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Thread: Need Help, guidance, advice, editing when trying to find a 'caregiver'..

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Melbourne, FL USA

    Need Help, guidance, advice, editing when trying to find a 'caregiver'..

    Going to post the following advertisement on and would like any suggestions on the way to do it. Imagine I will filter out any leads by email, do a phone interview and then talk in person. There is a background check service that the website provides.

    Where is my biggest danger and what is my greatest benefit? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Broke my neck at 21, becoming a quadriplegic and have always lived by myself. Never had Home Healthcare unless it was after a hospital visit.

    As the years have accumulates, now being 55, and having broken my legs four times in the last two years, need help because I have become weak from being in been for so long and haven't developed a routine to get out.

    Need help washing up and getting dressed. Anyone who can do the duties of a CNA or Home Health Aide may work out well.

    Need the help in the mornings, perhaps starting with Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays or Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, or some hybrid.


  2. #2
    Much too general, and I would not include so much personal information. You can share that in an interview.

    Here is an example of a Craig's List ad that I ran when recruiting PCAs for my mother:

    Assist older woman with MS with personal care, transfers (using a ceiling lift), toileting, catheterization, light homemaking (laundry, dishes, etc.), errands, grocery shopping and cooking. Located in south XXXX XXXXXX/XXXXXXX.

    Wednesdays & Thursdays ONLY, 3:30PM-8PM. Other hours may be available occasionally. Ideal for students or someone seeking additional income aside from a full-time job.

    No live-in.

    Training provided.

    Female only.

    Reliability and trustworthiness a must. References will be checked. Background check required.

    Transportation not provided. Must have own vehicle and valid CA driver's license.

    Must be legal resident. Must speak English.

    For more information, call 310 XXX-XXXX.
    Here is another:

    • Female.
    • Non-smoker.
    • English speaking.
    • Green card if not a US citizen.
    • Have reliable transportation (own vehicle and driver’s license).
    • References and background check required.
    • Experience preferred but not required.

    Work required: 8:00AM-2:00PM Days: Saturday & Sunday only
    Awaken Employer.
    Provide morning medications.
    Remove hand splint.
    Inspect skin.
    Stretch joints (ROM exercise).
    Apply compression hose, leg splints, and shoes.
    Insert catheter to drain bladder (clean technique).
    Change incontinence pad.
    Transfer from bed to wheelchair using ceiling track lift.
    Transfer to/from toilet using ceiling track lift.
    Remove nightgown and apply clothing.
    Perform oral care at sink.
    Wash face, comb hair.
    Apply hearing aids and glasses.
    Prepare breakfast and feed.
    Provide breakfast-time medications.
    Position in chair for comfort. Operate wheelchair controls for Employer.
    Adjust position periodically.
    Insert catheter to drain bladder (clean technique), change incontinence pad if needed.
    Transfer from wheelchair to easy chair with ceiling track lift. Position.
    Prepare lunch and feed.
    Wash dishes and clean up kitchen.
    Charge ceiling track lift between uses.
    Assist as needed with mail, TV use, and telephone use.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Melbourne, FL USA
    when posting on you need to put a category and I chose seniors so that pretty much tells my age.

    The point of my ad is I don't need much help and am basically looking for somebody who was a CNA in a hospital and for the next few months to help me get washed up and button my pants.

    Do you think I should just delete the first two paragraphs and submit it like that?

  4. #4
    Why do you need a CNA? We did interview them, but found many of our best PCAs had no certification, instead having some experience as family caregivers, or nursing students. Reliability and trustworthiness were much more important to us than formal training in caregiving. We could easily teach the latter, but not the former!

    Do you need help with transfers? You are totally independent in bowel and bladder care? Range of motion exercises? Will they need to do any homemaking activities such as cooking, washing dishes, doing laundry, etc.? How about smoker/non-smoker and fluency in English? If they don't have a car, are you going to pay for their transportation? Will you need to them to drive you at all?

