Friday, 28 August 2015

New HCA, New Time

Home Care came early today; well, early for me. The Home Care Aide arrived at 10:00 AM, something which is not necessarily a bad thing. I've been trying to get up earlier, trying to start my day before lunch. The HCA was new, another in a long line. Still, we managed to make it work.

When I first started with Home Care, it was only for my Range of Motion exercises. I would get myself up in the mornings, have my shower, then, while waiting for the HCA, I would eat some breakfast, have a coffee, and maybe even do some writing. This schedule meant that the HCA could arrive at sometime around 1:00 PM and it would be good.

Then things changed. As the weakness in my core continued to get more pronounced, I began to wobble too much in the shower. I also found that the transfer from the shower bench onto my wheelchair was becoming increasingly dangerous, with the wheelchair easily sliding on the wet floor. So I asked Home Care to come and assist me during my shower, the role of the HCA to be there should I need help, and to help me get in and out of the shower.

As my core strength weakened even more, I found myself asking the HCA to assist me with putting on various skin creams and, eventually, even with powdering my "private" areas to keep dampness to a minimum. All of this increase in need and attendance made a 1:00 PM start rather late, with the HCA often not finishing with me before 3:00 PM. So I asked the Home Care agency to reschedule my time block so that it would start sometime between 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM.

The problem is this. Most Home Care clients want help at the start of their day, or at the end of their day. That means the HCA's are fully booked between 8:00 AM and noon, and then again between 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM. The evening block means nothing to me, but the morning block is important. It's tough to get someone here before 11:30 AM.

It's meant a variety of start times for care. Some days I lay in bed waiting until nearly noon. Other days someone shows up at 10:30 AM. And today another new HCA showed up, this time at 10:00 AM. It's tough to plan a day with this kind of variability. On the other hand, it's not like I have anything critical to do. Mostly, I just want consistency. The same HCA at approximately the same time, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I don't see it as a lot to ask for, but apparently it is.

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