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Thread: Quads who live alone that use PCAs

  1. #1

    Quads who live alone that use PCAs

    Specifically quads that need assistance with dressing, bowel program, transfers, and mobility in bed.
    How many PCAs do keep on staff? Like how many do you hire for regular shifts and for backup? Just trying to get a better understanding on how many people I might need to help live alone, or close to it.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Your profile says your injury level is C5-6. Most of my clients at this level of injury use a total of 4-6 hours of attendant care daily, so hire someone to do morning care part-time (5-6 days a week) and someone to do evening care (sometimes the same person, most often someone different) 5-6 days/week, and then 1-2 additional people to do those folks days off.

    You have to group your care as efficiently as possible so that you can ROM, transfer to shower/commode, do bowel care, shower, transfer back to bed and get dressed in the AM, perhaps with them also fixing your breakfast (which I assume you can eat on your own). The AM person may also make you a cold lunch and leave it in the refrigerator (salad or sandwich for example) for you to get your self. Then you either fix your own dinner, or have an attendant who comes and fixes dinner, then gets you back into bed, skin check done, positioned, maybe some additional ROM, and set for the night.

    Are you currently having someone turn you at night? Can you learn to do this yourself? Can you afford a turning mattress instead? Are you independent in medication management? Do you drive or need someone to drive you?

    (KLD)

  3. #3
    Mornings all I need is about 2 hours. Just ROM and getting dressed. I do bowel program every other night, which takes about an hour, and still shower on other nights. I have a supra pubic and currently need help emptying the bag during the day. But I'm confident I could figure out a way to do that myself. I currently have someone help turn me at night. Don't know if I'll be able to on my own. I'm working out more lately to get my strength up. But my right shoulder has always been a little bad since the accident. I don't have the same range and strength as my left. And I'm tall, 6'4, and I had always had trouble trying to move my long legs around. I can look into a turning mattress. Do you have a brand you recommend? I could get my own medication and I do drive.

  4. #4
    There are a number of brands of turning mattresses, both LAL and non-LAL. None are cheap. Some you may want to look at include these:

    Invacare microAIR MA95Z (formerly the Turn-Q)

    Joerns TurnCair Plus

    Joerns CairTurn RT

    SpanAmerica TurnSelect

    Patriot Lateral Rotation LRT

    MasonAir LS9500

    Do you use a power chair or manual chair? You might want to look into a leg bag emptier (manual or power).

    (KLD)

  5. #5
    Senior Member landrover's Avatar
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    I am a C4/5 complete. I have an attendant for 4 hours in the AM, and 4 hours in the PM. I work full-time, so days I am in the office my coworkers kindly help me with lunch. The hours could probably be decreased if needed, as it takes about 1.5 hours to get me ready in the morning. I do not have overnight care, and use a Temperpedic mattress.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by landrover View Post
    I am a C4/5 complete. I have an attendant for 4 hours in the AM, and 4 hours in the PM. I work full-time, so days I am in the office my coworkers kindly help me with lunch. The hours could probably be decreased if needed, as it takes about 1.5 hours to get me ready in the morning. I do not have overnight care, and use a Temperpedic mattress.
    Does the same attendant work both the AM and PM shift? Do you pay privately or are your attendants paid through the state? What do you do for bladder management? Do you not worry about being alone overnight? Do you just sleep on your back all night or can you turn yourself? Do you know what level of firmness your mattress is? And what size mattress are you on? My current bed is a double but I need a new one and am considering getting a Twin. Sorry for all the questions. Just trying to get things figured out so I can stop relying on my aging parents.
    Last edited by wheelman21; 08-26-2015 at 11:26 AM. Reason: Added another question

  7. #7
    Senior Member landrover's Avatar
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    Hi, I have a total of 4 different aides that work at different times. I use a leg bag with external catheter. As far as being alone at night, my fear is fire. Otherwise I have access to my cell phone. I have a Temperpedic Rhapsody with an adjustable base. It is a twin.

  8. #8
    I'm similar to landrover. I'm a C4/5 Quad, and I have 1.5 hours of assistance in the morning to get me up, and 1.5-3 hours of assistance in the evening to go to bed, do a bowel routine and shower (every other night). I also do standing twice a week and an FES bike twice a week, each of which add about 1.5 hours to that shift.

    I have 3 or 4 caregivers that share all 14 of the shifts. I live independently, but I have a roommate who helps with occasional things. He is home overnight in case of tornado, fire, or a leg spasm (you can guess which one of the three is more frequent). She also helps with dinner most nights. For me, it has worked well to offer cheap rent to a roommate in exchange for these things instead of trying to hire somebody. An overnight caregiver gets expensive quickly.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by EyesOfTexas View Post
    I'm similar to landrover. I'm a C4/5 Quad, and I have 1.5 hours of assistance in the morning to get me up, and 1.5-3 hours of assistance in the evening to go to bed, do a bowel routine and shower (every other night). I also do standing twice a week and an FES bike twice a week, each of which add about 1.5 hours to that shift.

