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Old 06-06-2011, 12:45 PM   #1
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caregiver job for parapalegic advice

I know everyone is different, but what I'm looking for is ideas, advice, or experiences having to with being a PCA for a parapalegic.
I got a call today for a potential job for a male injured 5yrs ago fro a diving injury. A parapalegic/wheelchair bound client needs help with house work and cooking, shopping. He didn't mention much of anything else. I might meet him tomorrow. Is there anything helpful I should know to help him be at ease?
My experience with PCA is work an elderly sickly RA woman on oxygen with a lot of meds. So, this new potential job, may be awkward...I'm excited...any input would be helpful...thanks

 
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:39 PM   #2
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Re: caregiver job for parapalegic advice

Hello stressless,

Try treating him as an individual who isn't defined by their disability.

His demeanor will determine how to proceed.

Mutual respect is warranted;be compassionate yet understanding and you should be fine.

Wishing you the best,

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Old 06-22-2011, 05:53 AM   #3
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Re: caregiver job for parapalegic advice

Ok I got the job! It has been a week and a half. I am really impressed at how independent my boss is. He does all his own transfers, toileting, bathing and exercising. I'm like the maid, cook, taxi and sometime secretary? So far, it's easy, flexible and fun. But, I suspect he has some mental health issues. I'm no expert by far. It could possibly be his medication mixture? I try to respect his privacy. I imagine life has been and is unusually challenging for him. I wonder if there is anyway I could find out more about his PCA history? (Without asking him)

 
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Old 06-23-2011, 06:54 PM   #4
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Re: caregiver job for parapalegic advice

Why don't you just ask him?

I have a couple friends who are confiend to wheelchairs and many who are not and they all would prefer being asked rather than going behind their backs.

They are just like normal people just have to do things differently.

Pup

 
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Old 06-23-2011, 10:44 PM   #5
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Re: caregiver job for parapalegic advice

Because he behaves very differently at different times.I know from personal experience that some needed medication can alter personality. (or not taking it?) He's on tradzazone or something like that, among other things,He seems to have issues about his mother. He says I mother him by reminding him to check on things....??? I need to know when he has appointments. I also have appointments and do not want to double book. He thinks he can tell me the day before...its diffficult. For instance, he had an appointment at 10am and he said it was at 2pm. He confirmed it in front of me three days before. He still said 2 pm the day before when I needed to confirm plans for the next day.
I told him I just need to be thourough and sure we check all our times.
I mentioned that perhaps this job isn't working out for me. He says I'm doing ok but I feel tension and I want to cry sometimes. I am noticing some patterns so I know when to be quiet, that helps. I'm just learning. It's just that I'm sensitive and his mood changes when I least expect it.
Any advice welcome. Right now, its," speak when spoken to."
Maybe, because it's only been two weeks, I should give it a month. It could just be an adjustment period?

Last edited by LessStress38; 06-24-2011 at 06:03 AM.

 
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Old 06-24-2011, 07:41 AM   #6
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Re: caregiver job for parapalegic advice

Because his legs don't work he probably has people treating him like his brain doesn't work (and it might not work well mentally) a lot of people can't see past the disability and treat parapalegics like infants.

It sounds like he needs your organization but doesn't want to give up control. We need to figure out how to keep HIM in control.

Does he have a calendar on the wall for appts? YOU need him to have one. Sit down every Saturday and ask him to plan his week (say you need to schedule your chores areound his activities) Ask him to put his appts on the calendar so you know when to transport him.

IF he misses appts etc- then it is his fault, he is an adult and as far as you know not incapacitated mentally. If he alone hired you then he is responsible for himself.

My one friend is single and lives alone. She has a HARD time hiring help, and does bump heads with most of her helpers. (She was injured at 18 and is now 47) It really has to suck to depend on others for help -she is a quad with only gross motor skills in arms.

