Mike's aide is out today and I'm here at work. I NEVER do this, but I MUST be at work because of the craziness this month (first time homebuyer's have to close by 6/30 to receive their $8,000.00 credit). Courtney bravely said she would stay home with the sub to help out. It's 11:30 and I just called home. Mike has eaten hardly anything and only drank 1 1/2 cups of juice. With his regular aide he is normally fiished with breakfast, had 3 cups of juice and getting ready for his nap. This sub doesn't seem to know what she is doing, and Courtney took over feeding Mike to make sure he got SOMETHING into him.
And here lies one of my MAJOR issues with Home Health Agencies. They continue to send people that have no experience. This woman asked Courtney if she knew how the work the hoyer because she has never used one before. When I asked her if she had been trained, she said "yes, but only once and I never had to do it again" (she told us that she normally works in an assisted living facility where patients are - for the most part - independant). The problem is the agencies cannot get anyone good, because beside the bad pay, they offer no benefits. In fact, our aide is out today because she is attending an orientation for another agency so she can work at night. That agency DOES offer medical benefits along with personal and sick days, which is mostly unheard of in this profession. I am quite concerned that this second job will interfer with her care for Mike or that she will leave and work for them instead of us, but for now, there's nothing I can do.
This issue is something I addressed in Washington. In order for us to care for our loved ones at home, we need experienced and well trained home health aides. They will not get qualified workers unless the agencies offer decent salaries as well as benefits.
For today I will pray that Mike's lack of nutrition and fluids will not cause a major problem. I hate being in this situation. I need to be here at work in order to support my family, but I also need to be at home to care for Mike. God Bless Courtney and Brandon for all their help.