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Exhausting doings all week

October 22nd, 2015 at 06:06 pm

Monday was a day off and I spent most of it making phone calls to try to find an agency that could place a live-in aide with my mother on very short notice.

It got complicated because some agencies say their aides are independent contractors while others said they treat them as employees. Although the one agency said i wouldn't have to worry about paying FICA and other taxes, everything i read online said that senior caregivers are usually considered employees, just like nannies or live-in help are. If I can control how they do their job and they can't work elsewhere, they're employees.

Of course the rates for aides who are treated as employees and paid by the agency are higher.

I was on the phone with multiple people at Masonicare too, and got my friend Dave to agree to move the furniture on Friday morning. My mother will be moved in that day at 4 p.m.

Tuesday I went in to work but was still making phone calls at my desk. I wanted to go in to work because this was the one day they were offering free flu shots and biometric screenings and anyone who got those 2 things done gets $20 subtracted from their monthly health insurance premiums.

I worked yesterday and today from home, and between work, I met 2 aides at Masonicare and interviewed them there. Both are Jamaican and from NYC. The one I met yesterday drove up and the car broke down, so instead of meeting me at 2:30 pm she finally made it there at 5. The one I met today missed the train but managed to get here on time.

Last night after work I ran to Maplewood and stuffed my car with stuff, then brought it home. When I met the 2nd aide at Masonicare today, after a morning dentist appointment (I told the dental hygienist this was most definitely going to be the most relaxing part of my day), I also dropped off what I'd picked up at Maplewood last night. Then I raced back home because I didn't tell my boss I was doing this.

Tonight after 5 was a repeat performance: raced to Maplewood, stuffed the car with more stuff, then dropped some of it off at my house and then brought the rest to Masonicare. It's a real pain coming and going from either place because the doors on dementia units are locked, so you either have to use a fob or punch in a special code and it just takes longer.

I've been talking a lot with the two women at the aide agency. I picked the older aide who's a year older than me. Her husband is going back to Grenada but she is staying here. She lived with a dementia woman in her home for 3 years til she died.

The other woman was around 40, but I learned she had 10- and 12-year kids at home with her husband in the Bronx, and while she said it was okay, it seemed to me she would really miss her family and would probably end up making trips back and forth a lot, possibly affecting my mother's continuity of care....although she doesn't have a car. She said she could take a taxi to the grocery store, but it seemed like it would be difficult to live like that.

The other one drives and Masonicare said she could keep her food in the fridge down the hall and cook in the small kitchen there. She can also use their washer/dryer but they won't do her laundry, just my mother's.

The room is going to be a little cramped with the 2 twin beds. I'm moving just 1 of my mother's 2 smaller dressers over from Maplewood, plus her table and 2 chairs. The aide will have her own closet with a shelf above and they'll share the bath. My mother's new wheelchair will take up space, but I'm not bringing all the artsy hobby stuff (sketch pad and colored markers, yarns, the small table loom) because my mother never touched these things and I've come to the conclusion that the Alzheimer's, cruelly, has truly robbed her of ever being able to create art again.

I have concerns about my mother's general nighttime agitation keeping the aide up as the aide is entitled to 8 hours of sleep, along with 3 free hours daily. I'm also to pay the aide a $60 a week food stipend.

This is all going to happen on a wing and a prayer. I have to say that Masonicare did everything on their end in a speedy and efficient manner, although I still haven't' signed the contract and paid because they weren't ready with the paperwork. I'll do that tomorrow. I'll be giving them about $10K to get my mother in the door (that includes 1 month security deposit.

Because they have metal walls over there, I have to get a maintenance guy to help me hang my mother's art. There's not quite as much as she had at Maplewood, but she still has a lot. I feel it's important to have a lot of her art there.

I saw my mother briefly tonight around 7 as i made one attempt to locate her Maplewood key. She could have had it on her wrist when they brought her to the hospital, but it wasn't with her returned items and I searched her old room at Maplewood everywhere. If you don't return a key (I have one myself) they charge you $250.)

I can try to find where in the hospital my mother stayed...this is going back 5 weeks ago now....but i would assume that if they had the key they would have contacted me by now.

The only other possibility is that the staff at maplewood removed the key from her wrist before the ambulance took her away. I would just make a copy of my key, but it says on it Do Not Duplicate and I assume most hardware stores would honor that.

I'm pretty tired, and tomorrow's going to be the longest day of all, and it will mirror the day in May that I brought my mother to Maplewood. Will go to Maplewood around 9 a.m. to empty out her closet and put in my car; Dave will meet me there with his van at 10 a.m. and then we'll bring the furniture out. We'll drop the 1 dresser at my house and then bring the rest of the stuff to her new place at Masonicare.

I'll have to sign the paperwork and write the check around noon. My friend Dave will probably then take off. The new aide arrives at 2 p.m. and my mother will be moved in at 4 p.m. To help mom acclimate, I'll probably stay for dinner with the aide.

Saturday they're having some sort of fall festival around mid-day and was planning on taking my mother to that anyway, so maybe do it with or without the aide, I haven't decided.

Sunday will be my own time and back to my regular work week next week.

My new boss has been asking me to let them know when a good time for me to visit for the day up in Boston area is and I'll have to do it at some point, although it's exhausting and I hate having to do it...a very long day.

She knows what's going on with my mother so I get a reprieve for now but can't put them off forever.

I redeemed my $500 in gift cards from Citi Thank You Premier and got cards for all the stores I usually shop at: Lowe's, Macy's, Walmart, Home Goods.

8 Responses to “Exhausting doings all week”

  1. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    My goodness, it seems like you don't get a chance to breathe. I wish I lived near so that I could help a little. Frown

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    ((Hugs)) Hang in there. You are doing really well considering everything going on.

  3. snafu Says:

    {{{Hugs}}} I'm reading your postings in awe. Your remarkable strength and organizational skills are much admired. Hoping your mom is able to recover at Masonicare with an aide to keep her safe. I'd check with Maplewood whose staff may have retained her key. Given the $ 250. key fee, I'd attempt to have your key copied as one of the key specialty shops as those are often too sophisticated for key copy desks at WalMart automotive or the small hardware stores.

  4. Livingalmostlarge Says:

    Instead of using your friend dave, why not hire Uhaul movers? You can rent the truck yourself and pay $25 or $50/hr? It might be worth it to save your friend's back. $200 to move your mom? Check it out. We used them to hire independent movers on both ends of your move.

    Good luck.

  5. LuckyRobin Says:

    I hope that when your mother is all settled you take some time for yourself. You'll need it.

  6. starfishy Says:

    thinking of you and your mom today - this is a lot to deal with.

  7. Kiki Says:

    Was the key in the personal's bag from the hospital? Whenever my grandmother went into the hospital all her personal items went into a bag. Did you get that from the hospital? Or was it moved with her to rehab?

  8. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Wow PS. I hope your mother gets all settled soon, and you will be able to just sit and breathe for a little while.

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