Inch By Inch
It’s a brutal, blistery winter day and I have in hand a grocery bag filled with milk, orange juice and cigarettes. I hope, after one month of delivering these items, that today she will open her apartment door more than an inch. Her alumni (nursing) association learned of her multiple “failure to thrive” emergency room admissions and made the referral.
All of my past attempts to meet with her have rendered the same result; she barely opens her door, and in a cast of darkness when handed the grocery essentials, always responds with ” thank you.” I feel anxious and worry that she will only allow me to shop and will never let me in. My limited role as a food delivery service will certainly not satisfy her concerned colleagues.
I press the bell again. This time the door cracks open wider and I hear, “Okay, you can come in.” I am relieved and enter carefully, indicating to her that I am not a threat. She informs me that I am the first person in thirty-five years to enter her apartment. There are decades of NY TImes piled floor to ceiling.
I believe the key to successfully overcoming a client’s resistance often takes enormous patience. I was not deterred by her initial rejections– demonstrating concern. Eventually, my perseverance helped her to feel secure and trusting so that it was safe for a stranger to not only enter her home but her life. Our relationship evolved and grew over years.
Haley Glazer has an ALCA practice in NYC
Haley Glazer, LLC, LCSW, C-ASWCM
Geriatric Care Manager
324 East 83rd. Street – Suite 19
New York, New York 10028-4298