    I would also be much more specific about the hours you need. Your ad makes it sound like you will be the one adjusting your schedule to meet their needs. You are the employer, and should set the work hours. Someone who goes to school may be interested in a job from 5AM-8AM, but not in one from 9AM to noon.


  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    Why do you need a CNA? We did interview them, but found many of our best PCAs had no certification, instead having some experience as family caregivers, or nursing students. Reliability and trustworthiness were much more important to us than formal training in caregiving. We could easily teach the latter, but not the former!...(KLD)
    This is an eye opening statement coming from a professional nurse.
    I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by nonoise View Post
    This is an eye opening statement coming from a professional nurse.
    He doesn't need a nurse (RN). He needs a PCA.


  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Melbourne, FL USA
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    Why do you need a CNA?
    A long babbling reply on another sleepless night.

    Used the sentence "Anyone who can do the duties of a CNA or Home Health Aide may work out well" as an example. Does not say you need to be one, just says "if you are able to perform those types of duties", you may have the requisite experience. This was to try and explain the scope of the job which is nothing compared to what you required for your mother.

    Do not need a certified CNA. The reason for using the phrase was to give a general idea of what I need. My biggest issue is getting my head around the fact that I'm going to let a "stranger" inside my disabled world. Had three marriage proposals and never got married because I wasn't going to marry someone to take care of me. Not one girlfriend ever helped me do anything but get off the floor.

    ?Reliability and trustworthiness were much more important to us than formal training in care giving?. This is absolutely true and it will be my biggest decision criteria".

    It never occurred to me to hire somebody who did not have their own transportation, can?t imagine somebody applying for a job without a way of getting there.

    There is a guest house in my backyard and always intended to have my ?caretaker? live there when I got to be about 65 and my disposable income would be greater, and could afford it.

    The lady who is living there now has reduced rent for taking care of the house, laundry, changing the sheets (And clean me up after an accident), making dinner or breakfast, grocery shopping, does any errands I asked her to, actually anything I ask , she will do. She was a" CNA" though I am not comfortable with her ability to help me get dressed or increase the amount of things she does for her current compensation.

    After being stuck in bed for most of the last two years getting dressed wipes out my energy. Because my left leg never healed correctly from the fractures, when I transfer out of the chair my foot will go to the ground and my body wants to follow it. However I have now figured out if I wedge my foot between the 2 foot plates, the foot stays put and can do the transfer safely.

    Finally went to the doctor today because I have things that must be done. The reason the foot doesn't stay on the wheelchair is because of severe drop foot, scoliosis, HO in the right hip, breaking the left femur twice and shattering my left tibia and fibia. Not all the bones healed exactly straight and now the aggregate of fractures has made my left foot 3 inches longer and then add the drop foot.

    Most the time I wake up at quarter of five or half an hour before sunrise. When I am healthy and not stressed out I sleep 6 ? hours. Without my usual physical activity and current stress level, don?t sleep for A couple of days and then eventually Will not off for 2 to 3 hours. Then repeats itself, it's vicious.

    The biggest reason I don?t get up anymore is because there?s nothing for me to do. There is no motivation to do the work required to get dressed. Certainly don?t want to start going out to a bar whether I drink alcohol or not. Your a product of your environment and I don?t want to be a lounge lizard.

    Saw my Physiatrist and have started the solution of getting my leg to fit back in the wheelchair. Just seeing him and talking to somebody who understands my injury lifts a great burden off my shoulders.

    Still have my van and can transfer to the driver seat and go where I like.

    When I said I have lived by myself, meant that I live by myself (did have a weekly housekeeper) . Used to be able to get myself up off the floor, now call 911 to go the hospital and check for a broken leg or just get a lift assist. There is a phone in every room I can crawl to call someone.

    Ego, pride or self-centeredness, or the way I was raised ingrained in me not to depend on anyone and if you want the job done right you did it yourself.

    It's not like I have a great pool of candidates to draw from, extra money to pay them or have any daily obligations I must take care of, so I will probably accept what God provides.

