A current post reminds me of an incident from my caregiving past. My husband, Coy, attended a nice Adult Day Health Center a few days a week. He would rather stay home, but he was usually a good sport about going.
He wanted to stay home for a special baseball game on tv. I told him no, he needed to go, but I'd tape the game for him. Don't ask anybody for the score and he could watch it when he got home.
He asked at the center if they would put that special game on television. No, there policy was no television.
The day of the game came. As he was leaving I assured him I'd record the game for him. Most participants rode a bus to the center, but he lived out of the area and they sent a van for him.
I was working in my home office when he appeared in my doorway about 1:00. !! How did you get here? I called the van company to come and get me. I'm just in time for the game, so you don't have to tape it.
I called the social worker. Do you know where Coy is? She wasn't sure but she thought he should be in the activities room. Should she check? I told her not to bother checking -- he was home watching television.
Complete and total consternation. Panic. How did he get there? Is he OK? Did I know he was coming home? Could he have gotten in if I hadn't been home? Oh my, oh my goodness!!
I assured her that everything was OK, but she might want to check on how this happened.
I can about imagine the meetings that went on.
The one change that came out of (in addition to alerting the reception area to keep a better eye on unaccompanied exits) was informing the transportation company never to pick up a participant off-schedule without the approval of a staff member, and a staff member accompanying the participant to the van.
Our daughter who works at an ALF tells me this kind of elopement is their worst nightmare. I suspect that center shook over that incident for days.
I continued to send Coy, and continued to recommend that excellent program to others.
Would you have handled it differently?