My co-owner and I here at Support For Home have had very diverse careers. We have worked in education (academia and experiential), in government (utilities and monetary authorities), in high technology electronics and information technology. We have run non-profit organizations and been senior managers and directors at Fortune 50 corporations.
But … Nothing in our careers has been as rewarding, from a human perspective, as managing this home care company. At the same time, nothing has been as hard.
It is not the fact that we answer the phone 24 hours per day. We do that because we know if someone calls at 2:00 AM, it is a Home Care Aide or a client in trouble. No answering service is going to be able to help. The fact that we can and do help is why we started and why we continue to manage Support For Home.
No, what really makes this job hard is when we cannot do what we know the client and the client’s family really want and need; when we cannot find the resources that will make the client’s stay at home safe and secure. Yesterday and today have been “those” kind of days for one of our clients. She came from one daughter’s home to a daughter in Davis, California, one of the cities in which we provide home care. She has spent a month or two with her Davis daughter before, and we provided a Home Care Aide.
Unfortunately, she is now not weight bearing, at all, and that was news to the daughter — and, therefore, to us. The daughter and her husband are great. They expect Mom to be transferred as needed and to have access to the whole house. Those are lovely expectations, but they conflict with the fact that the client is non-weight bearing.
The options are either a two person transfer, which is much more expensive, or renting or buying a stand assist lift. These machines help a client stand, braced in the machine, for the purposes of being transferred from bed to chair or commode, for example. The problem with that is that they cost several thousand dollars to buy and no durable medical equipment supplier we can find rents them!
We understand economics and the law of supply and demand and business models and all that stuff. But, when you cannot find the resource that would make this client’s life so much more enjoyable and safer, there is definitely an Aaarrrgggghhhh! moment involved. So, we do what we can, for the safety of the client and the Home Care Aide, and we shake our heads and say, “Sometimes this is really hard.”