I am new to your website and have found it very interesting to hear how other people deal with sci situations. My husband is a c5-6 quad for 21+ years. He is pretty independent onces he's up and in his motorized chair. He doesn't drive, though, so when the weather is not warm (doesn't tolerate cold very well), he can be housebound for weeks at a time.

For most of those years, we've had LPN nursing 4-6 hours per day. This was paid for by insurance in the early years, but more recently covered through Medicaid. We hire our own nurses, using only Medicaid providers. We've been fortunate to be able to find and keep reliable LPNs over the years. This has allowed me to work full time, missing very little time from work except when the nurse can't make it (sick, kids are sick, snowstorms etc).

Well our luck changed at the end of June when our nurse left to take a job in a hospital for the insurance coverage and more $$. We have been unable to find another LPN, either privately (newpaper ad) or through an agency. My employer has been very accommodating allowing me to work from home a few hours in the morning so that I can continue as a full time employee. I am only in the office 25-30 hours per week, because I've become the full time caregiver for my husband.

We've been doing everything we can think of to try to find another nurse, but have run out of ideas. My husband has called all the Medicaid providers in our area, and we've not had any luck in hiring someone. All agencies in the area have also been called many times and they've been of no help. We've interviewed a few nurses, and even tried a few out, but they didn't work out. We need to stick with an LPN or RN because of his bowel and bladder care. Also, we don't want to switch to HHA or PCA for fear that Medicaid will no longer approve his need for LPN or RN. (I don't know if this is true.) What is also making it difficult is the pay for an LPN in our county (Nassau) is 21.60 per hour. In the county just to our east (Suffolk), the pay is $4 more per hour. In Queens, it $2 more per hour.

Any suggestions or ideas would be appreciated. Thanks!