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My mother's aide quit after 1 night

October 24th, 2015 at 01:25 pm

So after interviewing 2 live-in aides for my mom earlier this week, she started yesterday. I showed her around the 3rd floor and where the little kitchen was that she could use to cook her meals and store her food in the fridge.

She was quite insistent that the fridge wouldn't do because it didn't have a lock on it and she was concerned that dementia patients would help themselves to her food. She asked for a fridge in the room in a rather demanding way. Luckily, Masonicare had one and put in the room for her.

I also paid her $60 cash for the first week's food stipend.

I picked this woman because it seemed she knew what to expect. She had lived with an advanced dementia patient for 3 years until she died.

So yesterday I went to Maplewood around 9 a.m. to empty out the closet there, met my friend Dave there at 10 and he and a maintenance guy moved my mother's dresser, bed, a table and chair out into
Dave's van. We donated my mother's 2nd dresser to Maplewood so we wouldn't have to move it.

We brought it all to Masonicare and set everything up. We hung a bunch of art pieces on the walls. The aide arrived at 2 pm and we went over stuff and i introduced her to my mom. I sat with the money person at Masonicare for over an hour to review and sign all the paperwork, and write the check.

Finally, I went home around 5 p.m.

This morning I was back at Masonicare at 9 a.m. because there was a social worker who wanted to meet with me and my mother. As I was walking into the lobby, I saw the aide walking toward me. She said my mother had been up all night and I could see she was upset. I said, tell me more about what happened, but just let me drop this stuff off in my mother's room. (I was carrying extra clothes and Depends.) She kept going in the opposite direction without saying anything and I assumed she was coming back shortly. She never did. And she didn't return the $60 I gave her for food, either.

I only learned she quit by talking to the other aides there. They said she said she didn't feel well, had diabetes and was going to the hospital.

I talked to the agency on the phone, who were profusely apologetic and already looking for a replacement. If there's one cardinal rule, they said, you never walk out on a patient. They said they would make sure I got m y $60 back and told me she was terminated.

One of the agency staff people arrived with the replacement aide at 2 pm, who can only fill in for a few days until a permanent replacement is hopefully found. The fill-in aide seems very nice and there were 2 of us filling her in on the situation, so I hope she knows what to expect. She is an RN.

Apparently the first aide called the agency at 8:30 pm last night and said my mother was agitated and not sleeping. Well, geez, it's 8:30 pm and when i left there around 3 pm the day before, she had put my mother in bed becus my mother did say she wanted to lie down for a while. I don't know if she let my mother sleep for hours or what. But that and the early bedtime could account for part of the problem.

After I learned I would be meeting the new replacement at 2pm today, i saw i had a few hours to kill and decided to stop sitting in my car and crying and made myself do my errands: a dump run and a trip to an organic apple orchard my dad told me about. I got into an extended conversation with the orchardist there who was very nice and sold all his many varieties for just $2 a pound. I bought 7 pounds of apples to take my mind off my troubles.

After leaving Masonicare today round 3, i went for a walk where i usually go and enjoyed the autumn foliage, wishing i had my camera with me.

I kind of feel like giving up. The next step will be, if they can't find an aide who can find ways to deal with my mother's sleepless nights, is to hire 2 12-hour shift aides at an even higher price than I'm paying now, which is around $195 a day, $205 on weekends and close to $300 a day on major holidays. So the money would then run out even faster and put my mother in a nursing home pretty quickly, which I've been trying to forestall for as long as possible. The other option is to put her in the nursing home now and private pay for it til Title 19 picks it up, although that doesn't really get me anything for mom tho it would give me fewer responsibilities.

This is all just too exhausting. While waiting for the replacement aide to show up, I tried spending time with my mother, but i think becus my general stress level was way up and my patience down, my mother was getting agitated, and so i wasn't able to take her outside to enjoy the "fall festival" that was going on. She was talking and making no sense, seeing people who weren't there, and at one point during her in-room breakfast she was trying to eat a latex glove on the table. This all would have shocked me 4 months ago but now it just depresses the heck out of me.

They say that dementia robs you of your loved one by degrees, and that is very true. Each day, each week, each month, you lose a little bit more of them, and somehow you know you'll never get them back.

Everyone at Masonicare seems super nice and supportive, from the Haitian aide on the floor to the nurse, admissions director, the money person and even the maintenance crew. It hit me as I was signing all the paperwork that I should have come here first, but I was seduced by Maplewood. It being a non-profit, I trust them not to gouge me, and she said their board of directors is happy if they break even, but don't require they even turn a profit. Their mission really is to take care of the families of Masons. My German grandfather was a Mason, so I kind of feel a connection there.

7 Responses to “My mother's aide quit after 1 night”

  1. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I don't know what to say. You certainly are in an difficult situation trying to figure out how to balance your desire to keep you mom out of the nursing home for as long as possible with the need to have someone having an eye on her 24/7 to reduce future falls. I hope the new aide works out (after the temp one.)

  2. My English Castle Says:

    Oh man, how exhausting and demoralizing. I hope you find someone. Thinking of you as you navigate this tough situation. I remember so many days of that car crying after leaving my mom.

  3. Butterscotch Says:

    I'm so sorry PS. Hopefully your mother will develope a more consistent sleeping pattern once things become more routine. Sleeping in a new place with a new person (the aide) may have just been a little overwhelming at first, perhaps? I always look for your posts and read them with concern for you. I can't imagine the stress you are under, but the way you attack challenges is inspiring. It doesn't sound like there is anything you could be doing any better or possibly be trying any harder to help your mother. You're doing an amazing job and sometimes at the end of the day you just need to say "I've done the best I can" and be at peace with that. Easier said than done. But please give yourself credit for everything you have learned, accomplished, sold, moved, networked, and least of all, inspired me, and probably many others to be more grateful for the time we have with our able bodied and independent parents. I wish I could hug you {{{HUG}}}

  4. PatientSaver Says:

    Thanks, everyone. Butterscotch, hugs back!!! DEEP breaths.

  5. Dido Says:

    So sorry things have been tough with your mom, hoping that you find a good aide and can rest a bit yourself. Thinking of you.

  6. Livingalmostlarge Says:

    Sorry things have been so rough for. I hope that things start to get into a smoother routine.

  7. Petunia 100 Says:

    I'm so sorry, Patient Saver. What a horrible day. Frown
    You're making the best decisions you can and learning as you go. What more can you do? {{hugs}}

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