A Rant About Home Health Care Workers

September 29, 2008 by  
Filed under ALZHEIMER'S

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Okay, you will forgive me for the rant, but I ran into an old friend this past weekend and she is struggling as she cares for her mom who has Alzheimer’s disease. We shared and compared war stories. It was therapeutic for both of us.

She had some of the same issues that I did. Why is it so hard to find good help? From a Medicare perspective, you must always have a backup plan. Well, I’m thinking, if I had a backup plan, I wouldn’t need a home healthcare worker to come. I’d use my backup.

Then there is the issue of the dependability (or lack thereof) of the home health workers. I mean, once I was heading out of town for a speaking engagement. The aide was to show up at 6:30. 6:30 came and went as did 6:40 and 6:50. Finally, at about 6:55, I called the agency only to find out that the aide was not coming. How nice it would have been to have gotten a phone call. I was so angry that I told the person who answered the phone that SHE needed to come and stay with my mother. Of course, she told me that I was to have a backup, which sent my blood pressure THROUGH the roof. Like I said before, if I had a backup, I wouldn’t have needed their services.

Unfortunately, this happened a lot. Over the course of the time that I cared for my mom, I used four different agencies. All made great promises during the sales and intake period, but in the end, they didn’t differ that much.

Now, we did have a few good Aides. Ms. Florence was one of my favorites. She was always on time, she never, that I can recall, just didn’t show up and if she was going to be a few minutes late, she always called.

I don’t mean to badmouth ALL home health care workers. There are probably some good ones out there. So, let’s do this. Please tell me your GOOD stories. Show me that mine was an isolated experience. Tell me about the angels that are helping you to care for your loved one. I know they are out there and I think it would do us all good to hear something positive as we battle this monster called Alzheimer’s disease and all that it brings with it.

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