Yah!!!!!!!! I got my Halloween trick early. Elder boo-ya, caregiver!

Mom swore up and down she’d done nothing to set the alarm off. All night, Mom had been bound and determined to make sure that my car was safely in the garage before she turned into bed for the night. There you have it, folks.

My home security alarm has more than paid for itself in 2010. Headline breaking news this morning is, “Elder Busted Trying to Look Outside.”

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