Saturday, August 20, 2016

A Rant on Elder Care and Some Other Quilty Stuff

Let me tell you I just fell out of the quilter's universe and into Dante's ninth level of hell (treachery).  I may be able to claw my way back up to level 4 (greed) if I don't commit to remaining in level 7 which is violence.  How did I get to this point so quickly?

It started a couple of weeks ago with a call to hubby (who was taking a staycation) from the Ancient ones next door.  The Ancient Uncle had taken a fall and could not get up.  DH went down and lifted him off the floor and into a chair.  Checked him over no cuts, bruises, broken bones and the AU (Ancient Uncle) insisted he was fine and didn't want to go to the hospital.  AA (Ancient Aunt) was not so fine.  She was all in a dither and it took a while for DH to calm her down.   DH looked around the house and quickly realized there was something not quite right, and asked her if they needed some help.  (Now they already have a person who comes to clean their house I won't say much about her but I will call her the Cleaner), and AA said oh yes, can you make us dinner tonight, we don't like what the Cleaner bought us (which was a beef pot pie from the deli).  DH came home and said what can you make them for dinner that they can eat?  I figured pork chops, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, and some applesauce.  So I cooked up their meal and DH carried it down.  DH then called his mamma---the MIL showed up with her sister in tow to assess the situation since the MIL has power of attorney.  AA told them she just couldn't do this anymore.....so the decision was made to get them help.

Here is where I begin my journey at level 9---The MIL frequents the senior center in town to go to dances, dinners, and play cards.  Lately there has been a group hanging around "helping" the seniors.  When the MIL stated that the Ancient Ones were ready to get assistance one of the group "jumped" at the chance to help. I will call her the ASSistant.(Yes the ASS is capitalized for a reason)   The Assistant arrived one evening while DH was home and they talked with the Ancient Ones, and did a rough financial plan, based upon information the Cleaner had provided.  Then the pressure started, the Assistant wanted them to sign up for her company's services.  DH told her that we had to talk to the Ancient Ones and get a better grip on their needs.  The Assistant then calls the MIL and tries to get her to sign a contract immediately because time is ticking away and the longer we wait the longer it will take to get the situation in hand.  The MIL calls DH all in a dither and he explains to the MIL that he had just told the assistant that we needed to do a more thorough assessment of the ancient one's needs and financial situation.  The Assistant has called many times and finally DH told her to quit calling we were not going to sign a contract and pay them a couple of thousand dollars for their services.  (Hence treachery).  While not always the best person-- my voice of reason prevailed and I got them (MIL, Ancient Ones, and DH) to sit down, write down the money coming in, assets, and bills, and figure out roughly based upon data I found about hourly care how much they had to work with.  That was an eye opener for everyone.  The Ancient ones figured they needed 3 hours in the morning (6 billable hours per most in home care companies) and 2 hours in the evening (4 billable hours) per day.  The Ancient Ones also though that they needed 7 days a week.  At those rates I calculated that we would be lucky to get 10 months worth of care, and that does not include taking them to doctors appointments, and medications or day to day living expenses.

In the mean time I have been going down to help the Ancient Ones get going in the mornings.  Originally it was going to be for 1/2 an hour in the morning which quickly morphed into 2 hours + per morning. During that time I could see that they needed help showering, eating a well balance meal, cleaning up, and taking their medications.  Then the "Cleaner" showed up.   I told her specifically that they did not need any groceries because I have been dong their cooking, but she whisks them off anyway and they return with over $300 worth of groceries.  Now this is what is puzzling.  I made 6 dinners for them for $30 total, and what the $300 bought I have no idea because it sure does not appear to be anywhere in that house.  (Level 4 Greed). Also here is where there are times I am ready to get violent (level 7).  I despise people who take advantage of people, and I am pretty well convinced that the Cleaner truly has been "cleaning" them out. A new large screen TV, 2 new mattresses, and a new stove, all to replace those items which were only  2 years old?  I know I didn't take them out to the curb.  Anyway-- Yesterday the Ancient Aunt told me she needed a bottle of Bayer Children's aspirin, I told her no problem because I was going to have to go to the store to get some potatoes for their dinner, because the cleaner had spent $300 but there were no potatoes.  The cleaner informed me that she had to go to the grocery store for them that day, which was, the day after she had spent $300 on goodness knows what?  It took everything for me to keep my temper, and walked away.   DH called her later that day and told her that she was no longer employed by them, and that I would be handling their bills, groceries, and doctor's appointments.  Oh and there is no record of how much they have been paying the Cleaner for quite a while, an antique bedroom set which originally belonged to this house is gone, and did I mention that somehow 9000 miles has been put on the AO car since April this year, oh and the cherry on top of all of it is I was told that the gas gauge in the car no longer worked.  Amazingly it was working find today.  

