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Old 07-03-2012, 11:12 AM   #1
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Easy Question for a Change

So I've gotten as far as selecting an agency to supply a caregiver for my mother during my (abbreviated) work hours; I insisted that she be a CNA. The agency gets $18.50/hour, which exceeds my take-home pay, but never mind that! I asked that my mother be showered, especially "down there" to prevent UTIs, 3x/week, and the agency rep agreed. After one attempt at showering her (it's not a "walk-in," but a step-over threshold, and my mother IS having some mobility issues; it's also a teeny-tiny shower, esp. with a shower chair in it; one would basically have to don a swimsuit and shower WITH her), I'm told that she will get three "bed baths" a week. After the first bed bath, I was less than impressed with the results. Am I out of line to insist that they deliver what they promised? They cite "safety" issues.

BLEH on caregivers; haven't found one yet who can do half of what I expect!

 
Old 07-03-2012, 11:46 AM   #2
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Re: Easy Question for a Change

Hello - I'm sorry you are going through this but welcome to the club. Everybody on this board has been great and I continue to struggle with my ailing mom and as of this week, my dad also. You are the one hiring the service, I don't think they should be telling you what to do. Is the shower set up with grab bars? Also, is there a hand held shower head in there? I got one for my mom and she can reach better with it. If the care giver would need to help, they could assist without getting all wet.

 
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Old 07-03-2012, 01:19 PM   #3
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Re: Easy Question for a Change

Gees! No caregiver needs to wear a swimming suit for bathing your Mom! It is hard.
Well, from my experience, I do know that some caregivers are better and some are not.
e.g., the male caregiver my FIL used to have had a way to wash him in the morning. Well, at that time my FIL was able to walk with a cane. Some caregiver didn't wash him thoroughly. Certainly the family can ask for quality control but sometimes the person may not be very good at it.
Also where my FIL is has the fancy bathtub that has open door. They also have showers if the resident wants to take a shower instead of bath. They have a weight chair where he can sit and get weighted. At times I still feel that my FIL smelled and they didn't do enough. They are afraid of his anger so he is only bathed once a week in the big shared bathroom. Every morning they give him sponge bath.
Certainly for sure every caregiver has different way of doing it. And some young caregivers are not as good or thorough.

You can discuss with the company or the one in charge. Also 3 times a week may be too much for a lady who is 94 and has feeding tube and many issues. If she needs a wheelchair, it is harder. Sponge bath is fine. The thing is you should make sure they wash her completely.

At this stage, I don't expect perfect bath time like 2 years ago. With severe stage, the caregivers have to be concerned with the safety and health of your Mom. Bed-Bath/sponge bath is OK.

Hugs,
Nina

Last edited by ninamarc; 07-03-2012 at 01:22 PM.

 
Old 07-03-2012, 01:28 PM   #4
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Re: Easy Question for a Change

My concern, of course, is that she NOT get a UTI; since she has soft stools anyway due to the PEG and sometimes diarrhea (that even predated the PEG), she naturally needs to be kept scrupulously clean "down there." A bidet might solve the problem (the Europeans are so much smarter in every way), but this company even complains about how "cramped" the toilet is in that downstairs bathroom. They went on and on... She's blind and deaf and doesn't understand and can't walk well and... I was like, "Look; if she were healthy, we wouldn't NEED you; she could shower HERSELF." I swear, caregivers seem to want to "care" for only perfectly healthy people who don't need any help... I'm beginning to see why people quit their jobs and just do the darned work themselves; it's easier than dealing with employees!

Last edited by all4mom; 07-03-2012 at 01:29 PM.

 
Old 07-03-2012, 06:01 PM   #5
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Re: Easy Question for a Change

You haven't found the right one yet all!! But in their defense, if there is no walk in shower it is a lot more difficult when the patient has mobility problems. Just getting them in and out can be a huge chore. If there is a walk in shower, even if it is small, with a shower chair be sure there is a hand held shower head in there. It is much easier to use than the step over tub. You are right though to expect your Mom to be clean. Don't give up trying to find the right person.

Love, deb

PS, along with cleanliness please push hydration as well. That is the other key to UTI prevention

 
Old 07-05-2012, 09:39 AM   #6
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Re: Easy Question for a Change

It IS a "walk-in shower"; not a tub shower. There's a 2-3" threshold to step over; she wouldn't even NEED to; just push the wheelchair up to the entrance, and it can be just a "stand-pivot-sit" (which she does all the time anyway, even taking a few steps in between). Yes, we have the shower chair; yes, we have the hand-held showerhead; yes, we have the grab bars for her to hold while her "privates" are being washed. And funny that plain old SITTERS managed this while the CNA cannot? It's simply a liability issue for the company (of course she's a fall risk, but she could fall walking assisted to the potty; what next, they "decline" to toilet her???), and I'm not pleased. When I signed up, I was promised three SHOWERS a week, and that's what I expect; no more, no less. AGAIN we will be switching agencies; eventually, we're run through them all... Am I asking so much? I don't THINK so. This same agency will do overnights, but only with "two or fewer disruptions." Uh, we already HAVE at least two "disruptions" (she needs to pee in the night), and I handle those. If I needed overnight help, it would obviously be because there are MORE than two disruptions. Why would I pay them $20 an hour for THEM to get a good night's sleep? Just ridiculous; "the system" is set up to send our elders to institutions; not to HELP families who want to keep them home.

Last edited by all4mom; 07-05-2012 at 09:43 AM.

 
Old 07-05-2012, 10:55 AM   #7
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Re: Easy Question for a Change

uh.. no no and no... You are not asking too much if a good shower situation is in place for them to use. No, they can't change what is expected in the middle of the assignment. No, it is not too much to ask for them to stay awake and take care of Mom if you are paying for that. Two disruptions a night... please!!! That's ridiculous. Keep looking all

Love, deb

 
Old 07-05-2012, 11:11 AM   #8
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Re: Easy Question for a Change

"The bathroom is so small," they keep repeating (sounding like one of the spoiled prospective buyers on HGTV's House Hunters). Uh, that is not an excuse; sorry...

I even offered (did I say? I can't remember) to pay them an EXTRA HOUR or take an EXTRA HOUR out of my work day to don a swimsuit, get in the shower with Mom, and assist them, but they "declined" to do that; I guess I'll "decline" to use them further.

 
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