Carers

All posts tagged Carers

Chinese Whispers

Published March 20, 2020 by helentastic67

Chinese Whispers

I’ve had carers or support workers now for about thirteen years. Long enough to know the more people between me and my carers means anything they need to know, do, which entrance to use, etc. The more things can potentially go sideways.

When things go sideways that early (most of my carers in the morning around 9.30am) As I’ve been blogging how long now? I knew I mentioned in my early blogging days, I would complain about carers arriving early. This shit is still happening.

This is when I would point to my face and ask “Do I look like a morning person?”

Twenty-four hours a day is morning for me. I’m not a morning person, I’m not a go out at night person, I’m barely a person. I don’t mean I’m not human. I just am constantly grumpy and don’t cope.

My main agency lately, that provides my morning and rare afternoon carer doesn’t have the personal to cover all my shifts. They have already merged with another large agency I’ve dealt with years ago, but they still don’t have support workers in my area. So, two of my shifts each week, they outsource to another agency. One shift to another agency, the other shifts to another agency. Can you feel my frustration already?

Ok I will blah

I have passed on enough details.

No perfume, park on this side of the street, in this supermarket carpark. Enter the apartment complex here, not here. Come up in the lift to the second floor, etc, etc.

Sounds like a lot, but trust me, I glossed over bits or streamline.

The point is!!!

 

Good Mental Health

Published November 25, 2019 by helentastic67

Good Mental Health

Sometimes having to rely on carers is detrimental to my Good Mental Health. So, in case you had been imagining having carers makes up for being one-handed in life. It really doesn’t.

It often requires a skill set, not everyone with a disability has. I mostly have carers older than I am. It’s not by choice, that’s what it is. I’m not complaining, it’s good.

However, I find older carers sometimes think they know best, so do things how they want to. The downside on occasion is when they don’t listen. They are not there to deal with the consequences.

Some carers only see me when I’m upright, chatty and engaged. They don’t see me when I’m not coping. They are not there when I have to bring my washing inside and hang it, so it has a chance of drying on racks.

Some items in Winter can take days to dry because it’s cold enough to need a heater on, but I have to negotiate spaces around drying racks. My left-hand catches on things as I move around, my left foot catches also. I can easily lose my balance and fall and trust me, no-one around when I have a migraine. Because they don’t limit themselves to the days, I have to suck it up and get shit done.

Migraines will come every day of the week.

Today’s Lunch – 25th September 2019

Published September 25, 2019 by helentastic67

Today’s Lunch

Good Mental Health Day

Yesterday, had a nice adventure planned and by 8am the wheels fell off. My fill-in carer had rung in sick and I was asked if I wanted them to be replaced? Just imagine I do like a shower each day, so I said yes please but, my agency outsourced me to another agency, who got lost 3 suburbs away and by the time she found me it was lunchtime.

I was in the mood to hibernate. I also thought I’d make up for doing full “Person” on Saturday, I also did hours of admin sitting at my desk.  Here is Mika, her idea of helping me.

That’s right, I went out! I went up and down several times in the lift and ran into people. It’s amazing how many people you see if you keep normal hours. I was even able to help a guy who was attempting to get into the garage entrance with a slab of beer in his arms. I called to him as he was about to put it down and clicked the button for the garage gate to open. He seemed pleased and surprised.

I had been waiting for my sister to pull in to “bump in/bump out” she bought me a vacuum cleaner as mine recently died and she collected some goodies for my dad. Ok, our dad. She was going up to stay with him for a few days before going onto Canberra with our younger sister. We had lunch locally.

I did take photos but they did not work! Again! Reasons why Helen cannot do Insta. I did however make my second last bread and butter pudding Sunday night. I even had some, I normally portion and package it all up to give away. Have delivered some today and while none is going to Sydney to my administrator Noelle. She is getting a box full of goodies. Should arrive Monday?

Another crazy day, not even getting to my favourite cafe in North Fitzroy. Stayed close to my last appointment in Thornbury for lunch instead. Today’s offering a black bean pie, with a little salad and relish and medicine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, off to get stabbed!

