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Make me a stress monkey - King Rat
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Make me a stress monkey
I was getting a little stressed this morning because it was taking longer to get out of the house to head to Seattle. Little did I know how minor that would be.

Stopped by mom's to bring Elaine some books to read, and to see if the new caregiver needed anything.

I arrived and mom and Elaine were fighting. Seems mom had a choking episode and Elaine didnt know what to do. Mom was very short with her about what she should have done. Elaine, of course, is 8½ months pregnant. She's got hormones running wild. So she broke down.

Then I had a conversation with mom about the caregiver last weekend who I fired. Caregiver called three times yesterday about severance pay. I was not inclined, but giving her something so she'll go away isn't the worst thing in the world. But it's mom's money, so I needed her okay.

Part of the reason former caregiver was so insistent is that the referral lady has a slight issue at the moment and so former caregiver might not have work for a while. That's her story anyway. THe little issue is that the guy who went on a shooting spree on I-5 on Wednesday? Her son.

THe rumor though is that referral service is pretty spotty about providing work, and likes to shuffle people around.

Which we found out today. New caregiver woman called our new soon to start night caregiver person, not sure why, and in the process found out that night time caregiver person wouldn't be showing up tonight. Word we get is that referral service asked her to do a different job. They expected daytime caregiver person to work 36 hours. Not that they told her this. No one called to tell us. Daytime caregiver isn't thrilled at all.

So I called a couple of people, and managed to line up a permanent night time caregiver for weekends. Then called referral service to tell them we heard they'd yanked the person. She said they would have someone out and gave me a song and dance about how her girls like to work in teams of two, so she would really prefer us to hire through them. So much bullshit. See, the daytime caregiver tells us she just signed up with referral service. She's never worked a job through them ever before. She's so not impressed either.

The end of it all is that stuff should be lined up. We have coverage again, no thanks to this service.

Other stressful things. While I was there, hospice dropped off some latex gloves. As I carried them over to mom's chair, she attempted to get up. And then just tilted to the right and started falling. I had only one hand free and hooked her and lifted up with it so her head wouldn't smack into the corner of the bed. But I couldn't save the easel with her Dynavox and a billion religious icons. That went over. Luckily nothing broken. But my heart was going just a bit faster.

So yeah, tonight is the first part of my reunion. And I'm a little ball of stress.

How's your day been so far?

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13 comments or Leave a comment
dangergirljones From: dangergirljones Date: September 6th, 2008 12:50 am (UTC) (Link)
You shouldn't have to give severance to someone that got fired for doing a bad job. It's not like you just decided not to have a caregiver anymore - she didn't perform to the position.

I know you don't want the hassle, but it's sad that she should leave this sitution not understanding how life works.
gkr From: gkr Date: September 6th, 2008 12:56 am (UTC) (Link)
I had half a mind to tell her that, but in the end we gave her a small amount. I just don't have the time to deal with her and at the time I didn't want to alienate the referral service. Though now I may just tell them to go suck eggs.
efebruary From: efebruary Date: September 6th, 2008 01:07 am (UTC) (Link)
has anyone told you how awesome you are for taking all of this on? Just know that you are full of awesome... for this I give you these lovely ted baker boots... (if only the toe were pointier)

gkr From: gkr Date: September 6th, 2008 01:09 am (UTC) (Link)
No, that's about the right amount of pointy.
gargoylettelc From: gargoylettelc Date: September 6th, 2008 01:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Yikes! Who referred this caregiver service?! I know it's not Seattle, but Oi! Perhaps another agency in the area, talk to the MSW. I agree, if you hired someone through an agency, it's not your responsibility to give serverance pay, period. You were kind. Also, you discussed how they want 2 people there for your Mom, and her loss of balance when trying to get up. (not a good safety choice on her part, but I get it) 2 people may be required for her mobility, and a transfer at this point, OR, have hospice order a hoyer lift with split leg sling, have a PT instruct your caregivers in this transfer. If she is having decline in mobility, the PT should be instructing the caregivers in how to assist her. If one is not assigned, they should assign one. From observation, you have taken so much on yourself (ie-you finding communication devices, switches, etc vs working with SLP and other therapists), and encourage you to take advantage of the hospice resouce for assist. I know Mom resists it, but a visit or so can go a long way. If she falls and fractures something, that's a 1 way ticket to NOT being in her own home. *getting off work soapbox now* But serious, get all the advice and support that you have offered to you through hospice. Losses of balance are always scarey, even for me today, much less with your own mom. Also, ask the PT to also show you as well assist with balance, as well as balance/fall recovery, so you don't injure her shoulder or yourself.
gkr From: gkr Date: September 6th, 2008 01:53 am (UTC) (Link)
We've had the PT folks in for showing transfers. Right now it doesn't take two people. Problem is mom doesn't want to wait for the caregiver or family member to be in position. She just gets up and goes because she is impatient, whether or not we are in position.

