I get paid a certain amount of hours per month in the care of my elderly friend with demetia. I am with her 24/7.

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In order for me to have time out I have to pay someone to watch her. Her family is not very forth coming in this area and I understand one works a lot and the other is 70 years old. I get a reprieve about once a week for about 4 or 5 hrs. I feel myself getting a little claustrophobic and need more than that, even if I'm still here, but have the feeling of coming and going when I please. I know if I paid someone which is hard to find for a whole day, it's a big chunk out of my check and it can only be specified amount of hrs. I still think back on the 3 years I have lived with her before her illness how I was able to go to school and the only requirement was to keep her home clean and to be home at night. I am grateful for all this and I shouldn't complain. But I would just love to have one whole 24 hour day off once a week. I'm just venting but I do pray to God to give me patience and tolerance because someday she wont be here anymore. I don't complain to much to the family for fear they will stick her in a nursing home where she can't have her dog and I know she wont last. Again I am also grateful to the state for making it possible to get paid to take care of her. Maybe by writing this I may have made myself feel better.

11 Comments

4 or 5 hours a week is simply not enough. 24 hours is definitely reasonable AND you should not have to pay for your substitute. Who in the family has POA or seems to be in charge? My suggestion is to talk to them and explain your needs. Your intentions are admirable, but if you burn out you won't be of any help to your friend or her family.
My mom is with an agency who sends a person out to our home for 2 days a week @ 2 hours each day. There may be an agency in your town to provide respite.
Well what would her family do without you there? That's the question you need to ask them, and don't be shy about it. They SHOULD be paying 2 different people - they SHOULD NOT be expecting one person to provide 24 hour coverage 7 days per week, and your time off SHOULD NOT be coming out of your pocket - it should be coming out of theirs. That is insane.
The family doesn't pay me the state does at least that's were the check comes from. As in home care we are allotted a specific amount hours per month and in that I am responsible for using my part of moneys to pay someone to care for her when I need it such as doctors appointments, etc. I am glad however when I so have such appointments her family watches her. I have a good example as to needing time out and not just a few hours, I had a family baby shower at 2pm and was asked how long will I be. I estimated at least until 5pm and then I would like to go grocery shopping for myself after wards. They said will just come pick her up when your done, mind you I had already dropped her off on my gas as always. I told them why couldn't they just take her home and sit with her till I got there and again was asked how long will that be. I just get frustrated because after all this is their mother and it wasn't like I was going to be out till midnight. So I just didn't go shopping and was home before they were. Again just venting. One of them has POA as was asked earlier. I know how they are. If I complain to much she goes to a nursing home and I don't think that fair to her but she is not my mother. I guess there a few people who are not equipped to handle and simply find easier ways out. But I ask myself one day a week would be nice. Thanks again for your alls input and I have my venting out, LOL.
Wait, I am confused. The state pays you for a certain amount of hours per week. That is all you should be working. If the family is taking advantage of you and making you stay for -well -ever that is not right!!! This family sounds shady. Poor friend -poor you! I understand that you are concerned for your friend and commend you for that but you should not be made to work more than what the state pays you for. IMO.
I know here in CA it works about as you stated above - you get "x" number of hours per month - but it is certainly not over 700 hours per month (which is what 24/7 would be). You have a right to ask the family to give you a day per week to yourself - they can't handle that much time with her themselves, but expect you to devote your entire life? Not fair in my book. You sound like a very caring and generous person, and it sounds like they are taking advantage of you. :(
I do take into account I am not charged for living here as far as rent, utilities, etc. I guess that would consider there part in paying in the care for her. I do pay for my groceries and my bills and I get to use her car since she no longer drives but supply my own gas whether it's for her or me because I do have to take her everywhere I go. I just have to be patient and pray things will work out in my favor in time. thanks again friends for allowing me to vent, LOL
Oh- gotcha. I still don't think one day out of the week is asking a lot of them - even if it's only 8 hours...you're heading down the expressway to burnoutville the way you're going. Good luck!
Oops - I meant a couple days a week.
Doesn't matter if they're paying room and board, you should have at least, 1 day off. Probably 2.

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