Cheers

H

My Way or The Highway

Published September 13, 2019 by helentastic67

My Way or the Highway

Have you heard the line; If you want something done right, do it yourself? Now, obviously the definition of ‘right versus wrong’ is a debate all in itself and for everything in my home and surroundings, I am the master of my domain and my way is the right (correct) way.

I don’t like to think I am a domineering person or a bully, however in my home, where I should be able to control things, I like things my way. Because even in really minute ways if something is in the wrong place, I can’t see it or I can’t get to something I need and if you can’t do it yourself, you out source it.

I currently have six carers over a week (I actually had to write down their names to count them) and I thought it was more. To be fair, I have a few I get more than once over the week and to make life work, I will pick and choose somethings one over might be better at or appreciate helping me do it overtime. All of my carers are pushed for time. So, somethings might not get high priority so they get neglected. Other times one of my lovely assistants (it’s what I call them) might get sick of seeing some mess or other and she will make it her project for the day.

If a carer doesn’t do something, I’ve asked of them, how I would prefer it to be done, they might have been telling me not to ask again, so I don’t.

Sisters

Published July 12, 2019 by helentastic67

Sisters

So, this will be a totally rare time I include the name of a business/company/service, I currently use. You will notice I don’t ever mention the name of my favourite café? Yeah, most of my followers are on foreign soil, so it’s irrelevant, but sometimes it’s hard enough to get a seat as is. That’s the only reason why though.

So, today I will mention one of the Care Providers I use, same reason as above, but it’s relevant to the story. This is also a likely example of how life has a tendency to go in full circles.

Ok, Circa 90’s when I worked in clubs with Malcolm (you can read about him here)

https://hellonwheelslifeonehanded.wordpress.com/2017/09/01/gdg-grand-daddy-goth/

He had (just like any DJ of that era) Yes, Yes what was generally referred to as a toilet song. You hear a certain song come on. Don’t get in a DJ’s way. It’s usually a rather long song/track that is long enough to get to the toilet, the bar and back to the DJ’s booth.

It was usually this one

My Carers come from Mercy Health. They manage the homes where all the retired nuns live. There is a women’s hospital (Mercy Health).

I am by all means not suggesting they are the best, but I’m never going to bother mentioning the ONLY agency that didn’t ask for me to participate in the regular NDIA audit and provide feedback about their services. Am I correct?

So, anyway, my carer today was telling me where she had to go after me. Most of my carers visit the nuns. I hear about it all the time.

So, my carer today said she was going off to the Sisters of Mercy and everything after that went straight over my head.

Back in the 90’s when I worked in clubs, I was NOT GOTHIC. But sometimes, I wore more, shall I say, socially acceptable styles to not ‘offend’ the Goths. There was always a boy with this…..

It was the era after all and sometimes I would just outright wear my dungarees (because they were light and comfy) and other times I wore my bright coloured raver street wear.

I miss those days.

However, The Sisters of Mercy (the band not the nuns.) is touring later in the year. I’m debating about seeing them. The play at The Forum, two days after my birthday.

Apartment Living Past

Published June 28, 2019 by helentastic67

Apartment Living Past

Definitely time to throw in a post about apartment living. Late 2017 I moved into an apartment. It’s my fourth move since my diagnosis back in 2007. While I’ve not done any big distances between each place I’ve lived, this is the most ‘new-build’ I’ve ever been in. The last place was a unit, my address was Unit 1 at 111. No really, it was a great number to live in. It was only two minutes drive from where I now reside. That move was prompted by ‘sleazy’ landlord concerns. Because he just didn’t get it, he could not put his hands ‘ON’ me and tell me he loved me and wanted to have sex with me.

Did you, just throw up a little in your mouth? Exactly! So, I digress, apologies.

Apartment Living.

I have a carer every morning, maybe only for an hour, to an hour and a half and I keep them busy with tasks while I’m in the shower, doing a few dishes, putting buckets of water out on the balcony for my plants or taking down my rubbish and recycling. On Sunday morning my carer came into the bathroom and I polished a circle near my face on the shower screen door, so she could see my face.

