Author Topic: Adjusting to a Home Aide  (Read 3182 times)


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Adjusting to a Home Aide
« on: June 22, 2008, 09:02:39 PM »
So I worked my but off to get Medi-Cal so I could get In Home Supportive Services which pays for you to have an aide at home.  And now I have it and since my mom is trying to find a job we've hired someone from an agency.  We've actually tried at a few people and a few agencies for more short term things.  But now we have someone who might be permeate and I'm finding I'm having a REALLY hard time with it.

I feel soooo uncomfortable, but it has nothing to do with the lady we've hired who is really nice.  I feel really really uncomfortable having someone who's job is to help me.

It's brought up all these feelings of guilt and that I'm being lazy all over again.  I'm not a shy person but I hate having to ask her to do anything for me.  I feel more like she's a guest that I should entertain.  I feel judged, but I'm pretty sure its me that's doing the judging.

So far I haven't been able to bring myself to ask her to do anything beyond the basics... helping me shower and dress and making me meals.  That leaves a lot of down time for her and I feel so horribly awkward that I haven't been able to give her tasks that need doing to fill up her time she's her.

I guess it's bring up all these feelings about being 24 and disabled all over again.  And right now typing this I'm realizing that its invaded other areas of my life as well.  When something healthwise is wrong and the doctor needs to be called, I just don't want to do it.  I've had such bad experiences with people not believing me I want my mom to call because I don't feel like anyone will listen coming from me.  And at the same time I feel so ashamed of myself that I'm afraid to self advocate because of how doctors have treated me in the past.  I guess I feel myself retreating from all these issues hoping they'll go away if I can distract myself and not deal with them.

But when the aide is over... its all literally staring me in the face.

I wish I could talk to my therapist, but we can't afford it right now.  I just don't know what to do with myself.  Sigh.


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Re: Adjusting to a Home Aide
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2008, 09:16:23 PM »
Lauren, Take a deep breath and when the aide comes the next time invite her to sit down and have a cup of coffee with you. At this time you can talk to her about your health status and what you have been through and how it is so hard for you to ask for help. I would bet that when you get it out in the open you will find that she will be willing to help and make suggestions etc and you will be more willing to ask for help. In other words you 2 will be able to work on a relationship once the truth is known. It is hard to operate efficiently with all the garbage in the way----and we are all the same way. We will hoard our garbage and not share.

I can just image that being 24 and needing help would be really hard. You might work with the aide in making a list of things to do each day of the week and when you get the list done each day maybe you 2 can "play" as in work on sewing, crafting, etc., some type of project that would be fun to do with another person. Hopefully this aide is a person that is easy to know or will be once you feel more comfortable together.

You have needed this service for a long time so now is the time to relax and see what can be accomplished. Having this help may also leave you more time to enjoy your Mom on a different level. It is good to have another person come in to talk to. You have been in a very small world and having a new face is good. If this person doesn't work out there is usually some one else who can take her place. Let us know how things are going. Thinking of you. Irish ;D


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Re: Adjusting to a Home Aide
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2008, 09:25:04 PM »
Thanks Irish!  Those are all great suggestions!

Just to clarify we've already spent one week together (while my mom has been in NY) and we got along great and she was really nice, but I felt like I had to be my "sociable self" kinda like she was a house guest.

She's coming again tomorrow and I was just reflecting on the past week and realizing how conflicted I feel about the whole thing and how this past week I've let that get in the way of really getting the most out of the time she was here.

Anyway... I think I'll give some of those ideas a try and see how it goes...




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Re: Adjusting to a Home Aide
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2008, 09:28:33 PM »
That is definitely wise advice from Irish. Since you are paying the aide to help you, one of the things she can help you with is figuring out how to make the best use of her time.

Remember that any change, even one for the better, can make us a little resistant. I'm sure once you are more used to having her there, it will get easier for you.



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Re: Adjusting to a Home Aide
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2008, 09:46:05 PM »
Hey Word,
I've been trying to get caught up on all the news, after returning home a few days ago. I'm glad to hear your home and doing better. Glad you have help, and I can understand the adjustments. I was thinking maybe it would be a good time for you to focus on your writing. This might help you to get your mind off the awkwardness of the new situation. The accomplishment would help elevate your spirit. And also it is OK to let your Mom call for you sometimes, especially because you have just finished such an extreme battle you fought hard thru in the hospital.
How is your puppy.
I've been thinking about getting a puppy. I haven't had one in a while. My daughter got married last June and recently took Sidney, her golden retriever home with her.
It's been years since I've had an in door Pup.
Tonight I've been looking on pet I like the White West Highland Terriers and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
Sorry, I'm a little off subject. I just have become a little obsessed with wanting a puppy.
I hope you continue to recover and your family adjusts to the changes well. I have continued to pray for you in that regard.
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Re: Adjusting to a Home Aide
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2008, 01:10:12 AM »
Oh Lauren-

How I can hear myself in your words!  I was "disabled" at 34 and just couldn't adjust to the fact that I, who took charge of everything, now needed help.

