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Thread: I need a caregiver. Agency (JEVS) or private pay... how?

  1. #1

    I need a caregiver. Agency (JEVS) or private pay... how?

    I am a C-5, C-6 complete quadriplegic. I live in Bucks County Pennsylvania. I got injured when I was 16 back in 99', and since then my parents have been taking care of me. About a year and a half ago my parents got divorced, and the way it works out now is... when my mom is home she takes care of me, and when she goes to work at night, that's what my dad gets home from his job and he comes over to the house at night to help me with my bowel and shower and getting me to bed every other day, and my mom gets me up in the morning, and the days she doesn't work she put me to bed. Once I am in my chair in the morning I really don't think that I need that much. I only eat once a day at dinner, so meal preparation isn't a concern. I usually eat with my mother or father, and the only thing I need during the day are liquids, and sometimes help with getting my books out for school. My mom has told me she can take care of the little things during the day, my main concern is the bowel program and shower.

    However, I know that my parents take very good care of me, but I am 24 now, and want to start getting a caregiver. It's getting much uncomfortable for me to be exposed to the way I am around my parents, even though I know they view it as just helping me. I was recently at MaGee for three months in Philadelphia recovering from a pressure sore and doing a sitting program, and when I went home in November they told me that the best company to contact would be JEVS. About two weeks ago I met with a man at my house who explained to me the system and how everything worked. He told me I had two options as far as a caregiver goes. I can find someone and they'll pay them, or if I can't find anybody they will hire somebody for me. I asked them to find somebody for me because I could not find somebody on my own. Currently they are in the process of doing that. They said that their employees are trained, I'm just wondering if they'll do everything I need them to do. My main concern is the bowel program & shower. I currently do it Monday, Wednesday, and Friday night, as well as Sunday morning because that is the schedule my dad can do it; however, I want to get started on a every other day regimen in the morning. That way my nights are free. For as high an injury level I have, after I am in my chair I really don't need much throughout the rest of the day. What I really need is someone who can do the bowel program and shower for me in the morning.

    I've never used an agency before and am just not sure if I have the right agency or if I'm going about it the right way. I've also heard that the best way to go is private pay. I can afford private pay, but the problem is I don't know any caregivers at all or where to find one.

    If anyone has heard of this company please give me your info and input. If you have not heard of this company but are in the same situation with me and have a caregiver. Please let me know how you went about it and came to a conclusion. As always thank you everybody for your input and info

  2. #2
    Senior Member darrel's Avatar
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    I would try and see if your state has DORS that is who my fiancee is going through to be my caregiver. the hospital (OSF) are the ones who set them up for us it is ran by the state and your local human services can help you out. have you talked to your case worker that handles your medicaid/ medicare the case worker here has helped me a lot with understanding the process of all this. I have an evaluation Thursday from DORS to determine how many hours I qualify for the last I was told was about a year ago and I was told that I could be left alone for 6 hours at a time..I guess it is so that they know that I am getting food and drink and that I haven't had another heart attack. I myself feel that I can go a lot longer with out help but they are the professionals. hope this helps

  3. #3
    Senior Member Tim C.'s Avatar
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    Having gone thru at least 25 caregivers (private pay) in my exciting 5 1/2yrs.....

    I can say that my worst caregivers were sourced from agencies, while my best came via Craigslist.
    Believe it or not.
    I interviewed, hired, trained them on my own. Agencies are there just for their commission, then they run.
    Eastern Europeans-turned-caregivers can be horrific, be forwarned.

  4. #4
    I agree with Tim, although we had one great attendant who was Romanian, so don't rule people out strictly because of their origins.

    Dann, I am not clear about why you say you cannot find your own caregivers. It is time consuming and you may run into a few rotten apples, but they are then purely your employee, you determine the hours and work they do, you train them, and you decide if you want to let them go. You have more control over your life, and not the agency. Of course doing background checks and checking references, etc. are still important. I have seen people ripped off more by agency PCAs than by ones they hired and vetted themselves.

    There are several good books you can get to help you learn how to do this. I recommend both the book published by the PVA and "Attendants from Hell" if you want to invest a small amount in developing a method to be in charge of your life and care like this.

    (KLD)

  5. #5
    Thanks for the info... I guess I'll get start looking on Craig's list

  6. #6
    Don't just look. Post your own wanted job ad. You need to polish what you say a bit, and some Craig's List job postings require a small fee to be paid, but you will get calls. Have a job description already completed in some detail, and a list of interview questions you use for everyone.

    Interview first on the phone, then if still interested, meet the person in a public place (like a Denny's or McDonald's) to do a more in-depth interview. Only then should you consider inviting them to your home and giving them your home address. Get them to fill out a job application with enough information that you can do the background check (full name, previous names, address, phone, driver's license, and SS#). Always hire on a "trial basis" (at least 2 weeks) before making it more permanent, and have a contract in writing that details what you will and will not allow as far as behavior, including smoking, drugs, alcohol, tardiness or unexcused absences, etc. You can get examples of these from the books above.

    (KLD)

  7. #7
    I know there are alot of agencies out there that are not concerned about families or caregivers. Not all of us are like that though. After 20+ yr.s of being on the other side I have taken what I've learned to have a good agency. You may have to do a little research but you can find good help.

  8. #8
    Moderator jody's Avatar
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    hello, I have a friend who has been using jevs for many years. she has a full staff of care givers, and has had the same people for several years now.

    in fact, I used to work for jevs as well when I cared for her.
    they are a good company, and they try hard to find care that works for you. in all the years she has used them, she has only sent back two people. both were let go because they were not dependable, so I am certain they have high standards, and that their staff are bonded and tb tested.

    Good luck.

  9. #9
    Moderator jody's Avatar
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    I spoke to my friend, they can either send people, or you hire yourself and they are bonded payed and aproved by jevs. she found some by advertising on craigs list.
    She puts in her ad, that care personel are required to be bonded, and that they are payed by an agency. That kinda weeds out the people who cant be bonded, or have a criminal record.

  10. #10
    Moderator jody's Avatar
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    sorry old post. I should remember to look at the posting dates. my bad.

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