I can't figure out when to have a caregiver come. The times I need them most are diaper-changing time in the morning, midday, and night, but I can't afford to have someone there for a full 12 hours, and Mom would be annoyed by that anyway.
I can do it myself at night because I don't have as much to do then, but in the morning, I need to feed our animals, make and take calls, and take Dad to mass.
If I have someone here in the morning, then they can't tend to Mom without throwing Dad off course, since his time to get ready for Church (every day) is 10:30-11:30 and he doesn't want to get dressed in front of a strange female.
So, that leaves 9-10:30 am and then midday times that someone could come. But I know they arent going to schedule someone to come for an hour and a half, then leave and come back from 2-5.
I just don't know how to organize this, and today was awful. The guy who came to build the wheelchair ramp showed up at 10 am, almost 2 hours late. At 11 am, he needed me to go with him to pay for materials, but the lawn guy had just arrived and I needed to pay him and talk to him about cutting back our shrubs, and Dad wanted to be taken to church at 11:40 and the home health nurse had called to say she was coming and needed me there. I had not changed Mom's diaper yet and she was wondering why I had not brought her herbal tea.
And, in another thread, the majority of people thought that caregiver should not have to do ANY cleaning other than any mess they make or their immediate "Care" area. If all they're doing is changing a diaper, and the rest of the time, they're sitting while I coordinate Dr appts, sweep, mop, do the dishes, get Dad dressed, make their meals, give Mom's meds, brush her teeth, and do the laundry, then why even have a caregiver?

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7 am-10am, would that be too early for you. Then they could get Mom ready before Dad is getting ready. I believe they are supposed to clean as well and help in that way. Not too sure but seems like you have a time slot before 10?
Helpful Answer (8)

My aunts caregiver comes from 8 until 11. She has a bathing aide that comes on Mondays and Fridays. She has therapy that comes Mondays and Wednesdays.
The daily aide helps with hygiene including teeth, hair, nails, getting dressed, applying lotion etc.
She makes a hot breakfast and sets up snacks, water and lunch. Does laundry, floors, dusts, cleans appliances. Waters plants. Feeds and waters the dog. Cleans up after the dog. Records vitals. She is a busy bee.
She will not sit and visit which is a deal breaker for aunt but she will dance around when aunt sings and that makes it all ok. Her most important job is to make sure aunt eats breakfast and takes her meds. On the weekends she has two different churches that deliver communion and a different aide who is there two hours and likes to visit. She also does pills, vitals, meals and any laundry needing attention but doesn’t do as much cleaning. It takes awhile to find the right fit.
Prioritize what’s important and count anything else as a perk.
Every layer of care helps.
You might consider a housekeeper to come in for a couple of hours twice a week or once a month. Whatever works. You can check on volunteers to take your dad to church. Take advantage of delivery services. Consider a laundry service. Don’t try to do it all yourself.
Helpful Answer (7)

Our local Council on Aging has a dementia daycare. COA is nation-wide in the US, but each one may offer slightly different services.
This daycare also has a bus, picks my mom up and they have activities for about 5 hours on weekdays. They can even shower your loved one while they are there.
It’s more affordable than home-care and I can run errands, clean and even take a nap!
It has been a lifesaver for me. Mom didn’t like it for a while at first but I kept up the routine making it a habit. I have no family help.
Not sure what might be available near you but daycare is a slice of heaven.
Bless you in finding a solution to your already too busy household.
Helpful Answer (7)

kimsgoneinsane, what about the other suggestions that the writers wrote? How would Dad feel about not going to church every day? Like I mentioned in my post, the logistics were very difficult for me as that was back when my Dad didn't have a caregiver come into the house. Even though Dad was disappointed eventually he understood.

You really have too much on your plate already. Something has to give.

So we don't crash and burn ourselves, we have to stop enabling our parents. Thus cutting back on things that you do. I know there will be guilt. Then and only then would one's parents consider downsizing or hiring a caregiver for half of the day to start. Wish I knew I could have set boundaries with my parents, as I did crash and burn twice and it ruined my health :(
Helpful Answer (6)

Depending on the area you live in, you can get split shifts. Some smaller agencies will do 2 hour shifts if you are in an urban area while some agencies have a mandatory minimum of 4 hours per shift, so call around. Most HHAs will help with light housekeeping mopping, sweeping, dusting, laundry, meal prep and dishes. They cannot move furniture, do windows or what is considered heavy housekeeping.
Helpful Answer (5)

kimsgoneinsane, I like your screen name, very well put :)

My very elderly Dad had a day caregiver from 7 a.m. to 3pm. She would get Dad up and into the shower, get him dressed, help him down the stairs, go out and get the newspaper and get Dad settled in his recliner to read the paper or watch the morning news. Then she would make breakfast, and make sure he took his pills.