Good luck

Pup

 
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:47 AM   #7
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Re: caregiver job for parapalegic advice

Pup,
The calendar is a good idea. Instead of suggesting he put one up...I think I will give him my monthly agenda, availability, including days off. That way he can make his appointments around mine. I'm hoping, as I suggested at first hire, he hires an additional PCA to fill in so I'm not the only one. He fired the last one. It was a man. He said they didn't get along. I'm afraid to ask him questions because he accuses me of being a nosey mother. Like if he was going into a store. Do you want me to go in? I don't dare ask anymore. I have to wait until he invites me. Otherwise, if I just sit in the car, I feel like I should be doing something? One time he went in the store and had a problem at the register, I went in because he took much longer than expected. He was glad I went in after all.

I really like the job otherwise. He is sooo independant. I live close by. It's flexible. Easy. It's just a little unpredictable and the mood swings. ughhh
He likes my cooking. Happy with the laundry and cleaning. I'm punctual. He is polite.
Thanks for reading. It feels good to vent.
I'm finding it hard to vent to my husband. He is getting to not like me having this job. I am trying to be respectful of my boss. He is an ok person about 75% of the time. I think a month will make it or break it. I just don't want to give up on him too soon if most other PCA's have.

 
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:11 PM   #8
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Re: caregiver job for parapalegic advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by stressless37 View Post
I know everyone is different, but what I'm looking for is ideas, advice, or experiences having to with being a PCA for a parapalegic.
I got a call today for a potential job for a male injured 5yrs ago fro a diving injury. A parapalegic/wheelchair bound client needs help with house work and cooking, shopping. He didn't mention much of anything else. I might meet him tomorrow. Is there anything helpful I should know to help him be at ease?
My experience with PCA is work an elderly sickly RA woman on oxygen with a lot of meds. So, this new potential job, may be awkward...I'm excited...any input would be helpful...thanks
I am Certified Nursing Assistant and Certified Home health Aide for twenty years and took care of quadripalegic for 6 years. Only help him when he asks you to, let him tell you how he does things, set your boundaries with him at the interview as to when you're available to work extra time or over your regular scheduled hours because if you don't he may try to run your life.Parapalegic and quadriplegics tend to want to control your life because they don't have much control over theirs in many ways.

 
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Old 06-26-2011, 02:20 PM   #9
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Re: caregiver job for parapalegic advice

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Originally Posted by flipfleury View Post
Only help him when he asks you to, let him tell you how he does things, set your boundaries with him at the interview as to when you're available to work extra time or over your regular scheduled hours because if you don't he may try to run your life.Parapalegic and quadriplegics tend to want to control your life because they don't have much control over theirs in many ways.
Exactly, bingo, this makes perfect sense. I like to know what's expected of me. It's up to him to let me know his needs.
I am going to try to let go of feeling like I should be doing more and just wait until I'm sure and he's given prior direction.

Last edited by LessStress38; 06-26-2011 at 02:32 PM.

 
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Old 06-29-2011, 05:05 PM   #10
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Re: caregiver job for parapalegic advice

Two and a half weeks into the job and I learn something new everyday.
I cut waaaay back on my "Mothering" skills and we get along much better.
My job is easier than ever!
Still working on getting in a calendar...
I took him to an appointment he said he had, (but I suspected he didn't, because I was sure it was the next day) I didn't second guess him because, for all I knew, he may have changed it....?So...anyway...it was actually the next day...all I said was..."sometimes things like that happen."
Thanks for everyone's input. I would still welcome more and I will post more as I go along.
How should we dispose of self-caths? (bio-hazard?) Someone said reg trash pick up won't take them? This seems to be a new problem. (local problem, obviously)

 
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Old 06-29-2011, 07:31 PM   #11
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Re: caregiver job for parapalegic advice

We usually clean and re-use. If not the trash should be fine. That's what I do with all my medical stuff unless it is bloody.

Pup

 
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Old 06-30-2011, 06:13 AM   #12
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Re: caregiver job for parapalegic advice

yeah we use the reg trash for everything, but for the long self-cath (for males) the trash guy saw them and rufused a bag. I'm contacting the city Dept. Public works today and inquire as to how to dispose....