Hospice put us in contact with the referral service originally. So far I'd give the service a big thumb down. They've referred four people. I've fired one. A second one never started and no one told us. A third has been working for three weeks and is pretty solid, but there is an issue or two not really relating to care (for instance, she keeps referring to mom as a "girl" even though mom has asked her not to). And the last just started this morning. She seems solid so far.

The one caregiver we've had the longest didn't come through the referral service. She's been great but hospice keeps thinking she's a liability since she's only 19 (but had 2 years of experience in an eldercare facility before starting with us).

We hired another caregiver I let go as well. She'd worked for an elderly lady mom helped take care of a few years ago. But she was in over her head with ALS. Nothing as serious as the other fired caregiver. But enough that when I needed to re-arrange schedules to replace the really bad one and it was easier to yank this one too cause she only worked one shift a week.

I've come to the conclusion that if I ever become disabled in a similar manner, put me in a home. A good nursing home. But a home.
gargoylettelc From: gargoylettelc Date: September 6th, 2008 02:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Good caregivers, as I've said, are hard to find, especially with a progressive neurological disease. Mom needs to be patient and ask for help. Did today scare her? It should. Perhaps telling her that a fall with serious injury will land her in the hospital might help sway her to ask for help. I do realize he ability to call for help is probably part of the issue.
I didn't know if there were other agencies in the area. The 19 yo with 2 years experience? I suspect an employer would limit what a 17 yo could do, but if she's good, she's good.
You can get good caregivers to come to your home, and in Seattle, there are many agencies to choose from. Are you talking about placing yourself in a skilled nursing facility, or an adult family home? I could help ;-D Same issues can also happen in these settings as well, fyi.
Your are doing a great job managing all of this, and Mom should be proud! Take care!
gkr From: gkr Date: September 6th, 2008 02:28 am (UTC) (Link)
She started when she was 18. She doesn't quite have 2 full years. Her birthday is coming up shortly. I'm pretty sure her tasks with mom are far more involved than what she did at the eldercare place. But she's handled them quite well. Some of them way better than any of our other caregivers.

And no, this near fall didn't scare her. 3 months ago she fell really hard trying to climb a chair to take down some drapes, with only one partially usable hand. and she fell walking into another room another time. and she fell on Monday getting up. And there are probably other times she hasn't told me about. I don't think falls are scaring her.

The breathing and choking is, but not the falls.
dangergirljones From: dangergirljones Date: September 6th, 2008 02:42 am (UTC) (Link)
I know she is very resistance to relinquish independance, but maybe it would be worth talking to her and letting her know how you feel (I know you probably have, and it turned into an argument) What I mean is saying "We love you and we want you to be as independant as possible. At the same time, when we aren't able to help you get up it really scares us that you could get hurt, and if there is one thing that we can ask you to do for us, it's to safe us from that worry."

gargoylettelc From: gargoylettelc Date: September 6th, 2008 02:53 am (UTC) (Link)
That is because falls don't make people think they will 'kill' you, even though people die from complications of falls, hip fractures, etc. They do cause people to leave the home, hospice or not. Not breathing and choking always scare people.
mariquita From: mariquita Date: September 6th, 2008 02:01 am (UTC) (Link)


burgunder From: burgunder Date: September 6th, 2008 02:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Ye gods. What a day.

I love you.
evillinn From: evillinn Date: September 6th, 2008 03:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Good lord. I'm so sorry, hon. What a fucking headache.

Just like the red head said, I love you, too.

I hope you are able to unwind some and enjoy the reunion.

13 comments or Leave a comment