Thursday, July 7, 2022

Caregiver update

I sent a text to the caregiver yesterday morning that said hello, my mom hasn't had any help getting reminded to go down for breakfast or her evening meds the past couple of days (Monday meds maybe because of holiday?). Are you still available to help her? She replied "I'm sorry. The dining room just opened up again yesterday morning. She was at breakfast this morning and she had her meds last night. I'm sorry about Monday. Will try better. She did let me do her laundry over the weekend but refused shower assistance."

I replied: I called her at 8 this morning as I saw on the camera she was not dressed or getting ready to go down for breakfast. I helped her with her pills the last 2 nights. Her dispenser will chime at 6:30. Typically she thinks it's her phone ringing and will try to answer her phone and then call me to ask if I just called. I can adjust the time it starts chiming if there is a better time for their schedule, but cannot change that it will only let it dispense up to 30 minutes prior. (for example if I set it to 6:45, then the earliest it can be pressed to dispense before it chimes is 6:15).

She replied: no need, if we get there before 6:30 we can just press it to get the meds out for her. 

I tried to reiterate that if they are there after 6:30 then it doesn't do me much good because it starts chiming and starts confusing mom what is chiming and I end up having to walk her through it over the phone and cameras at that point. She said that if it's her assistant she is only there until 6:30 so she will get it done before then, but sometimes she (the main caregiver lady) is out on hospice calls and her schedule can vary day to day, but she will try to make sure she is there before 6:30.

If I am the one who has to talk/view mom through taking her pills at 6:30 and then she shows up after that, well, we certainly don't need to be charged for the visit if I've already had to take care of it myself! Getting her meds help was the main reason I hired her in the first place. I don't mind if there comes up occasional times when she can't make it, but a quick text would help me know what to expect. I would even be ok if she said "hey, we can only do this 6 days a week, or 5 days a week" and I took care of the other 1 or 2 days. I just don't like expecting it's going to be handled and then it's not.

I guess I don't want it turning into her thinking "well, if I don't get there before 6:30 it's not big deal, because I'll just get her to take the pills then, but by "then" I've already had to take care of it because mom has called me twice wondering why her "phone" is ringing.

I am very glad to hear she was able to do some laundry over the weekend. I was afraid I was going to have to try to get this done again when I visit on Saturday. I honestly have no care when she wants to fit in doing her laundry, whatever works for her schedule. I'll see if I can get her to take a shower, if it looks like she has not done so recently. I can certainly tell by her hair condition if she's past due. 

So, after all that what does mom do last evening? Takes her pills on her own, LOL. She got back from dinner at 6:05. The caregiver hadn't shown up yet and at 6:12 mom walked over to her dispenser and pushed the button on her own and took the pills. I did text the caregiver and let her know mom had a moment of good memory and took them on her own. Such a roller coaster.

And I can't get on to my work VPN again this morning. Different message this time. This time it says
"server is not reachable".  Our IT company isn't available until 7am so I'll have to wait a half hour. Well, now I can connect the VPN but cannot connect to my desktop. Annoying. It took me about 6 tries but it finally connected me.  Well, for all of about 5 minutes and then kicked me off and now I'm back to trying to connect numerous times with no luck. Coincidence that this all started when they got the new VPN program? I think not. So, I just put in another ticket with our IT group.  If they try to tell me again it's the internet on my end I'm going to have to disagree. I've had this same internet for 6 years with virtually no problems connecting (it's always something from the other end) and this all started with their change a few days before I went on vacation.

I'm down to one camera recording on mom, even though the "dead" camera shows the battery is still good. Makes it hard to see exactly what went on this morning, but she did seem to go down for breakfast at 8:12, I'm just not sure if she did it on her own or had a reminder. I'll replace the batteries on the one camera when I am there Saturday and hopefully that fixes it.


  1. Replies
    1. Good grief is right! Still not working - 4 hours later!

  2. ( Anne Bee 🐝 ) How exhausting and frustrating. Hopefully a routine will become established and you and the caregiver can work together but I must say it’s disappointing at the moment and not what you were hoping for. Would it help to turn off the chiming altogether?

    1. I would be ok if some morning/evenings she texted me with "hey, I'm sorry but I can't get to your mom this time", but to just not do it, when I'm expecting her to, is just wrong.

    2. meant to add - I can't turn off the chiming/reminder it's time to take. It has to be set with a schedule, otherwise she could press the button anytime, more than once and that wouldn't work.

  3. Can you get someone else in? If there is someone with similar rates, they can do the pills/shower? I think these ladies have the best intentions but if it's two women for how many ever folks, doing laundry, showering, ushering to the food hall, meds dispensing - it is too much. And you calling her every night is exactly what you don't want again.