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Thread: How to find a Caregiver??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    CA, USA

    How to find a Caregiver??

    My husband is now home and it's difficult adjustment we are going thru. We are no young people 66,69 and the morning routine is the most time consuming. We start the bowel care around 8AM with coffee and after 1/2 hour the suppository and then the commode and breakfast. Before that change from night bag to leg bag and if needed change condom. Then back in bed to get cleaned up and dressed. He can transport from bed to commode without board and once in a while back to the bed. He can transport from bed to wheelchair without sliding board also. He can just about dress himself, if you put pants around ankles and put shoes on toes. He likes the slick jogging pants, as transferring is soo much easier. He can now make a fist with right hand and wiggle his thumb on left hand. Still can not raise his left arm above his head. He goes for PT, KT, OT three times a week. Spends most of day at VA and he's on blood thinners now, coumadino.

    What I meant to write about, was how do you find a good inexpensive Caregiver? I need a part time Caregiver about 4 hours, 4 days a week. My insurance will only pay for 80 hours a year. Isn't that a joke?? Where can I go for help? I have hired someone thru an agency for 3 days next week at 4 hours a day at $60 a day. Too expensive. We don't belong to a church. Should we? The VA is no help at all. They gave me a list of outdated numbers and people that would not come to Orange County. Write me at

  2. #2
    If the VA won't pay for aides, then find out if your insurance will pay if you hire someone privately, not through an agency.

    Put ads in your local papers, find out what the going rates are for private aides, and have a very specific plan of what you want/need the aide to do, so that when you interview, you'll get a better sense of capabilities. Be prepared to do some training also, as very few aides are familiar with SCI needs and issues.

    We have also had luck posting ads in local colleges, in the nursing departments as well as in the Physical and occupational therapy departments. Three of our best part time aides were PT/OT students; their motivation is super! And they'll usually work for a little cheaper than the going rate. The only drawback is that they do graduate and move on!

    Here are some resources for how to search for and hire an aide:

    This is a booklet called 'Avoiding attendants from hell'!:

    The Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Resource Center has some excellent info on hiring aides:

    I would also check with your local office on aging, independent living centers, etc., to see what help they can offer. Many of these programs offer respite care for you.

    The search for the right person can be exhausting, and frustrating, but when you find the right person, who does their job well and also 'fits' into your family, they become almost a family member themselves. Good luck on your search, and feel free to come back with other questions as they arise!

    It sounds as tho hubbie is making good progress at home, and I'm sure he's getting stronger and putting on some needed weight as a result of your cooking!!

    Tough times don't last - tough people do.

  3. #3
    Senior Member KLD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001

    Personal Care Attendants (PCAs)

    Agency aides are both expensive and not allowed to do some of the care that a private PCA can do.

    Find out from the VA social worker if you are eligible for IHSS (a county program) which can help to pay for PCA care. There is also a very good book on PCA care that you can get from the PVA (check with the chapter office at the Long Beach VA).

    Call your local Independent Living Center (look here for a list):

    Talk with them about any referral lists they have for PCAs.

    Here is a good site with information on how to find, hire and supervise PCAs:

    Check out college job boards, posting at local hospitals and nursing homes (many nurses aides want extra hours esp. of you pay cash) and church bulletins. Let everyone you know know that you are looking for someone you will train yourself...previous experience not required, just reliability and willingness to learn and do the job.

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