    I have 3 or 4 caregivers that share all 14 of the shifts. I live independently, but I have a roommate who helps with occasional things. He is home overnight in case of tornado, fire, or a leg spasm (you can guess which one of the three is more frequent). She also helps with dinner most nights. For me, it has worked well to offer cheap rent to a roommate in exchange for these things instead of trying to hire somebody. An overnight caregiver gets expensive quickly.
    Do you private pay? If so, how much? Where do you advertise for PCAs? Would you happen to have a copy of the ad you use? Do you turn yourself at night? I don't know what it is, but I have a difficult time finding PCAs. I would love to get a team of 3 or 4 caregivers that could do my morning and night cares. I just put an ad on Craigslist last Friday and I got 1 response. Doubt that one person wants to work 7 days a week morning and night. Don't know if it's because of pay rate being offer, I use Medical Assistance, or if it's something else.

  10. #10
    Senior Member zillazangel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelman21 View Post
    Do you private pay? If so, how much? Where do you advertise for PCAs? Would you happen to have a copy of the ad you use? Do you turn yourself at night? I don't know what it is, but I have a difficult time finding PCAs. I would love to get a team of 3 or 4 caregivers that could do my morning and night cares. I just put an ad on Craigslist last Friday and I got 1 response. Doubt that one person wants to work 7 days a week morning and night. Don't know if it's because of pay rate being offer, I use Medical Assistance, or if it's something else.
    Here's our ad for our specific situation:

    Personal Care Assistant Needed ? LIVE-IN


    My husband is a 47 year old quadriplegic who requires total care of himself. I work a full time job from home 40 hours a week and require care for him while I work.

    The personal care assistant job requires some, but not substantial physical strength. All lifting of more than 10 pounds is accomplished by use of a ceiling mounted handicapped lift that is required to be used. The job does require some flexibility though ? as there is a lot of twisting and moving involved in getting him arranged, ranged, and when getting him in and out of his wheelchair. Please do not apply if you have back problems. I cannot stress that enough!!!!

    Also note: while there is a minor child in the household, childcare is NOT part of this job. There will be no significant interaction between the child and the caregiver other than social pleasantries.

    DUTIES

    ? Feed breakfast & administer meds
    ? Range of motion exercises
    ? Bowel and bladder care (I will train you on this)
    ? Shower (place in shower chair using overhead lift, roll into roll-in open concept designed shower stall, clean body, wash hair, shave, brush teeth)
    ? Dress and place in wheelchair if desired that day (not every day)
    ? Friday only:
    o Strip master and wash/dry/remake bed mattress cover and sheets
    ? Any and all additional caregiving duties or light housework (e.g. dishes, laundry, etc) as directed
    ? Run errands (e.g. go to Walgreens to pick up prescriptions, etc)
    ? Drive to personal appointments
    ? 3-4 hour care (involving duties above) 3 days a week
    ? Care of two dogs ? feed and medication twice a day, let out twice a day (one on leash, one a brief walk)
    ? ALSO requires 24 hour care in the event of additional business travel. AVERAGES 5 DAYS/MONTH
    ? Alternate cooking and/or cleaning at dinner time (e.g. non working hours) with me when off the clock (e.g. participate daily in cooking and cleaning duties associated with the ?boarding? part of living in)
    ? Weekends off

    LIVING SITUATION

    We have a large over the garage living space that has a separate set of stairs that leads to it, that is 100% separate from the upstairs where the minor child lives (e.g. there are two separate staircases leading to two separate upstairs areas that do not connect at all). Door to staircase closes for privacy. Consists of very large living/bedroom area (approx. 800 sq ft, full bathroom and large walk in closet. Includes free wifi, free DirecTV with DVR.

    PAY

    Free room and board (within reasonable limits on food) PLUS $XXX paid monthly.

    OTHER

    Do not need CNA or other special medical training but prior medical experience is a plus, prior experience with quadriplegia especially a plus. MUST PROVIDE RECENT EMPLOYER REFERENCES. References may NOT be friends, must be professional references from previous employers. Candidates must NOT have a criminal background, must pass a drug screen, and must be a NON SMOKER. The latter is NON NEGOTIABLE. Smokers will NOT be hired. And yes, we can tell if you are smoker even if you don?t smoke while you are here!

    Also, please make special note that this position DOES INVOLVE HOUSEWORK. You will be asked to do dishes, take out the trash, fold laundry, run to the grocery store, and other light housework during the times that the husband is not in need of assistance. This has been a deal breaker for many people in the past so think long and hard about this clause BEFORE YOU RESPOND.
    Wife of Chad (C4/5 since 1988), mom of a great teenager

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