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Paying caregivers while hospitalized

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    Paying caregivers while hospitalized

    When hospitalized, should your caregivers be required to work the same shift in the hospital since I require a private duty aide whenever I am hospitalized. I could not survive without them. When the hospitalization is close to your home the question is simpler, but what if it is a bit more of an issue to get to, but not terribly inconvenient? What if they say this is not the position I interviewed nor the location? Do you say fine I understand but I need to hire a private duty aide and I cannot afford to pay you as well at the same time? They may say your hospitalization is unfortunate but I still require to pay my bills.

    The situation needs to be addressed upfront when you hire a caregiver. I have it written out that it is expected that they work if I'm hospitalized locally, though if they choose not to they will not be paid. Additionally, I have worded so that even if they do choose to work it is my decision whether they will work because in my experience someone who works out well in your home may not be the most adept at working in a hospital environment and doing things like bed bath and turning when you are unable to provide any assistance. I have had some excellent private duty aides who were good at doing these tasks. Working in my home where things are much easier and I can provide assistance is a different story.

    Any thoughts on what you folks do?

    I have never asked a PCA to assist me when I was hospitalized. The main reason is the hospital will not allow it.

    I DO pay my PCAs when I'm in the hospital for 2 - 5 days or so:

    1. They usually can't afford the loss of income and probably can't make it up elsewhere. I pay them if go on as trip too! I treat it like paid time off. It is the morally and ethically right thing to do if you can afford it, given that most don't get paid time off and their pay is relatively low.
    2. I want to retain my PCAs. If they are good, they are likely to start working for a new client.

    If your PCA agreed to work while you are hospitalized, the hospital allows it, and it does not present any undue hardship (like excessive travel cost, etc.), I see no reason why they shouldn't help you.


      We allow anyone in the hospital to have a family member or personal care attendant assist with their care while hospitalized if requested. We even have a formal "Patient (Care) Partner" program to facilitate this (which is part of Planetree). I would protest if this was not certainly is not patient centered care.

      That being said, obviously they would not be allowed to administer medications or do sterile treatments, but we often have our clients PCAs paid to come in and do bowel care, ROM, transfers, bathing, and assist with ADLs if that is what they desire. If you don't pay your PCAs while you are hospitalized (or out of town) they are likely to look for another job. It is not a high paying job, and most are working pay check to pay check to make ends meet.

      The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


        I've seen many private PCAs in rehabs mainly those there for a tune up. If you don't see them in an acute care hospital it is probably just a few phone calls to the hospital's liability person to ok it. And my husband has done a few sterile things in acute cares with the full knowledge of the attending nurses and even had a few be there to see his cathing technique. What I still don't understand is bowel programs are considered invasive so even many visiting nurse associations won't do them at home but a hospital will let PCAs do them.
        Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

        Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.


          Question is, what if you are hospitalized at an inconvenient location compared to your present home, then how long would you be generous for to retain your help, which incidentally has always been my belief as well? I'm looking at a shoulder procedure which may have a six-week total immobilization period in which remaining in the house may be a bit much and require a rehab facility.

          The thing that's always terrified me the most is the lack of ability for them to do bowel care. You try and explain it to them and they'll say, okay, the suppository thing, sure we'll pop it up there, give us a ring when you're done.

          They obviously don't know about digital stimulation, as well as manual removal of stool. Not to mention that requires to be done multiple times. You try buzzing a nurse and waiting half hour until they come. By then the whole process has shut down and you're in pretty bad situation.

          Thank God my best PCA bowel wise as always been there when I was hospitalized. They were more than happy to be relieved of this task.