 

This is what I said to her; “While you were out, I TOOK a call from S blocks that way. Stop slamming the door” She asked if I’d really received a call?

The apartment doors are rather heavy, I guess it’s for good security and sound proofing. I can’t hear what’s happening next door. Well, they might hear me, but my surround sound died, so it may no longer be an issue for them. But I often hear laughing and people running past my door to the lift and I really wish they would stop.

Retirement

Published June 24, 2019 by helentastic67

Retirement

I have a term for my form of retirement. It’s bullshit retirement where I’m poor, I’m underpaid, I have no holidays, no grandchildren to tend or husband (Yes, I’ve always wanted one, but it just hasn’t happened) and despite being retired, my week is pretty full.

In a perfect week, this is what my diary looks like:

Monday- Shrink, Medicare (the other bank) Osteo, admin, emails, blogging, brain training, bed.

Tuesday – Remedial, GP, admin, emails, blogging, sleep.

Wednesday – Chiropractor, acupuncture, blogging, admin, emails, some self-advocacy, sleep.

Thursday – Cleaning at home, data entry, admin, emails, sleep. At this point you might be thinking ‘What’s with all the sleep?’ You need sleep every night. I seem to these days and I get to bed so late and it’s noisy and I get woken up over and over again. I’m just impressed I’ve banished the afternoon kip during the week.

Friday – a carer for shopping where we get all the hunter/gathering done, any extra shopping I need, any serious cooking as a one-off for the week. Admin, brain training and emails.

Saturday and Sunday – I try to go off-grid on the weekend. No emails, no social media, no mobile phone. Note, I used the word ‘try’ I can’t let it slide completely or else Monday, I would have too much to catch up on.

Over the whole week with phone calls to keep all the balls in the air (euphemism for juggling) emails/calls to keep my home in working order.

Start everyday with a personal carer for one – one and half hours, so I can leave the house fresh and presentable to be seen in public. End most days taking washing off the racks on my balcony and then often having to hang the washing on other racks inside to complete drying, unpack/repack dishwasher process the mail and bills that come in, pay the bills or schedule when I can afford to pay them, order products to keep my independence needs next. This is why I try (there’s that word again) to go off-grid on the weekends.

Weekends are for sleeping, eating, watching TV, sleeping some more, then on a Saturday night forcing myself to do absolutely nothing by putting on a film where all of my attention is taken up by single tasking. Do you get ‘Single tasking’ is a dirty word to me?

All the balls don’t stay in the air by single tasking and if some of these things seem a bit of a luxury and that I’m super lucky. They are not. All of these things need to happen like clockwork, so I maintain at least the level of independence I have now and preferably no less.

Oh, there are also the once a month committee meetings or the ‘other’ bi-monthly committee meetings I participate in to give life meaning. It’s getting monotonous, there aren’t many exciting things to look forward to.

Oh, did we notice an absence of three regular meals a day? Yeah, I prepare in advance back-up breakfasts I can pack and have on the go, on trams, trains or have lunch at 5pm, when I get home. It’s not a great plan, but it’s what it is.

I would have been happy to work until 70 because it would have meant I would have been able to and I would have a decent comfortable standard of living and life.

Hence, my term a ‘Bullshit form of retirement’.

Self Advocacy Never Done

Published June 3, 2019 by helentastic67

Self Advocacy Never Done

I’ve often said there is no holiday from self-advocacy and you might not have any idea what this means, so allow me.

Wednesday arrives and so does my carer and the phone rings, the agency calls and I’m happy to hear from her because we have a decent friendly repour. Until she tells me she needs to fill my next shift, because the carer rang in sick, it’s 10am and my next shift starts at 12.30pm (because they won’t cover taxi’s) my carer now helps me efficiently get from home to my favourite Café to my Chiropractors, then back to her home at the location I get stabbed (acupuncture) by 3pm.

