Here We Go Again Part 1 of 4

Strawberry Hill, SC October 2010


Our recent helper has left, “doesn’t want to come back” were the director’s words from the agency’s third phone conversation that day.   Let me just say,  I am feeling less than amicable with this agency.  It operates under a medical model, yet also provides in-home assistants for those with dementia, though I now realize, case management with a medical mindset. 

Regretably, I acted in haste to find another person.  Lesson learned.  Our need for someone to be with Chrissy three to four hours though the week is necessary and ever-present; a disruption in the schedule, hers or mine, creates anxiety, mostly on my part.  With that prevailing reason, I called a well-known agency to schedule an appointment.  Knocking on the door a few days later was a cheery nurse with a large notebook and a gift bag of Band-Aids, gloves, and such.  In a prepared manner, she stated agency and state policy, acquired signatures on numerous forms, completed assessments (including blood pressure check), and formulated a care plan.   Also stated: monthly meetings would occur unscheduled – in which, the care plan would be updated if necessary, and the nurse would assess the assistant’s work.   Moreover, get this – it was not necessary that I, her primary caregiver be present!  

Now remember, my little mother has dementia, moderate stage, so I highly question at any given hour – she would even realize health changes, what might be needed from the assistant, or able to articulate those needs.    The initial flags I had ignored had now evolved into mental gymnastics.  Thankfully, my usually good sense resumed and concerns were discussed.  I calmly and clearly communicated visits by the nurse were not to occur  unless a family member or I were present, unscheduled visits were not acceptable, and  Friday was the only day for any meetings as I worked Monday through Thursday.   Other than safety concerns, assistance with Chrissy allows me to work, focused and uninterrupted.  

To be continued ….


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