    Sometimes the recommendations you give are the optimal or perfect scenario for people, but many simply cannot afford it or even have the resources available to try. Especially those injured young who do not have very much Social Security earnings to give them very much SSDI.

    The unemployment rate for quadriplegics is greater than 75%. So you do have to be frugal and somewhat flexible to get the help you need at a cost you can handle. When needing help right away I call my best friend from high school.

    As a complete C6 quad and living by myself for 33 years think I have done rather well. When I turned 50 everything changed it was like getting hit by a train, and have not been doing well the last two or three years.

    Same as everyone (even AB's) you need to adapt to getting older and with a spinal cord injury it's just one more adventure.

  8. #8
    Senior Member elarson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    The Netherlands
    We have done many advertisements, and I agree with KLD that detail of job description helps a lot. I try to be as clear as possible in the advert to weed out people that do not fit and encourage people who do. You will save yourself a lot of time in replying to messages.

    If reliability and trustworthiness, rather than formal training in care giving, will be your biggest decision criteria, you should state that. That was not obvious to me reading your advert. You should also be clear about the time and how many hours per day. I also think requirements like references and background check are important and being clear about employment status -- we only hire registered freelancers and provide no benefits.

    Being explicit also helps if you have someone who does not work out to make it clear that things were known from the beginning. I also list things like requirements for language, smoking, pets, own transportation, etc., because we have had people who "think" being an hour away and relying on public transportation will work, but it never does.

    I also tell them explicitly how and what information they should reply with, e.g., "Please reply in an e-mail with a copy of your CV (resume) and tell me why you think you would be good at this job". I'm always surprised how many people will not even follow basic directions, and it immediately lets me know not to go further with them.
    Partner of an incredible stroke survivor. Limitations: hemiparesis and neglect (functional paralysis and complete lack of awareness on one side). Equipment: TiLite ZRA 2 and 2GX, Spinergy ZX-1, RioMobility Firefly. Knowledge: relative newbie for high-level equipment (2012), but willing to try to help others who are new with similar limitations (definitely not a guru, but inquisitive).

  9. #9
    My experience is that one should be specific about the nonnegotiable requirements, such as days, hours, gender, transportation, general description, etc., but not list every requirement in the advertisement. In my experience, getting someone close with transportation increases the likelihood that they will be flexible and available for emergencies and backup and as long as someone is willing to learn they can be trained to do every task, even bowel care, though that can require extensive supervised training, in my experience perhaps up to 15 supervised sessions.

    I've had experienced people turn out to be nightmares and inexperienced people turn out to be the best. However, at the time of the phone screening and then more importantly at the time of interview, all tasks need to be elucidated and understood and provided in writing, though doing so leaves a paper trail to come back against you should you have a employee from hell who after termination decides to legally give you grief. Same goes for paying by check, even if the check is made out the cash if the job is understood to be off the books.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Melbourne, FL USA
    Having problems understanding what the issues in my advertisement are perhaps someone could write me a draft copy.

    this is only this is my specific job requirement:

    I need help getting washed up in the morning and buttoning my pants.

    Can somebody write me an advertisement that passes muster on Care Cure?

    Don't need any thing else, takes about 20 minutes. I will still need to have to pay a considerable amount more than 20 minutes, but I can't change the fact that's all I need.

    Please help me understand the big deal. Don't care when I get up in the morning, Monday Wednesday and Friday or Sunday, Friday and every other Tuesday I don't care I just need help, getting up whenever I do decide to get out of bed.

    It's a work in progress, have no idea what I need or what I want to do but I need to start somewhere. Who knows in a month I may have regained enough strength that they I don't need any help.

    How many of you knew exactly what you wanted the first day you consider asking for help?

    If I put reliability and trustworthy as a criterion in the advertisement everybody will tell me that they are reliable and trustworthy. it's like asking somebody to be a hard worker everybody thinks they are a hard worker, but the only way to find out is to see how they are.

    To me it is kind of a stupid question actions speak louder than any words.

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