Follow
Share

My husband’s in rehab and I know I’m going to need help. I may not always be away from home. Is it hard to be at home while they are there too?

Beckymcd, it took me a long time to decide to hire help. I was my husband’s sole caregiver. As he became more disabled, I became less able to help him. It was affecting me both physically and emotionally and my husband was very stressed too. My main concern was having a stranger in the house.
I finally hired Home Instead. At first, it was a couple of days a week for 4 hrs. It turned out not to be so bad at all. Home Instead tries to find Caregivers who are compatible with their clients. After a few months, my husband had a small stroke. When he came home, he was getting some OT, PT, and speech therapy, so the house was having strangers everyday. I increased the caregivers to 4 hrs/7days a week/ 365 a year. There was a period of adjustment getting just the right people. I found that the care givers help me too. Sometimes, while they are here, I sleep. Other days, if my husband is sleeping, we talk or watch a movie. They wash his clothing, change his bedding, feed him, change him, talk to him, shave and bathe him and run errands for his benefit. I often work with them for his care.
The caregivers are vetted by Home Instead. My husband is lucky enough that he has a male caregiver 4-5 days per week. It is not weird having another man in the house. He does anything a female caregiver does. My husband totally “loves” him. He’s just a couple of years older than our son. We are blessed.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to MamaMamaMama
Report
robinr Nov 18, 2019
You are very blessed to be able to afford that much care. And to have good people. Around here Home Instead wants 6 hours a week minimum, and that's just too much money. Also my mother is uncooperative/uninterested...except there was a time when she hated the fact that the caregiver was there so much she was inspired to want to go for a walk. Caregiver responded great, get your shoes, I'll go with you....to which mom responded NO. I'm going With My Husband! Caregiver attempted to notify me of the escape but I was on a phone call I couldn't get off of in another room with closed door.
(1)
Report
You will adapt to there presence and learn to be so grateful for their knowledge and there incredible way of helping you both. Try to learn their ways and trust them then let them do their job.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Avalon
Report
Beckymcd Nov 20, 2019
thanks
(0)
Report
I worked for both Home Instead AND Visiting Angels (not at the same time, that's a no-no--)

Had almost issues with HI as they were probably thrilled to get someone to work for them who wasn't illegally here, could speak English, had a decent work ethic and wasn't 18 years old and living on their cell phones.

The family was in and out all day--my client and I did what SHE wanted and needed and I learned quickly to acquiesce to what SHE wanted and what was doable. She had so much energy, I literally could not keep up with her. A 4 day week with her about killed ME.

This family was wonderful and accepted and trusted me after just a few weeks. My client did wind up being placed in a LOVELY assisted living--and she still wanted me couple days a week--but there was no need for me.

I took a break ad decided to try Visting Angels--(you need to know that theses agencies are franchised out, so what I got here in UT might be totally a 180 from what someone in CA would experience. This particular agency was poorly run and I didn't stay more than a month. They kept giving me clients who weighed over 300 lbs and expected me to help them get up and down and into my car.

I couldn't seem to get a good 'match' with them so I quit.

Be aware that although the client pays a lot for theses services, the CG doesn't get much more than minimum wage. And usually no raises. It's depressing at times.

