Deciding on a caregiver was quite stressful for me. I just had so much going through my mind about it that I couldn’t think about much else. I knew Mom needed someone to help with her daily routine but I had trouble figuring out a schedule – after all, this is the first time I’ve done this.
So… after talking it through with my husband and really giving it a lot of thought about what would work best for all of us, we decided to try having someone come in during the day while my husband and I are the busiest. Now all we had to do was figure out who to call to find the right person.
I talked with my mom’s primary doctor to see if he had any suggestions; I talked with a gentleman we know who runs two assisted living houses; I called numerous agencies to get information on the who, what, when and how much; and I talked with a caregiver we had when my husband and I went away. One thing I did learn is that it was going to be expensive having someone come in eight hours a day, seven days a week – most agencies charge between $18.00 – $26.00 per hour.
After more talks with my husband, we decided to give the caregiver we had when we went away a try – her name is Sue. Sue has been working in the caregiving industry for many years and has about five caregivers working with her as well. So Mom will have one main caregiver and others that fill in at times.
OK, so we’ve figured out the who, the when and the how much, now we have to figure out the what… meaning what do we need the caregiver to do to help with Mom’s daily routine? My mom is so particular about everything and she has a real problem having strangers in her life. She’s never be very sociable and definitely has some OCD going on, which is going to make things a bit touchy having a strange person in her life who wants to “help”.
So we’re going to “ease” Mom into this new situation. She was not a happy camper about the whole thing but considering all her options would be uncomfortable, this is the best uncomfortable option we have.
What I Learned: Dealing with an ageing parent is not easy; especially when it comes to handing them over to someone else.
Well I think I’ve made a major decision about my mom. I’ve been fighting with what to do about having someone come in and help her out, trying to figure out IF someone should come in, and what days/hours, etc. So after discussing it with my husband I think we figured it out.
My mom called this morning at 7:30 and left a message on my cell. I heard the phone ring but it went to voice mail by the time I woke up. I know Mom will call again and again if it’s an emergency (a Mom emergency I call it, because it’s usually nothing) but the phone didn’t ring again. Three hours later the phone rang (waking me up again), but this time I answered it. I figured it was about time I get up, even tho it was the weekend. Mom was asking when I was coming over because she didn’t know how to take her medication and didn’t want to do anything until I got there.
I told her what to do over the phone – which is pretty simple – “take your pill.” But since I was awake I decided to go over there and make sure she was OK. Mom is always out of sorts after she sleeps for a long time – which is getting more and more every day. She had taken her pill correctly and was getting her breakfast ready, so everything seemed fine.
I think it’s a little premature to have a home health aide come in every morning just to make sure Mom is taking her medication properly. Sure it would take the pressure off me, but having someone else involved may just cause more problems. If you only knew my mom.
So… my major decision. I’ve decided to help my mom out by going over every morning to help her with her medication. At least I’m going to give it a try. As long as my mom can work around my schedule we shouldn’t have a problem. During the week I can run next door when I get up before I start my day, and on weekends I’ll just go over whenever I wake up. That’ll work…. right?
I guess we’ll see. I’m going to give it a try anyway, and if it doesn’t work for me I’ll have to look at other options. At least I’ll save Mom some money by not hiring someone to come in and Mom will feel much better about everything.
Here’s hoping anyway!
What I Learned: I don’t mind helping my mom out as long as it doesn’t become a real burden.
I was visiting Mom last night and she was telling me how unhappy she is with the fact that she can’t remember things and is confused about what is going on. It usually only happens when she just wakes up, but considering she’s sleeping most of the day it happens often.
So we started that conversation again about what her options are. She obviously needs help, especially with her medication and some meals. Actually, there are really only two options – move to an assisted living facility or have a home health person come in. We both know that assisted living is the last thing Mom wants – she even said she’d probably die if she moved to one…. YIKES!
Of course my opinion of assisted living and Mom’s opinion differ greatly. I feel, for me, it would be a better situation in some ways because of the social aspect of a facility, as well as meals prepared daily, extra curricular activities, outings, and even a smaller living space to not have to worry about cleaning. Yea…. that’s what I’m all about! Mom, on the other hand, doesn’t want anything to do with socializing, hates any type of game, and is super fussy about her meals.
After talking about how she won’t go to an assisted facility we talked in more detail about having someone come in. Herein lies the problem. What days/hours would we have the home health person come and what duties would they perform? Some days are better than others for Mom but lately she’s been having confused days every day.
Unfortunately I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had a chance to call around and get information for Mom, but now I feel I have to take the time to call. It’s going to be weird for all of us having someone around all the time – we really like our space – but I have no other option at this time.
Who knows? Maybe this is exactly what we all need. Someone to help Mom with her daily activities and someone to take a little pressure off of me. And maybe even my husband and I will feel we can get away more often without feeling pressure from Mom about going away.
Hmmm… can you say Vegas?
What I Learned: You can only put things off for so long, and some changes can be for the better.
No… not for me – for Mom. Sometimes I think it’s time to get a caregiver to come in and help her. There are days when she doesn’t seem to need help and then there are days when she does. I’m a little stressed about it because I don’t know how to handle it. Should I hire someone to come in every day, even on the days when Mom is able to do everything on her own? Do I have someone come during the day only or day AND night?
I’ve used an agency in the past when my husband and I have gone away for an extended period of time and that has worked out alright. Mom always puts up a fight about us leaving her and really packs on the guilt trip, but I am adamant about living my life and spending time away with my husband. When taking in an elderly parent I feel it is so important to try to live your life the way you want. If you want to including your parent in your life all the time that’s fine, but if you want to live your life and include them sometimes, like I do, then that’s OK too.
Let’s be real here… I spend time with Mom every day. Honestly, it’s becoming more often than I expected but I’m alright with that. I know when to put the brakes on and I know when I need to get away and spend time with my husband. Believe me, it takes practice to say “no” to Mom but I have to so my life can be less stressful.
So, back to the question… Should I get help? Having a caregiver come in is expensive – anywhere from $18 to $25 an hour! Of course I haven’t looked into the rate for someone to come in on a regular basis – maybe you get a price break if they are coming on a weekly basis…. hmmm, I’ll look into that and let you know. And will having someone around all the time just mean that now I have to keep an eye on them as well? I’m not too crazy about having a stranger in our personal space all the time, but what are my options? I know Mom does not want to leave and stay in an assisted living situation and I’d rather not have that either, but it may come to that if I feel she needs that type of care.
What a dilemma. I guess I’ll call around and get some info and see about making a decision in the near future. I’ll keep you posted!
What I Learned: This is a situation that needs careful thought and planning – it will definitely affect all of us.
What were our options? We know Mom doesn’t want to leave Florida, so maybe we could have someone stay with her on a regular basis, either live in or live out. No, Mom would never go for that – she’s too quirky about her space and has never really enjoyed being with people. And how much would that cost? I know Dad has provided well for Mom and her finances are in great shape, but will they stay in great shape spending that kind of money – it’s got to be expensive.
How about move her to a senior living facility? There’s one right around the corner from her house, maybe we could convince her it’s the right thing. She’ll still have her independence but will have all the advantages of transportation, 24 hour security, activities (although she’d never participate), and the choice of eating in her apartment or joining others in a dining room – Mom does love to eat! Maybe the first step is to see if she’ll come out to California for a visit, stay near us for a month or so and maybe she’ll realize how important it is to be around family. WOW, that’s going to take some convincing.
Let’s get started!
What I Learned : Do a lot of soul searching and try to figure out what’s best for Mom.