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Latest update on Ray's aide situation,etc



I keep saying I am going to call the agency and say I'm not happy, please send someone else (or no one at all if possible) but I had another lunch date with a different girlfriend Wednesday (making up for lost time) so I wanted an aide until then at least, for selfish reasons. Friday Ray had a quick podiatrist visit from which we could have got back home in time, but in the meanwhile I got three different tick bites from gardening and raking out back and I know the drill. I made an appt to go to my new doctor Friday too, to get the intense penicillin regime started, accompanied by a scrip for a Lyme test later this month. My doctor was in the morning but I told the agency, and the aide, that it was after Ray's and cancelled her for the day. Such a relief, I really I can't keep going on like this, dreading her visits. But I know my track record with the agency doesn't look too swell either.


I have given the aide a list of a dozen easy things to do. I bought erase pads and swiffers, which I don't usually use, to make it even easier. If I leave cleaning things out, she will get the hint and start doing something when she gets there, but the second I leave she obviously stops and sits back down. She is big on crosswords and watching TV, and is starting to sit on the couch with Ray for a better view, instead of at the kitchen table as in the beginning. She also keeps reminding me she is 74 years old, and that if she bends down, for example to use the dust pan, she might put her back out. How she expects to take care of Ray is a mystery. I don't think she has any in-home experience; she used to work in nursing homes and hospitals, and since that's not really one on one, I don't think she has figured out the concept of how much responsibility she has now. Seems this agency hires people, no training on their end, just put them right to work. If you're certified, fine. They all ask me how the paperwork should get done and so on, I know more than they do!


Meanwhile: Our toilet kept almost backing up after she left. I knew it was her and finally caught her in the bathroom when I got home one day, trying to flush down at least a half roll of paper towels. Luckily the toilet wasn't letting it go down. I told her, as I'd told her before, that we have a cesspool, not sewers as she apparently does. I don't think she believed me. I got rubber gloves and removed it all myself. What annoys me is I sort of knew that was what she was doing, so I had taken all wipes and paper towels out of the room so she only had toilet paper to use...which is Scott, I am really careful about my septic tank! But she went looking in my garage for the paper towels anyway. I showed her that anything except toilet paper goes in a plastic bag and then into the garbage can. Why do I have to explain this to her?


She kept parking on our driveway right behind my car, so that I had to drive on the lawn to get out. I didn't want to go back inside and make her move it, and thereby upset Ray, but I was also afraid I was going to fall into the cesspool one fine day. Then I saw that her car was also leaking oil, big puddles, everywhere she was parking. I was getting my driveway blacktopped so I mentioned the oil, and her reply was, my car doesn't leak oil! It's a second hand car but it's perfect in every way. I finally asked her to park in the street due to me not being able to get out and she is being good about that. Most of the aides and nurses do park in the street, but not all of them, so I will try not to fault her there.


What annoys me most, she basically acts like she is on vacation; a self-starter she is not. The first day towards the end of her shift I had said why don't you take Ray out on the front porch, but he said no. I was really just trying to get rid of her and her mouth, but they can't leave early anymore because they have to phone in from my phone when they arrive and when they leave. A new rule, obviously due to the first aide who was lying about being here without showing up. So I said, why don't you go sit out there yourself til it's time to go, it was only 15 or 20 minutes. She basked in the sun and her brain must have melted, because she came in to call in her hours and I was busy in the kitchen so she let herself out. The NEXT MORNING I see that she hadn't pulled the door shut and it was hanging open by a few inches!! I can't believe the cats didn't escape. I just had all the locks and knobs changed and upgraded, so it's not like they are sticking. I was furious!! Now I make sure to walk her to the front door when she leaves, what else can I do? I know Ray scares her a little with his bratty routine when she arrives, shouting NONONO at the top of his lungs, and I guess I'm full of complaints myself, at least in her eyes. But every time she comes, it's something else.


Another good one. The other day, I was doing yardwork so I said why don't you two come outside to watch? She was happy to get outside and I got her a chair to sit on, some neighbors came over to chat, again a beautiful sunny day. Then Ray wheeled himself towards the garage, where I was, and I knew he had to use the bathroom and quick. So I said to her I'd better get him in there, now. About 20 minutes later she still hadn't come in so I go outside and she's still sitting there, again like she's on vacation. Whoa boy. She's a character.