Good Luck in this. I wish so much we had gotten Mother to accept care from HI. She wanted help, but YB but the kibosh on it and now he has double the workload.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Midkid58
Report
Alonnastorm Nov 20, 2019
Thanks for giving us insight. At some point I will have to go this route
(0)
Report
See 1 more reply
I found it helpful to be around while they are there, especially at the beginning. It's important to know that they are doing things the way you like, and that you feel they are a good match for you. Because you are there with them, you can develop a good working relationship with them. You don't have to be friends with your caregiver, but the best caregivers are the ones that do get to know you but remain professional. It doesn't happen in a day, but over time. My mom was lucky to have wonderful people who helped her in her last years who in fact became friends.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to lynina2
Report
NeedHelpWithMom Nov 21, 2019
It is important to be there in the beginning, just to make sure they are following the routine that you have asked for.
(1)
Report
I never thought I'd want people in the house but our caregivers have been with us so long that it's hard to imagine their NOT being here! The agency owner and her husband have been with us for over nine years. Another has been with us for going on six years, and the other two about 4 years. We had a few in the beginning who left for various reasons; we only had to let one go because she was nuts. They are all people who look around for things to do. Especially in the beginning, when my husband could pretty much do everything for himself physically, just needed supervision, but didn't think he needed any help (!), they helped me with the house a lot. Now they have to spend more time with him as he's completely dependent--severe dementia/parkinsons. But they still help me with shopping, laundry, cleaning, minor maintenance. They are a godsend. My worry: The two who we've had the longest are aging, too! They've had their own health problems, he's going deaf, she had colon cancer surgery, he had a couple of big surgeries...I know I should look for a "plan B" but there's so much to do even with all the help...
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to superstring
Report
Beckymcd Nov 19, 2019
Thanks
(0)
Report
Just make sure you pick a reputable agency. We use Visiting Angels in FL. The franchise owner is awesome and came to interview my LOs personally. He is also caring for his own mother so could totally empathize with our situation. We had a few flops but he quickly found us a fantastic CG. She is totally like part of the family. Please don't be tempted to hire a private person, for many reasons. An agency is the way to go. Just a suggestion but may request a guy for your dad as he may feel more comfortable in certain hygiene/care situations. Plus he'd have a buddy. Blessings!
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Geaton777
Report
Invisible Nov 19, 2019
We were less fortunate with Visiting Angels in MN. Very expensive and not very flexible.
(0)
Report
See 1 more reply
I won't pull any punches...I was part of a Caregiver Support Program through the local area agency on aging this past summer. I learned a great deal and will put the knowledge to use if we do it again in the future, but suffice to say, our experiences were less than positive and when I ended the visits 1-2 weeks before our time was up (the program in our area allows only 3 months of time) I felt immense relief. That's NOT how it should go. But there were many factors including the person the help was aimed at, my mother, being uncooperative and uninterested. One of the most amusing moments was when I was escorting one of the aides to the door and she was behind me, leaving the kitchen where we had been with mom and she giggled saying mom had just said "Get Lost..." not realizing anyone would hear. We were not sure which of us or if it was both of us she wanted to be rid of.
For your own comfort as others have noted try to get an agency with the best reputation and never ever hesitate to dismiss them if you do not like them. Call the agency and say you want someone else. Make SURE they do background checks...criminal ones. Be aware that a PRIVATE agency does not HAVE to do that, but they should.
Take anything valuable or breakable and put it elsewhere, maybe a friend or relatives home...some place locked. A care plan should be done...you can put a lock on a door and make that room off limits...which may increase interest. Same for drugs if you have concerns.
If a room is off limits make it clear. Our plan made it clear nothing was to be done in the kitchen because I knew myself and knew I'd be distressed if something was not done right or things moved around etc. The one day the aide showed any initiative at all, when I was on that call she managed to use an abrasive paper towel with glass cleaner on a clear plastic film that had virtually no marks protecting our stainless steel fridge. I was livid and exercised great self-control but never had her back. She had no right to be in the cupboards or doing anything in the kitchen per the plan.
Do not engage with them to become BFF and socialize for the time they are there, let them get something that eases your life done. You may have to be directive and specific. It may help to have a list of tasks prioritized to hand to them.
Since my mom was so resistant, they were not going to be of help with her and in the end I concluded as some other did here that perhaps at this time what might help most is a cleaning person/service.
They might all seem nice, pleasant etc...we had one interview where things were going famously only when I asked about the background check I learned she had about 10 driving offenses and had been to court for trashing an apartment. Just beware....
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to robinr
Report
Invisible Nov 19, 2019
I found working with an agency to be difficult. Hired a reliable and experienced friend. Made all the difference.
(0)
Report
Not always.. we loved Dad's gal! She really became part of our family. You get to meet them first, so make sure you think she will be a good fit for your husband AND you. She was not just dads CG, but she became moms friend too. When she took dad for a walk, she took mom along.. and she freed mom up to do chores and such without worry.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to pamzimmrrt
Report

Becky, once you are trusting of the caregiver, can't you just go out and run errands?

I can't stand being home when my cleaning person comes. I go out, even just to the library, while she is here.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn
Report
Alee123 Nov 19, 2019
We have a relative whom we trust to sit with my mom once a week. We pay her. They color and do puzzles and have lots of fun. This gives my husband (who is in early alzheimers) and me some time to run errands, go shopping, just get out of the house for a few hours. When he gets worse, I don't know what I will do though. That worries me. Honestly, I cry alot when they are asleep.
(1)
Report
My mother had problems with caregivers in the house. I had a talk with all parties. I told them that if everyone was there at the same time, it was still the caregiver's responsibility to take care of my father. I lived 8 hours away. Most crises arose after I left to go home. Hang in there. Let them work. Get some rest.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to crazypollack
Report

See All Answers

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter