Saturday, August 7, 2010

Taking advantage....

Sounds terrible, but I'm finally doing it!! We once had a Personal Care Aide that we paid to come in a bathe my sweet husband for me. She was here long enough each time to do that one job. But then, something terrible happened. She had a heart attack. Mild, really, but none the less, a warning sign for her to take it easy. She called, feeling terrible about leaving us high and dry, but I assured her that it was ok.

Thus began the search for someone else. It's always cheaper to hire someone, agree on a price, hours, etc. but you can run the risk of getting someone who will take advantage of you and your loved one. I've heard so many horror stories of loved ones abused, items missing, medication running short because someone needed a fix.

So this time, I called a Home Health Care Service. They came out, did an evaluation, we worked on a care plan, and decided on days and times. We decided on having an aide out once a week. The agency has a four hour minimum, and the rate is $20 an hour. They do background checks, have references and every three months, they send someone out to evaluate and question us on how the aide is doing. I can call them anytime, and they can send someone out. It probably won't be the same aide, but at least we know we have that as an option in an emergency.

We went through two aides before we met Jennifer! Now, we explained to Jennifer that her first and most important task when she is here is to bathe and care for my husband. She is to take care of him and if there is any time leftover, she can do some "light housekeeping".

The amazing thing is this: she is a WHIZ!! She does my husband's personal care, and does it thoroughly! Then she runs errands around the house for him. Getting his hairbrush, finding things, moving things around and making coffee. And, the really amazing thing??? She has time leftover to do "light housekeeping"!!! Yay for ME!!

Jennifer changes Dear Hubby's sheets, washes, dries and folds them. She dusts our room, cleans the bathroom counters, sweeps, mops, vacuums, dusts our living room, puts away any unfolded laundry that might happen to be in the dryer (oops). She unloads the dishwasher, cleans the kitchen counters, dusts the window sills, etc. She is a hard worker and gets so much done in such a short time.

I take the opportunity when she is here to leave the house, run errands, go to the movies, do some FUN shopping, or grocery shopping and I've been known to take naps! What can be better than getting into bed and knowing you don't have to get up for FOUR HOURS??? Sometimes I sleep for a while and then read in bed. Sometimes I get an iced tea and get on the computer before my nap. And sometimes, (don't tell anyone) I sleep almost the entire time!! It's really wonderful.

Once we had company coming over at 5:30. Jennifer would be leaving at 5:00. So, do you want to know what I did? I was supposed to make the veggies for sandwiches, while the other ladies were bringing soups, deli meat, cheese and dessert. Jennifer came in, I took a nap and right before she left, I hopped in the shower and got ready for company. She had Dear Hubby ready, the house was sparkling. She had even cut up tomatoes and washed lettuce for the pot faith meal. I took a three hour nap, was able to get dressed for the get together without interruption. Dear Hubby was dressed, the house was clean and my portion of the meal was done. It was unbelievable!!

Oh yeah, I'm taking advantage of having Jennifer around. We pay for her help, but I think we're getting a pretty good deal. Not only does Dear Hubby get bathed and taken care of, but I get time out, and my house gets a good once over. Nice, very, very nice!


WhiteStone said...

Jennifer sounds like a gem! What a blessing to have her excellent help.

Megan said...

Mrs. Wy I was SO encouraged to hear about your sweet angel!! It's so difficult to find people who really care about the work they're doing in that field and she is so super speedy she can do all of that housework too??? Wow!! I'm so glad to hear it. :) What a bright spot in your week she must be!