I am going to get a lot of flak on this, but I have hired aides (and fired thirty-eight of them over a four year people before finding people I could trust), and started out with some "rules of the road". I did not permit them to have second jobs. They were paid over the minimum wage, and got two hour breaks, and paid lunches. That being said I prohibited internet. This turned into a major issue. But I straightened things out from day one. There was cable television in the room they could watch with the patient. Or even read while they sat next to her. I did not want them spending their day e-mailing or surfing the net. They are paid to be a companion. Not to be a computer programmer. One of the rules was than when she was awake I wanted them in view of her at all times, preferably at her side holding her hand or wrist. Not tapping on a keyboard. I mention this because I can tell you it will become an issue if you let the use of the internet get started. Just two cents worth.
The trouble I have had with social workers, health care aids, and so-called "professionals" who specialize in "eldercare" would fill a book, and you would be bored after the third sentence. Better to watch re-runs of ER. Or worldwide wrestling. I am involved in supervising (or interfering) in the care of half a dozen very elderly individuals, with no personal gain, and I feel like a lone B-17 pilot on a mission during WW2, going through 1000 miles of flak, two engines out, and no fighter cover. With no ammunition for the ball turret. I have been forcibly thrown out of and banned from at least three nursing homes after preferring charges against the owners for elder abuse. In one case I informed the physician on duty that he was misinformed believing I was making a "suggestion" regarding his patient care. I was giving him a direct order. This fact was made clear when the police arrived. Sometimes I think the French army had the right idea during the first world war when they shot every other soldier to "encourage the others". Perhaps the practice should be considered for nursing home owners and those who own senior care businesses? Just kidding. But from what I have seen the eldercare world is filled with people who have no affect, common sense, or humanity. People who couldn't pour water out of a boot with directions on the heel. Perhaps in a town in the middle of Colorado with only three people there might be one person, but I haven't found them. Tomorrow I will buy flowers take the train go to visit an elderly women forced from her home and involuntarily dragged 100 miles from where she lives (by a "non-profit" that specializes in sucking the lifeblood from the destitute) under a court order alleging she is incompetent (an 81 proceeding in this state) and being held prisoner with an electronic tag (like a dog) that sounds an alarm if she moves too far down the hallway. She was crying and holding me when I left her yesterday. I am in the process of writing a motion to the Supreme Court to relieve her court-appointed guardian (another poltical racket - hopefully sending him to a place with bars and no commissary where he can buy protection from the Mexican drug gangs to preserve his life) and secure her some dignity. And I will bring her flowers and her roomate, who is dying and has not had a visitor in a year. Don Quiote on the way to battle the dragon. I cannot visit my 107 year old pal at present (after years of daily care for her) because her brain-damaged son showed up, fired her attorney of forty years and hired one he found in a health-food bar who believes in astrology, the faith-healer "John of God", and the virtue of Bernie Madoff, and they promptly had her declared incompetent by removing her hearing aid and glasses and bringing her before a judge in a sequestered hearing. And banned visitors. Presumably, hoping she will die soon so the son can make his "motion picture" with the sale of her estate. I have recently come to the conclusion there is such a thing as evil in this world, and many of the demons seems to have found a niche in the care of the elderly.
I don't know what the answer is in finding people to assist in the care of your elderly loved one. Supervision involves a situation somewhat like the captain of an old sailing ship who would remain on the quarterdeck. Be though familiar but not vulgar. And be prepared not to be liked. Preferably being liked, but not necessarily.
"A man must do his duty and let other things trouble him not, for they are things without rhyme or things without reason, or things that have rambled and know not the way.."
Marcus Aurelius - Commander of the Legion
I have a live in caregiver who is TRUSTED and attended law school (personal preference) but was always there when I needed him. Although he is at the books constantly and studying for the BAR exam, he listens to my sound of pain and will stop what he is doing to check my pain issues. He also has a small business in his office where he also sleeps. His business does not interfere with him compassion as a caregiver. The state pays him some money to assist me but it is not enough to live on so he has to work at my home in order to personally survive in this hard world today and he does.
Yes, he uses the computer constantly but for research in his field of interest or to check for the latest medical updates that I may require.
Recently he got me to a new pain management doctor who is treating me with Botox for my pain issues and it is working. Without the incite of this caregiver, I would not be here today to explain that he is THE ANGEL ON MY SHOULDER AND THE BUG IN MY EAR TO KEEP ME GOING.
Thank you for listening.
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