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I take care of my 95 year old mother who is bedridden. I am finding this hard. I am stuck in my house. I barely leave my house. I am lucky to go shopping. I have no one who can help me. I hired a caregiving agency to help me. First agency person was not dependable and they had nobody else, they are desperate for caregivers. Went with another agency. I was going to start back with piano lessons but caregiver never showed up and when I called they said she could not get out of driveway. It snowed 2 days ago. They said she could not get out in morning but everything was melted just about by afternoon. I guess the caregiver wanted whole day off. I am frustrated. I can't seem to be able to make any plans. I am hoping it gets better. Does anybody else find it hard getting caregivers?

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I think everybody has some frustrations to some extent - no-shows, delays and excuses, individuals who at first sight aren't the sort of people you would normally want in the house :/ - but then turn out to be worth their weight in gold.

One thing that can make a huge difference, though, is where you live. If you're hard to get to or in a sparsely populated area, then naturally there are simply going to be fewer caregivers around. Something to bear in mind for all of us who dream of country cottages for our old age...
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Paid caregivers have lives with challenges too. Older cars that do not start in bad weather, children or grandchildren that cannot go to school on snow days, etc, it is difficult to find one that has a reliable car and no family obligations of their own. When you find the right one, it is best to work around their challenges.
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Dat, are you using a private Agency where your Mom pays for the caregivers, or are you using an Agency where Medicaid pays for the care? I have heard that it is more difficult when one isn't self-paid.

My Dad was self-pay, and the caregivers showed up for each of their shifts [3 shifts], and if it was a really snowy day the owner would pick up the caregivers and leave them off at their client's house. Or if bad weather was on its way overnight, the 3rd shift caregiver would stay and fill in for the 1st shift if the 1st shift couldn't make it in.

I know when it comes to driveways, it depends on which direction one's driveway faced. My neighbors across the street would have clear driveways while I would still have several inches of snow and ice on my driveway because the driveway faced north.
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Dat, keep looking for an caregiving Agency you would be happy with. I realize depending on where you live, you may not have a variety of Agencies that you can call.

I used a nationwide group called Home Instead, and here in my area they were excellent.
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For the most part caregivers hired through an agency are paid less than Walmart workers. You get what you pay for.
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I agree with Ginach. You have to work WITH hired caregivers because they are poor. I’ll just say it, if a person is trying to make a living taking care of elders in their homes, it’s very hard. The clients cancel, weather happens, there are catastrophic events in the caregivers families. These will effect your caregivers because they are human beings too.
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Dat, keep up the good fight! You will find an agency that’s dependable.. and if they let you down, switch agencies again. I agree, the people aren’t all very committed. (And my deck had snow two days longer than others.) I’m in between helpers and need to get pumped to try again, sign up yet again with another agency, see who they send, etc. Good luck, you deserve the help!
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It is self pay. I do not have at night . Just a few hrs in a couple evenings and a couple of hrs in daytime 2 times a week so I could go out and do errands. It just started this week. Other agency had for 3 weeks and she barely showed up.
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Most aides/CNAs who work in homecare are good and caring workers. However, they are low paid, usually own older vehicles and may have family issues. That said, probably you may find a national agency with backup workers a better choice. I would ask agency about emergency coverage.
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Hi - We are a national agency that staffs caregivers, and we've dealt with every situation discussed here. Here are some tips for how best to work with an agency and a caregiver:
- The better caregivers want to work longer shifts. If you can do something like eight hours a day, three days a week, you'll get a better/more reliable person vs. a shorter shift (2-3 hours every day). Caregivers don't like these short shifts because they spend too much time driving around, so if you've got someone working that schedule, he or she will likely quit if something "better" (= longer) comes along.
- The better caregivers want extra money. If your situation is challenging (LO has poor behavior, very remote house), or if it is very important that the person show up every day (for instance to be on an international conference call), talk to the agency about paying an extra dollar or two an hour. Again, you'll attract a better quality caregiver and the $20 extra dollars you pay a week will be very worth it
- Again, if reliability is an issue, you may be better going through one of the bigger agencies. In our large offices, we keep an "extra" caregiver available in case one of the other caregivers has a problem. If s/he does not get staffed with a client, we'll have him or her do office work.
- Agencies vary a lot. Most national brands (like Home Instead, mentioned here) are franchises with each office owned by a different person, so a great experience in one location (where the franchise owner is fantastic) doesn't necessarily mean you'll have a great experience somewhere else (if that franchise owner isn't quite so good). Check references, check Internet reviews for the specific office in your town, ask friends and medical professionals for recommendations in your town.
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