I used to do this all without the assistance of a carer, but because my chiro relocated, I can’t do it all efficiently in a day via Young John, my scooter and a tram. Then I get some steps done walking here.

So, agency calls and she is letting me know they might not have someone, my morning carer in the background is trying to see if she can be the silver bullet to solve the problem.

We have a brief discussion about the availability of my regulars. Not the silver bullet. Some only work certain days, others study also, others again have a full day and would end up working ten hours, which is NOT ALLOWED. (not complaining)

So, I’m asked ‘which carer wouldn’t I like?’ I give her a ‘Don’t be like that!’ a little tartly and she says ‘Remember when we started, I sent “XYZ” (not her real name) and you loved her. Here’s the advocacy part. SHUDDUP I got there. It was all relevant.

“No! No, I didn’t, she was the first carer you sent to me and I was being professional and diplomatic, but I could tell there was a little something ‘off’ about her.

That first day she made a point for me to know she was a ‘white aboriginal’ woman and she loved to brag about her wealthy private clients, that had indoor swimming pools and a lift. “Hey, I have a fucking lift too, now I’m doing apartment living.” She came to my new home after Christmas because they were short staffed and she looked down her nose at my home, saying “she couldn’t do it!” Then she stole my letter opener and Seinhausen headphones.

So, No! No! I don’t want her back again. I was asked if I would be OK to have a male carer? Of course, they will not be needing to see me naked. So, fine. They found someone for me and that little hurdle is conquered, but it’s pretty much how every single day goes. Either it’s the agencies, my property manager, my carers or even my family, or complete strangers in the street.

It’s NON-STOP, it never ends.

Miracle

Published May 17, 2019 by helentastic67

Miracle

The beauty of being in Australia is we have a long weekend, being part of the Commonwealth means we get to celebrate the Queen’s birthday and not just once a year, but twice. Don’t ask me when, but TWICE.

Although I don’t work, even I’m glad to have an extra day off around the weekend. But it comes with some consequences, the appointments, the carers and services I normally spread out over five days, I have to squash them into only four. There are always extra things cropping up I need to fit into the mix.

Last week was a short week and the extra things being, my mum arriving Tuesday morning at 2am to collect my sister from the airport at 6am. So, my sleep was already compromised. I’d had my Friday services of shopping and my only food prep shift with a carer that had to happen somewhere else. Add to that the services on the Thursday I had to move to accommodate the above and you have the perfect storm. I’m surprised by the Friday I didn’t have a migraine.

 

 

Thursday, I had three carers all of which overlapped and I even had the scooter guy to do a maintenance sorting me out with two new batteries and a charger. I returned home with my shopping carer to do the food prep shift, where we normally smash out three things at once, part of each I’ve generally started to get ahead of the ‘crazy’. I had the gas guy there to check the burners of my stove top and they had NEVER BEEN DONE.

I think the apartment block is four to five years old and the fact I made it through the week without a migraine now, makes me think it could have been a miracle.

I think we have another long weekend next month, Cup Day, great. Gotta plan now to get ahead of that. It’s a month away.

Rehab – Part 6

Published November 5, 2018 by helentastic67

Rehab Part 6

Rehab Part – 6

I have carers, as you know who take me shopping and even my morning carer that helps me get ready after my shower, to face the day, they all become my friends. It’s inevitable, the ones I can’t crack are usually very reserved, on account of them not planning to put down roots and those don’t plan to stay in the job long term, choosing to move onto other things.

Carer morning routine

When out and about on my shopping adventures, it’s much more like I’m hanging out chatting with a girlfriend.

Shopping adventure

I might have mentioned, my carers are usually older, sometimes younger, rarely my actual age.

I’m now 46 years old and I get along with all my carers regardless of their age.

Carer friends

Off to the supermarket on Friday, I don’t remember what we were discussing when I said “Yeah, well, I finished High School in 1990.”

Supermarket shopping.

And she said

Wait for it.

“I wasn’t even born then”

not born yet

Yeah that just happened and then later that day.

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