 
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Old 07-02-2011, 12:30 AM   #13
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Re: caregiver job for parapalegic advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by stressless37 View Post
Pup,
The calendar is a good idea. Instead of suggesting he put one up...I think I will give him my monthly agenda, availability, including days off. That way he can make his appointments around mine. I'm hoping, as I suggested at first hire, he hires an additional PCA to fill in so I'm not the only one. He fired the last one. It was a man. He said they didn't get along. I'm afraid to ask him questions because he accuses me of being a nosey mother. Like if he was going into a store. Do you want me to go in? I don't dare ask anymore. I have to wait until he invites me. Otherwise, if I just sit in the car, I feel like I should be doing something? One time he went in the store and had a problem at the register, I went in because he took much longer than expected. He was glad I went in after all.

I really like the job otherwise. He is sooo independant. I live close by. It's flexible. Easy. It's just a little unpredictable and the mood swings. ughhh
He likes my cooking. Happy with the laundry and cleaning. I'm punctual. He is polite.
Thanks for reading. It feels good to vent.
I'm finding it hard to vent to my husband. He is getting to not like me having this job. I am trying to be respectful of my boss. He is an ok person about 75% of the time. I think a month will make it or break it. I just don't want to give up on him too soon if most other PCA's have.
Remember what I said in my first post to you about setting your boundaries of when you're available to work hours other than when you're scheduled to work. If you schedule an appointment for yourself during the hours you're not scheduled to work and he makes an appointment and doesn't let you know until the day before he needs you then that is his problem not yours. Don't give in an reschedule your appointment because if you do that ,then he will expect you to do it every time and he will be controlling your life. Paraplegic and quadriplegics can become very possessive and manipulative of you and your time if you allow it. Take it from someone who has been there and done that !! I also think his mood swings can be another form of him being able to control you. Ignore it as much as possible. Be polite,respectful but be compassionate and caring.

 
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Old 07-03-2011, 06:04 PM   #14
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Re: caregiver job for parapalegic advice

Yes, Flipfleury, point taken. Our days begin by his calling me between 11 am and 2pm. If he hasn't called by 3pm I assume I have the day off. Saturday he called at 3:45pm and I told him I made other plans and didn't give in.
He has been more responsible and proactive with appointments and other responsibilities. We seem to be on an upswing.

I have been mentioning that he should employ an additional PCA to cover any days I may need off.
He said he has had two at the same time before. He said he would look.
I know he's just getting used to me.

 
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Old 08-05-2011, 11:59 AM   #15
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Re: caregiver job for parapalegic advice

Well, I got fired yesterday. It seems my boss has a touch of mental illness. My guess is that he hires and fires PCAs every 3-4 months. I know of two others that worked for him before me this year.
He was overly suspicious, accusing, me putting glass in his tuna fish and ketchup in his cranberry juice. After we reasoned that maybe I put too many onions, and next time I will just put carrot. Also, maybe his cranberry juice soured because he didn't use it before he opened a new one and it soured. He seemed to reason on it. Then he wanted me to admit that I knew him prior to our working relationship. Back in the early 90's. Which I did not know him. He called me a liar and said I could not be trusted because of that. So he got his house key back. He gave me my apron. He needs to sign my final time sheet on Monday. Not sure how that's going to work. He mumbles obscenities under his breath. He's obsessed with Whitey Bulger and undercover police work. He thinks he's an agent. He'll make calls that seem to be official and I think the line is dead. He has been working on getting a hand gun permit. He already has a BB gun. Not that he has used it much...but still...

I called and left a message at his parents home. His Mom called me back. She said he's untreated for bi-polar with paranoia and delusions. He has been hostipalized once this year for it she said. But he won't go on meds.

I also called an agency I know that helps him with his finances. I thought someone else should know that he needs help with household chores soon.

I wouldn't mind helping him out again. He is an amazing person who does sooo many great things. If only he could unfocus on this one aspect of his. I have tried and tried to have my husband see it my way....because I wouldn't mind still working! if he called today like nothing happened, I woul be like, ok see o soon. But My husband is NOT that understanding. No Way, I can Not!

I am happy to have had to known him as much as I did. Really what an honor and a priviledge it was to have helped him out and learned from him. If I was able to make even moments of his life happy or easier. It was all worth it.

 
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