Mid-morning she would strip the bed, wash the sheets, and anything in the hamper. Another day she would vacuum. Another day she would dust. Dad's dishwasher wasn't working so she would need to hand wash the dishes.

She would take Dad outside for a short walk. Then it was noon, she would drive Dad to see my Mom who was in long-term-care and she would help feed Mom. Then back to the house to prepare Dad his lunch. She would also help Dad with minor yard work, like trimming the landscape or help plant flowers. Drive Dad for his haircuts, or to Burger King which he really enjoyed. And she was good about shooing away door to door salespeople :)

My Dad also wanted to go to Mass each morning. But this wanting to go to Mass didn't start until he was in his 90's. I understood how important this was but the logistics would have been difficult. I felt so guilty having to say no to my Dad on that request. On Sundays he and Mom [when Mom still lived at home] would watch Mass on TV. If Dad would have had cable, I probably could have found a weekday morning Mass somewhere in the world. My Mom didn't care to go to Mass anymore, as she never liked shaking hands during Mass :P
Helpful Answer (5)

Caregivers can help with medication (if it's in a medication container) and help your mom brush her teeth. They can make your mom her tea in the morning and do the dishes and change your mom's Depends, get her cleaned up, and fix her breakfast. Caregivers do "light housekeeping" which is picking up after themselves, washing and cleaning anything they might have used, keeping the client's area clean and tidy, and maybe do a load of the client's laundry (or more if linens need to be washed). With all these tasks to complete a caregiver shouldn't have a lot of time to be sitting around.

However, there are times in home care when the caregiver has nothing to do. When the client is sleeping or visiting with family or wants to be left alone for a while or is content where she is at for the time being. A caregiver shouldn't stand over her client waiting for the opportunity to be helpful. She stays close but not too close so she can helpful when the client is in need.

I used to work in home healthcare as a hospice provider and there was a lot of down time. I'd bring a book with me. Someone doesn't need to be cared for every single minute of every hour. Downtime is inevitable. I had a case where I worked the night shift and I got to sleep, in a bed in a guest room, while my client slept next door. The family paid to have someone nearby in case the client woke up in the middle of the night. And she would. I'd help her to the bedside commode and get her back into bed. The whole thing took less than 10 minutes. I'd go back to sleep, the client would go back to sleep, and at 8am the day hospice provider would arrive.

Figure out what your mom needs, when she needs it, and if you can accommodate yours and hers schedule so she can get the care she needs. Maybe you have to rearrange the routine a bit.
Helpful Answer (4)

You are not insane.
Just the addition of the handyman and lawn care unsettled an already difficult schedule.
When I had to "be here", be available for two weeks on the handyman' s schedule, I could not get a moment's thought to myself, plus showers were a challenge with the house open.
Things might settle down soon. In the meantime, you can borrow my rules:
1) Never never on a Monday-doctor appointments.
2) Always in the afternoon, never before 11:00 a.m.-appointments

As for Mass, are there mid-day, early evenings? Can a caregiver drop him off on the way out? (If he is able without supervision?) Then you can pick him up, or the suggestions here to have a fellow parishioner take Dad.

As for the late handyman....he will have to re-schedule next time. Mom's diaper is a priority. That must have been stressful for you!
Helpful Answer (4)

When I was crashing, I came here and one longtime member told me that we are turning ourselves inside out so that our parents don't have to make any changes. I agree, there my be someone else who can take your father to church. Every day!!??? How about some Christian charity for daughter? When my mother was sort of able to live alone and I was working, I arranged a split shift. In the morning an aide came, helped my mother clean up or shower, emptied her colostomy bag and the bedside commode. After washing her hands (yes I had to tell them) she made mom's breakfast, made her bed and sometimes tossed in a load of laundry. In the late afternoon another aide came, did any dishes, finished the laundry, made a meal (mostly already prepared by me but needing to be heated. Did dinner dishes, changed mom for bed and got her propped to watch tv in bed. If you can't figure out how to make it work for aides to help your parents, then consider help for yourself, cleaning, laundry, lawn care, etc.
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Kim: I am quite surprised that the church has not offered to help, nor have they replied back to you. When I was the "one-woman-show" at my mother's living out of state and she had suffered a stroke and was hospitalized, complete strangers to me, who were members of my mother's church offered and did bring me meals! I appreciated that so much, since I was "running on fumes."

In addition, back home at my own church, whenever ANYONE requires help due to a hospitalization of spouse or a family of 8, having 6 children (one who is severely disabled), a "meal train" is automatically started. The recipient doesn't even have to ask as the church knows who is in need.  One friend with the 6 children has been a recipient of the Meal Train FOR THREE YEARS!
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