The MIL has been looking at assisted living facilities, but their services vary so greatly you have to know the right questions to ask.  Unfortunately the MIL seems to think that if it looks pretty that is all they need.  I told DH we don't need to send them to club med, we need to find somewhere that they get the level of care that they need.  Here is where I made a mistake.  I was looking for home care services.  If you are ever in this situation do not under any circumstance try to compare companies you will be plagued with constant phone calls 10-12 a day starting at 8:30 in the morning and going all day long!  Oh and I have taken to not answering my phone this week unless I know the number. 

Again I am at level 7.... who knew that elder care was such big business.  Everyone seems to be out to make a dollar and trying to negotiate these shark infested waters is terrifying. They are like used car salesmen.  I am sure you can understand why I feel like I am travailing the 9 circles of hell.  Oh did I mention that I spent today at the ER because the AU was not feeling well and her DR who specialized in elder care is booked solid until November so my only option was the emergency room.  I am sure if Dante hadn't written the Divine comedy he could have come up with many more levels after trying to navigate the tricky waters of elder care. 

Enough of my rant--

Now with all of this insanity there has been a wee bit of sewing.  I manged to get some things done.  I may only get a block partially cut out, or sewn daily, but hey any progress is good progress right?

Bag lady quilt block for quilt guild.  I used the Twinkler Star block from SoScrappy's RSC for January.

Kisses block for the Friendship block for quilt guild supposed to be fall colors. 

I have 7 hexie flowers for a quilt done, almost finished with hexie flower 8.  I need 4 more then to finish up the Dresden quilt.  I need to learn to make some leaves and vines to applique onto the quilt.  Silver lining to today was that I got a couple of hexie flowers finished. 

I am working on binding of a charity quilt, again got a lot done on this today due to hanging out at the hospital.  

I also spent one very hot, humid day getting a quilt sandwiched.  We set up a couple of tables in the garage on the day that the humidity was about 80% and the temperature at 8 am was 80 degrees. 
The positive was that the humidity helped the batting flatten out easily without ironing. 

Remember the batik bundle that I won from a blog hop recently?  The line is called Surf Squirt by Island Batiks.

Well I also won a large box of Aurifil thread.  It arrived today, what a pick me up after spending hours at the hospital.

Aren't these colors yummy.  Twelve large spools of 40 wt Aurifil thread is sure to make you smile no matter what the kind of day you had.

I picked all of the beets out of my garden and managed to can 4 pints. 

I haven't tried them yet.  But I figure a week or two to sit will give them time to mellow. I also canned another 26 quarts of green beans, then picked enough out of the garden for another 7 quarts. 

So while life has been busy things have been getting done. 



14 comments:

sewyouquilt2 said...

turn them in for elderly abuse. there is usually a chapter in each area of the country. check with elderly services. out here they can go to jail for that.
unreal

Margie Crewse said...

I'm in the process of moving my mother from Assistant Living to a Foster Care home. She has lived in Assistant Living for over 10 years. The rent to this place goes up every year and the meals have gotten worse. They have caregivers who the residence pay separate to come in and do things for them (pills, bathing, etc). Hence--more money spent. I asked for a paper showing what they charged for the extras they were doing for my mother. They sent me a list of all the other places in the town and what THEY charged. I called the head honcho of this group, got an answering machine. So left a message saying that I did not ask for what everyone else was charging (from $700. to $900.00 a month) I want to know what YOU charge. Never have heard back from them. Thus my search started (thru the state) for a Foster care home. We are moving her the last weekend of this month. Be very very careful about these assisted living places. I know how you feel about these money hungry people. Good Luck

Julierose said...

