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Greetings, does anyone have info on how to find a private Caregiver in Suffolk, VA. I have comfortable living quarters for the Caregiver, however, I can not afford the prices from the professional agencies and will have to work out payment I can afford along with the living quarters.

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Mally, I certainly understand your situation. I was really in a quandary about my next move, but was actually forced into a different direction.

My father began deteriorating a few hours after one of the unsatisfactory, dishonest and lazy caregivers finished her shift, and left in a huff and evil eye cast on me. Two days later he was hospitalized; now he's on hospice care and probably will pass today or tomorrow.

There's no question but that at almost 100 he was vulnerable and close to the end anyway, but my concern was that she accelerated that point with her sloppy and irresponsible attitude.

I still can't help wondering if this woman did something when she was allegedly helping him eat. I checked on her regularly and found her sitting at the kitchen table pretending to read a blank page!

Earlier I had stopped what she was doing when I smelled the strong odor of bleach. She was cleaning kitchen chairs with undiluted bleach, never even asked about using appropriate ventilation. My father had respiratory issues and I couldn't help wondering if her cleaning method accelerated his decline by forcing a respiratory crisis.

I wish I had some good answers. The one agency I really wanted was recommended by a home health care agency that I had 3 -4 times post rehab, and it seemed to be very, very professional. But as I wrote in the first paragraph of my post, the whole work scope changed when I was ready to hire them and learned how liability conscious they were about dysphagia feeding.

I think though that if the husband of the owner of the agency you used filled in, that reflects a higher level of commitment than I experienced. I'm wondering if the owner can reach out to other agencies? The agency I really wanted did that, and partnered with some other agencies to expand their covered area. And the marketing director told me they were very selective, having terminated relationships with a few agencies which didn't meet their standards.

I'm wondering if an incentive such as a bonus or a bit higher rate might help your agency owner reach out to a broader range of workers? It must be really hard in a small town. Interestingly enough, a friend made a comment that our area has grown to be a metropolis, and that agencies can afford to be less responsible b/c there are always older people in need of help. It made sense when I thought about it; I found that only one agency really cooperated and wanted my business. Most of them advised of their terms, take them or leave them!

I would try to think of ways that your agency owner can reach out to a broader work pool, i.e., how can she (or you) incentivize good and reliable workers? Maybe there's a pool of retired medical people in the area, or a broader area?

Is your husband a Vet by any chance? The VA does assist with private duty home care. I don't know anything about the agencies they select, and only spoke with two that worked with the VA. One was the agency I really wanted, and another was a much smaller agency but I didn't follow up with them b/c at the time I didn't want an agency that only took cash or check. I learned quickly though that agencies are too cheap to accept charge.

And that amazes me that these are allegedly business people but won't pay the fee for using charge accounts. My herbal supplier is a much smaller, single business owner, and she accepts charge.

I've concluded the older care market is one ripe for exploitation. Older people have become commoditized, just as our personal information has become commoditized and commercialized.

I wish I knew of a better situation for our friends and families.
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Please check laws in your state about live in caregivers. There is another thread recently posted about someone being sued for live in caregivers additional wages above room and board. If you want 24/7 availability with a caregiver, the agreement needs to compensate for that. Some states have mandatory overtime pay and respite requirements.
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Thank you all for your input. The workman's comp insurance, I never considered and yes, the vetting is my biggest concern. I will continue to go through community, church, and prayer etc., until the Lord provides. At this time, it is definitely not an "all hours of the night" type situation. My mom is in bed between 7-8PM every night and sleeps well thru the night. Trust me, I understand burn-out and because I value my privacy, once I'm home for the night, the Caregiver would go back to her quarters and the time off to avoid as much burn-out as possible is fair.
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GA; now what? What's your next move? AL? My mom is being maintained by a caregiver from an agency who has trouble staffing (small town, low pool of workers), so she/we could be dealing with the same thing - was for 3 weeks when her helper was out for a knee injury; the husband of the agency's owner filled in (Right. Small town.).
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Suffolk, I searched for several months before finding an agency in which I could develop trust and confidence. Sadly, though, when I was ready to hire them and we met for the assessment, the nurse contradicted an exec in the home office and refused to provide some of the care I wanted. That position completely invalidated the need for them.

I did try another agency, well recommended, but realized that the best of vetting can't counter a poor franchise owner. And I think that was the problem. Of 3 people who were provided, two were worthless. The third was top notch but was a smoker, at my father's home where an oxygen concentrator ran 24/7.

Now they're stalling on returning the balance of the security deposit.

I don't have much use for private duty people after these experiences.

The reason it was difficult and many other franchises were rejected is because of the ridiculous and onerous contract terms, which I would not sign under any circumstances.
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Suffolk, my main concern with a live-in caregiver is how many hours during the day will she be doing the caregiving? If it is more than 8 hours a day, the caregiver could crash and burn pretty quickly, especially if she needs to be up at all hours of the night doing care.

The pay needs to be a living wage. Even though the caregiver would be living free of rent in the house, she is there to be the caregiver around the clock.

If the caregiver has her own family home elsewhere, there may be times when she is called out to go back home. Then someone from your family would need to jump in to do the caregiving.

If you have a caregiver who is not part of an Agency, please note you would need to purchase workman's comp insurance in case the caregiver gets hurt on the job.

For payroll taxes, I would recommend having the paycheck go through a "paycheck" business that takes out the payroll taxes and mails the check to the caregiver.
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Dear Suffolk,

I'm so sorry, I know finding good care at an affordable price is very hard. Have you asked around the community or through church? I know some people have posted their own ads at online job sites for caregivers or even on Kiiji or Craigslist, but I honestly don't know how safe it is. I feel there is so much vetting to be done and one must be very careful. I hope others can give more insight.
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