Another Care Worker’s Story

February 27, 2013

Here’s another care worker’s story.  The “best” care worker quit in early February.  She is a six- months-pregnant single mother raising two cognitively disabled teenaged daughters on her meager income and child support.  She couldn’t afford to live in Madison.  She decided to move to Tennessee to start a “new” life, which I hope she finds.  She is a reliable caring person.  She gave the Community Living Alliance (CLA) a two-week notice.  In fact she gave CLA a month warning to find a new care worker because in the past it’s taken CLA four months to find a weekend care worker.  My mother can’t get me up anymore.  But CLA didn’t try to find a weekend attendant.  People don’t want work on the weekends, but care doesn’t stop for weekends.  Ask my mother about that.  The “best” care worker found the “Viking” care worker to work every other weekend last summer when I didn’t receive any interviews from CLA for the opening.  That’s typical of CLA.  Two weeks before the “best” care worker left, I had two interviews for a regular care worker.  The first attendant lived in my neighborhood.  She was on time and nice.  But she didn’t know how to use the hoyer even though she claimed that she did during the interview.  We tried to train her, but she had mental problems.  She often stared off into space.  The second care attendant was a CLA float with many years of experience, but she canceled a couple of times for her interview.  She does the hoyer transfer perfectly.  I hire her and ask my nurse to release the first attendant.  He agrees to do this for me, but the first attendant shows up for work on Monday.  My mother has to tell her that she was no longer wanted here.  The second attendant calls Monday to say that she can’t come today her car is in the shop.  She came to work on Tuesday.  She is perfect, but CLA fires her on the first day working here.  Now I don’t have a regular care attendant.  The “Viking” attendant has picked up some shifts or On Call comes.  On Call can be an hour and half late depending on many On Call workers are on duty.  CLA has thousands of clients, but only four On Call attendants.  That doesn’t make any sense.  CLA needs to train care attendants more and stop hiring uneducated people with mental problems.  I’m writing this not to voice my displeasure, but to inform my 11,000 followers. I need and deserve good care.                                                                                                              
I find some of CLA’s rules absolutely ridiculous … like my nurse expected me to notify the first care attendant of her termination via email.  It’s a client’s duty to notify an attendant of termination.  I have no problem with that, but at the time I didn’t have email.  Some attendants don’t have computers and I can’t call people. 
I did interview a person and hired her this week, but she can only work Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  I haven’t received any more interviews for the rest of the days.  Then my nurse expects me to schedule a hoyer observation for the new attendant.  I’m not a nurse.  Someday I will be a best selling author.  I don’t have time for this nonsense.  It’s tearing up my poor mother, confusing her.  I can be a great asset to CLA speaking up against the proposed cuts to Medicaid and Medicare.  But the question is: Is CLA is going to provide good care for its author?

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