Un-- believeable--NO truly believeable ;000
--we went through similar weeks, months, and yrs with my Mom--it is truly the most difficult thing to have to do.
The health care system certainly is no help. (Ask me how I know).
We ended up moving in with Mom and lasted for 4.5 years--not a good solution at all..we did finally find a Nursing Home (after my MD said it was either that or put ME away) for her within a reasonable drive for us.
Dementia and Alzheimers /Memory Loss is terrible....
I truly empathize with you and your hubby...hopefully you will find a Nursing home for them....
take care and try to get plenty of rest if you can...hugs, Julierose
remember: you are doing the best you can...you are not professionals...
hang in there....

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

My best friend has been doing this with her inlaws and her mother, for the past couple of years. Not fun, but, someone has to do it. Now she is also the chief babysitter for the family's kids, too. Haul preschoolers to the doc with grandma..... Good luck.

Emma's Daughter said...

I'm curious where you live because in South Florida ~ where my husband's beloved aunt lived ~ in addition to all those vultures you mentioned, there are the lawyers all to eager to "help" elderly clients sign over all their assets to "cleaners" or "helpers" when they are most vulnerable. My attorney husband had to make several trips to undo what unscrupulous lawyers had done to his aunt. Shameful.

barbara woods bewtjw@gmail.com said...

So many crooks in this world! Every one is a rip off! Hugs dear, just do the best you can ,praying it gets better

Needled Mom said...

I hear you. We've been dealing with it with my mom. It is a real nightmare. So glad you are able to get some sanity with stitching.

Baa. xxx said...

That is awful. The cleaner has been terrible to your aunt and uncle. Can't believe how she took advantage of them. And the ASSistant too. So unfair to pile the pressure on. Good on your hubby for sorting her out! Great to know you are the voice of reason with DH backing you up. When things get hectic like that it is great to be able to relax with a little sewing. Beautiful blocks as usual.

Teresa in Music City said...

Wow! I am so sorry you are having to deal with all that - what a mess! Definitely sounds like my idea of hell!!! They are very fortunate to have someone in their lives who cares enough to take the time and effort to help them and keep their best interests at heart instead of trying to steal them blind. And what lovely wins you have - definitely lifts the spirits when that kind of yumminess shows up in the mailbox :*)

Barb said...

Wow.....what a mess....keep clawing your way out...

Carol S. said...

Definitely contact Elder Abuse about that "Cleaner." That is awful! I dealt with several assisted living places for the lady I took care of that varied in quality. The care they offered was very eye opening and scary at times. We have a nice lady we trust that helps with my MIL...I am so grateful for her. That you even managed a little sewing is amazing!

Cathy said...

I can relate to your experience with the so called elder care business. I was ready to bring my husband home with the help of Hospice. A nurse recommended a company. The woman who showed up in my husbands hospital room was unkempt, dirty and reeked of cigarettes. It smelled like she never bathed or washed her clothes. She did not introduce herself to my husband. Her first words to my husband were "cremation or burial". That was it. No hello and no introductions. I went to the nurses station horrified and pissed. I threw her out. The hospital`s hospice workers were wonderful. They treated us like family and I had weekly contact for a year to support me after my husband died. They would have called me daily if I so wished. I was blessed to have them.

Lesley said...

Oh my goodness. What a challenge for you all. Amazing that you had any time to play with quilty goodness!

Mama Spark said...

I'm glad you are taking time to sew for yourself! After having navigated this myself I totally agree with Dante's Levels of Hell. I too navigated them and it SUCKS! Since you are able to take them into your place that is great! That is probably optimal. I had no first floor bedroom or bathroom so that was not a choice for us with my dad. I know it sounds trite but seriously take some time to do something you enjoy just to recharge your own batteries. Good luck!