She is blind. Has been now for many years. A lifetime of not taking care of herself, indulging in alcohol and ignoring diabetic signs robbed her of her eye sight amongst other physical things. Yet, almost every day, usually in the evening, she is just as perplexed as the night before as she announces to her caregivers; "I can't see very well today!"
At first, I didn't know what to reply with so I wouldn't respond. For surely, she knew, that I KNEW, she was totally blind. Sometimes she would repeat her statement a bit more emphatically than the first time. I felt obliged to acknowledge her statement. As I got to know this client more, I came up with replies of, "Today was pretty cloudy out, and all that rain! Of course you couldn't see well today, I couldn't either, " or " I know me too! That sun was so bright out earlier, I needed my sunglasses for the glare." Even better is the honest reply of a foggy day, or drizzling rain that settled deep into our windows and clouded our work days together.
Satisfied, she has the knowledge of what she is afraid to ask.
"How's the weather?" is a simple request.
Yes, reader, I agree with you. But we must, as competent caregivers, be a bit more of mental healthcare workers as well! This one simple question would render this client defeated and perceived as dependent on us; her caregivers, to her helplessness of being blind because of her diabetes. It would be almost like a sign of her giving up a last bit of independence such as an inquiry of what it looked like outside that day. Sometimes those caregiver's eyes need to probe a bit. They need to see past the obvious. We need to look through the eyes of our clients.
Now she smiles, satisfied, with my answers.
Feeling justified, because we too knew why she couldn't "see" very well today. Because we ourselves, don't see so well sometimes either.