Beacon just called. Tonight’s evening shift, our only shift with a regular worker, is cancelled with less than 12 hours. Three hours notice is common. We only have a vague idea of how they make the plan, as the workers we like never end up on it. We think a Ouiji board might be involved.
No consistancy in care for 1 or 2 weeks is sad, over six weeks is as one supervisor states, "Appalling." it means I won’t get a shower today (read ‘this week’ – still waiting on the one for last week). I ate my second meal in four days. Thank you Linda.
This is NOT Linda’s fault. This is why Linda is emotionally shattered, and I was, ‘paralyzed with body in shock’ when Linda returned today to find me with a ‘grey face and your heartbeat is too slow.’
The worker they sent yesterday did not know how to dress me. I still hadn’t seen that worker after three hours and found her as she was getting ready to go. “Have you read the care plan?” I asked.
“How many health checks did you do?”
A blank look.
“Someone in this apartment is sick,” I asked her, “right?”
“Did you check her health?”
I tried to keep a blank face, as I looked at this person who I had not seen at all, and not once came to check on me. “And how many did you do?”
“I did a couple.” She said, her eyes drifting away.
“And how were they?
“They were very good. All okay!”
I nodded slowly. I was naked except for socks. I was waiting for help to dress, and had gotten most of the clothes off, but not on. She didn’t seem to think that a naked woman asking how the ‘sick person’ was doing was unusual.
This is one of the better workers they have sent. She is not coming back.
Rule #1: The sick person is always the number one priority of the care worker.
That is absolute. Dishes are not more important, whether there is good computer access in the apartment is not more important, reading what other workers have written for three hours is not more important (another keeper, that one). I am. They are paid to: Assist me in basic living care including DRESSING, SHOWERS, TOILETRY, FOOD and MEAL PREPERATION, GIVING MEDICATIONS AS NEEDED, CLEANING UP FROM ABOVE INCLUDING WEEKLY LAUNDRY.
I put that in all caps because this is not rocket science. Every worker sent is, Beacon tells VIHA, trained in oxygen. Only 1 actually is. I have not had assistance dressing since they cancelled (with no notice) a worker and sent, by accident, one of the better workers. Which I have not been able to have since.
If you can’t help someone dress, help them put on some jogger bottoms, and a top, then why are you still employed?
Linda is emotionally and physically exhausted by up to 24 of these ‘temp’ workers all of which are to arrive having read the care plan AND ready to work. Except they haven’t and aren’t. Linda put a sign on the door last week saying, “DO NOT wake Beth, note on counter.” On the counter the top of the note read, “DO NOT wake Beth!!!!” And what to do once I did awake. The worker turned on all the lights, and shook me upon arriving saying, “I’m here.”
I am getting less meals a week than days, and we are both emotionally frayed. My body is collapsing from the inability to have a regular sleep and wake schedule, much less exercise.
Linda is emotionally depleted and physically exhausted and simply stares at the phone as it rings, and rings, every day. We are to adjust our schedule, until 2 hours later, and we are to adjust it again. No one is ‘in charge.’ They are ‘all doing their best.’ The daily appointments, with palliative, with doctors, with whomever it is today means stolen sleep and 12, 14 hours without food or medicine. Except my heart starts to fail at 4.5 hours without medicine. My palliative hypersomnia is seen an offensive inconvenience. Some have postponed indefinitely. After all, one only works one day, 4 hours a week, another works 3 days, but only 9 to 3. “Why aren’t I working around their schedule?” They demand, threaten my care.
Does that mean you can improve it.
I don’t do that aspect.
I lie, less like a fallen angelthan a feral Zombie, tongue poking out of a mouth making eerie moaning noises. Everyone seems to have forgotten the point of this: Patient care and quality of life.
Linda isn’t paid to deal with these lists of calls to be made. Of cleaning up the emotional and physical mess the workers walk out on. Nine workers at three agencies are changing the wording sent to workers. One worker followed the instructions and ended up trying to assist the neighbors.
It is Monty Python, a world upside down (calling Terry Gilliam for illustrations!). A world with a line of seething Care workers, prying the door open, demanding that we take care of them, assist them, help them until we are drained.
I can assure you, these vampires don’t sparkle
3 hours ago