Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Work stuff (2)

I posted this over there, too.

Today at work I have spoken to one client's brother and another client's daughter. Both clients need care at home.. almost desperately. And both the brother and the daughter were.... well... less than agreeable.

No. That's too strong. I think they want to help -- but they're caught in their own messes... finances, illnesses, family stuff.... and it's so hard.

You know, you only get homecare through insurance when you're sick. And if you have managed care you might get 2 hours every other day for two weeks. Not really so much for 1) a person who is blind and also has neuropathy in her hands and feet - so can't feel (read braile, dial phone) or walk (needs to use walker - but can't because can't see....) or 2) person with parkinsons who had a fall and has bruised coxyx and fractured pelvis. Is in severe pain now & on vicodan. Is incontinent - needs diaper changed. No. Not so much at all.

And still - what are these family members obliged to do? Do they say - I will help at whatever cost? What about their immediate families? What if they never got along with my clients. What if my client was a mean, abusive parent?

It's horribly frustrating for me - in the position of needing/wanting to help these clients & their choices are so few. The two hours through medical insurance that will stop in about a month. Medicaid. To go on medicaid you have to "spend down" (meaning use up) all your money & live on next to nothing. Or hire an attorney to help you "hide" it. But for the middle classes... that's not an option. Private Hire. Private hire homecare starts at $10/hour. TEN DOLLARS AN HOUR. And that's cheap. It goes up to $17... $20... Who can afford that? Not an option for middle classes, either. I have a client who has a live-in for $200/day. She cooks, cleans, does everything - and sleeps on a cot in his living room - a room with a window without any shades.

I hate this bloody system. I hate how our old and infirm are just tossed out there - and how only the very rich or the very poor are able to access services.

It's like banging my head on the wall.

1 comment:

Mary G said...

I'm with you big time here -- having struggled with the Canadian system for my parents and two childless aunts. The best system I saw was in the Seniors' residence where my father and his sister lived. The manager negotiated with Homecare and pooled all the allotments of time of all residents who had needs, then hired that many workers and split them back out. So my aunt, for instance got a check every morning and help with bathing/dressing twice a week and meal preparation the days the dining room was not open. This was a while ago and we have now gone, in Ontario, to another method of Homecare.
None of this addresses people who want to stay in their own homes, however. My solution would be to give credits to family members so they could afford to do some of it.
It's easier to put someone in an acute care bed in Ontario than to get them help at home.
Damn system!
(You hit my on button -- sorry)