Irish has given you some wonderful suggestions - much better than I could come up with when thinking about replying to your post.

But there is one thing I want to add - just because you need help for certain functions doesn't mean you are helpless!  I'll bet there are hundreds of things you can do, you just have to adjust to having your aid do the things you can't, then start looking for the things you can.

For me, the first thing I found I could do was crochet squares that would be made into blankets for the homeless.  Then I found scrapbooking, and realized the history I was creating for my family was something so many families don't have.  My kids won't inherit a shoe box full of photos, they'll inherit books filled with love and the stories of their lives and the lives of their families before them.

I went on to teach crocheting those squares to kids at the local high school once a week.  I volunteered to do a little bit of typing for the school, crafts for bible school - whatever little thing I could think of to help someone else that helped me feel needed again.

I realize you don't have kids, but I'm sure you have talents that can be helpful to many sectors of the population.  By letting your health aid help you with the things you can't do or need help with, she's freeing your time to find the things you CAN do, of which I'm sure there are many.

It's not easy "retiring" at such an early age in a society where your identity seems to be tied to what you do rather than who you are.

You are NOT lazy and you have no reason to feel guilty because of your illnesses (I keep repeating that sentence to myself, so I know how hard it is to make it part of my self beliefs). I think taking Irish's advice and sitting down with the health aid and finding out what she thinks the job should be and what you need is an excellent way to get started.

You can do it, we all have faith in you. You've already proven what a great asset you are to this list, I'll bet there are lots of other things you can still do that you haven't even thought of.

Hang in there, Lauren, and know that we're here for you whenever you need us,
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Re: Adjusting to a Home Aide
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2008, 03:13:33 AM »
Every change in life needs adjustment, some small, some huge. Irish's suggestions are perfect, we did the same thing when we had to have someone to help my FIL in their home, because my MIL had difficulty adjusting to it (in that case it was the whole "another woman in my kitchen" thing  ;)) By sitting down with the aide, and expressing her feelings, both she and the aide had a better idea of the aide's function, what she could and couldn't provide, and allowed them to be much more comfortable with each other.

I realize that by being in your own home, the feelings aren't exactly the same, but remember how you felt about the staff at the hospital providing assistance for you (the ones you liked and got along with, especially). Care providers are providing a service, just like surgeons, auto mechanics or hair stylists. Having someone take out your appendix, change your car's oil or cut your hair doesn't make you feel guilty or lazy, neither should having someone do anything else you aren't able to at this time.
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Re: Adjusting to a Home Aide
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2008, 05:58:43 AM »
Hi WordNerd,

I can't add much as everyone else has already given you some great advice.  The others are right though, a chat over coffee would be a great way to start this relationship and put it on the right path.  That way she doesn't sit there staring at you (which has got to nerve wracking to be sure), but is working with you to make your life a bit more comfortable.

I know what you mean about doctors gaffing you off (been there, done that, got the T-shirt, shorts, and undies to prove it too! ;D), it's hard sometimes to have to keep putting yourself out there, but your health is at stake - isn't that worth it (that was a hard realization for me, but it took a long time to get there and I no longer tolerate it)? 

Hey, how's the puppy doing?

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Re: Adjusting to a Home Aide
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2008, 09:30:11 AM »
Hi Lauren-I hope you can work out a suitable "working relationship" since you "worked your butt off getting help."   Hopefully, you can take advantage of this "help" while you have it.  As with all government programs, you never know when they may disqualify you.  We all know how that goes.  It doesn't have to be any reason--just because.

I see you are uncomfortable being "disabled" now at 24.  If you look at things another may not always be "disabled."  Age 24 gives you a good possibility of improvement for when you may become more healthy and take on tasks, part time job, school etc.  I really think you can do this!  I have seen people who I thought were on their last breath and then maybe 6 months or a year later, run into them in a store and they are up and about looking great. 

Good luck with your "help."  Lucy


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Re: Adjusting to a Home Aide
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2008, 11:19:44 AM »
You've gotten great advice here. Can she help you go outside, maybe shopping or somewhere interesting like a museum or the lending library for books? Can she do things so you can write - I know how you love to write.



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Re: Adjusting to a Home Aide
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2008, 05:30:06 PM »
I understand how you feel.  Don't you just love the 'wait till your my age' line, when in reality you are older than them in body - not mind or spirit, but in body.  Just having someone in your house would be hard and then to ask them to do something - oh no!  But you have been given great advice.  Since you picked the women  you know she will be a pleasent person and I am sure she would like to do more than what she is doing now.  It may not be easy, but it is necessary.  Good Luck.