Anyway in happier news, we borrowed our friend's apartment in Manhattan and celebrated our anniversary in style. Three days of food and touristy attractions, we didn't stop for a minute. Ray holds up really well when we have something fun to do, almost better than me since he's just along for the ride. Then a week later, my birthday, and we spent the day out in the Hamptons and Montauk, checking out the various beaches and eating really fresh seafood at a couple of the best places out there, just before the season goes into full swing. After a winter of our discontent, we're finally getting out and about, and it sure feels good! Ray's birthday this week, but I'm thinking a little more low key and he agrees.


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Out of all you wrote what I get out of this is she is 74 years old so that in itself in my opinion says to me "She can't handle that kind of job caring for another person male or female"


Heck, I'm 73 and can't take care of myself that well!! My mom told me before she died that it's awful hard and painful for two old people trying to care for each other anytime!! She said he can't even rub you down with Bengay cause his fingers and hand don't straighten out to rub you down!!


I can relate to what she said and never married an older wife knowing I would be the one needing a rub down just to walk or feed myself.. If you really think about it many of us older citizens are cared for in homes by younger people they hire or by our daughters if we are lucky enough to have one around...


Sting, that lady is hard headed and not able to give the kind of care Ray needs when you are not home!!!! JMO!! I'm no doctor....

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Agree with Fred. She would be gone and I would say "bye bye" to the agency as well. I know you have limited resources but there must be something better.


Happy Anniversary and Happy Birthday!



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I have to agree with Fred and julie. Iam reading your post, and when I saw 74years, I started to laugh. Come on time to say bye to her and the agency. They are my dear taking the ............ you know what.


Please that you enjoyed your Anniversary and happy Birthday!


Happy Birthday to Ray!



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Colleen: its time to say goodbye to her. The one thing you will recognize is that anyone with home care experience knows what to do in someone else's home or at least knows enough to ask - like paper towels in the toilet. And no she does not do that in her own home, you can be sure.


You just have to keep trying honey, best you can and cut them loose quickest. One quick thought, tho. I know you like to free-style, but try not to cancel them if you can work around their schedules.


I too loved the fig tree! Debbie

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Fred, hard headed is the word I've been searching for! I'm just trying to think how to phrase it when I call to complain (again) this time around, then she'll be gone with the wind.


And you're all right, it's the agency too, so I will go above their heads, straight to the main agency nurse.

I was hoping this wouldn't involve me so much but guess I was dreaming!

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From my very limited experience I think the agency could be as big a concern as the nurse/caregiver. I had a roommate once who was a nurse for a home care agency. Once the agency hired a qualified person it seemed like they didnt rock the boat by keeping check on them. Where I was, and it may not be this way everywhere, agencies could pay a lot less than hospitals for are person with the same credentials. Also, a lot of these nurses/caregivers would take a job at the agency for much lower wage because no one else would hire them and they knew they were under less scrutiny from the agency. The things that were allowed or overlooked scared me to death. I think I would be on the ball with agency as much as the caregiver.

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Yeah, I'm hoping to skip the aide agency itself and go direct with my complaints to the big main agency. I'm just waiting for Ray's annual LTMC recert to come back (hopefully today) and then I'll spring into action, if need be. This aide agency is the pits, although the main one is very impressive so far.

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Coleen, we had gone through everyone of the staff that my dad's home agency has to offer with no luck as to a good one. Finally they hired a new person and she is working out wonderfully! Keep sending them out the door they will get one that works out for you. Don't settle for anything less than the best. You and Ray pay for the service and you deserve what you pay for!

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Thanks Cat, still waiting for the recertification because I'm a bit of a coward and that would be the easy way out. But hopefully it will be approved, and then her nurse should be showing up sometime this month (a visit every three months for the aide agency, plus a monthly call from the main agency nurse, that's as good as it gets now) so it will be addressed at some point soon. They have a new guy answering the phone at her place and he is a doofus. He didn't even tell them I called about giving her off Friday, which is very obnoxious. I am still learning the chain of command over there, the nurse might be best in the end, if she comes when the aide isn't around.


Meanwhile I am documenting everything....but the front door popped open on me too over the weekend and I had the locksmith come and tighten it, so that wasn't totally her fault. And she IS parking in the street now. I even hear her talk to Ray once in awhile, when I'm upstairs. And the toilet isn't gurgling anymore, thank goodness. I still want to get rid of her but at least she shows up like clockwork, which is more than I can say about any of the others! If only she'd get off her butt I'd be a lot happier.

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Colleen: some relief anyway - lets see how long it lasts. You might just have put a good scare into her. Time will tell.


I do wish I could channel your patience. For now, get your work done. I used to do the same thing in the early years - aide with Bruce, me out in the yard. So much easier than running in and out checking on him. And get your special shopping in and maybe another lunch with friends. Let us know. Debbie

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