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    Questions About Relocating, Living On Your Own, Caregivers

    Non-hypothetical here...

    I may be relocating soon, finally taking the huge step to live on my own. The various what-ifs are running through my head, and I think I have most of them covered. The only one that is nagging me is the caregiver issue, but I think I have a solution.

    If I relocate, the area (prob Kansas City, MO) has a nursing school. Would it be feasible to offer free room and board to nursing students in exchange for AM and PM care, as well as cooking/feeding me?

    I'm usually a fairly stable quad, so they could go off and do their schooling while I went about my business. It sounds good in theory, but I'm unsure of how it would work in real life.

    Advice? Experience?
    ...it's worse than we thought. it turns out the people at the white house are not secret muslims, they're nerds.

    #2
    Is housing expensive there? You may have to pay a salary in addition to providing free housing and board.

    Be prepared to have to change PCAs every few months. Senior students usually can get jobs at hospitals, and of course when they graduate they will quit. Also, be prepared to be very flexible in your schedule. If they have clinical at 7AM, they will need to be at the hospital by 6:30A, and that may mean starting at 4:30 or 5AM for your AM routine. You may do better with pre-nursing students (freshman and sophomore year) before they start their more rigourous schedule in junior and senior years. This depends on the school of nursing.

    Don't forget to post ads for non-nursing majors (PT, OT, etc.) as well as even non-health professions, and post at the junior colleges as well as the 4 year universities/colleges in your area.

    Also check with the local ILC to see if they keep a list of available attendants.

    Also, Craig's List has been a great place to find PCAs for many people. Check out the one in that area. If if you have to pay a fee for job ads, it may well be worth it.

    Of course no matter who you hire, right now you need to develop both a detailed job description and a contract, and plan to have background checks done (find someone who will do this for you who has access to the right databased, often a PI).

    (KLD)
    Last edited by SCI-Nurse; 5 Jan 2008, 2:23 PM.
    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.

    Comment


      #3
      Hi Steven,

      I have a 3rd year nursing student working for me, we have visited about this, it is doable i think, she says they really want out of those dorms, run an ad from where you are now and see what kind of bites you get.

      i did that and did pretty good when i moved here where i knew no one

      good luck and keep in touch

      my son lives there
      http://justadollarplease.org/

      2010 SCINet Clinical Trial Support Squad Member

      "You kids and your cures, why back when I was injured they gave us a wheelchair and that's the way it was and we liked it!" Grumpy Old Man

      .."i used to be able to goof around so much because i knew Superman had my back. now all i've got is his example -- and that's gonna have to be enough."

      Comment


        #4
        I wish you much luck Steven - this is good news!
        Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

        T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

        Comment


          #5
          I think your freshman and sophomores live in Lawrence KS, 30 miles away, where the KU main campus is. KU Med Ctr. is in KC. Housing won't be too high compared to much of the nation. Watch your neighborhoods in KC, it gets dicey quick.

          You should move to Lawrence. Fun college town.

          My stepmom is on the Kansas State Nursing Board or somesuch. She's a grad of the KU nursing program in KC, many years ago. Let me know if you want me to ask her anything. Sometimes she comes in handy...
          Blog:
          Does This Wheelchair Make My Ass Look Fat?

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks for the suggestions, KLD and everyone. This is all dependent on an upcoming interview, so I am studying hard to make sure I impress. There's only a slim possibility they will let me work remotely, so I am trying to get things in order if they say no.

            KLD, I generally wake up at 4am, so starting my program at 4:30 or so won't bother me a bit. The housing costs seem comparable to other areas.

            Leo, I have no plans on leaving CC, so I will stay in touch. How long did you use the nursing school students?

            Lynnifer, good news but a bit scary.

            Betheny, I read the Wikipedia entry on that and it kinda scared me. I'm hoping to get a location on their paratransit route, but don't know which areas are good there. ETA: Kansas is Brownback country, which does scare me a bit.

            Off to do more studying.
            ...it's worse than we thought. it turns out the people at the white house are not secret muslims, they're nerds.

            Comment


              #7
              LOL, Steven, I lived in Brownback-land for 30 years, and graduated to Coburn-ville! Terrifying! I have an old friend that's a para living in KC these past 15 years or so. She's not speaking to me just now, but I can get her to make an exception if you need info.
              Blog:
              Does This Wheelchair Make My Ass Look Fat?

              Comment


                #8
                Very cool Steven; hope everything works out for you.
                Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know that, so it goes on flying anyways--Mary Kay Ash

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Steven Edwards
                  Non-hypothetical here...

                  I may be relocating soon, finally taking the huge step to live on my own. The various what-ifs are running through my head, and I think I have most of them covered. The only one that is nagging me is the caregiver issue, but I think I have a solution.

                  If I relocate, the area (prob Kansas City, MO) has a nursing school. Would it be feasible to offer free room and board to nursing students in exchange for AM and PM care, as well as cooking/feeding me?

                  I'm usually a fairly stable quad, so they could go off and do their schooling while I went about my business. It sounds good in theory, but I'm unsure of how it would work in real life.

                  Advice? Experience?
                  Good luck Steven

                  This was one of my first thoughts when I moved to an apartment in the city. I was going to give up my spare room in exchange for help and gave it a lot of thought.

                  The reason I didn't was that - even needing a lot less PCA hours than you - I realised that the one person option wasn't enough and was fraught with issues.

                  Even if you are giving free room and board you are essentially asking that one person to be on hand 7 days a week for a variety of things, including each meal in your case.

                  Also, what about when they are home but with friends or studying? Do you set specific times when you can call on them when they're actually in your home or are they considered a permanent helper? When can they switch off or go out? It's why spouse caregivers often burn out.

                  I think it would take a special relationship and a lot of pre-agreement for it to work.

                  My own advice would be to make money renting out the room to that type of student, or someone who seems like they'd be prepared to help out with non-personal care at a push, and hire PCAs as employees.

                  You may get a room-mate with a good group of friends you can tap into or someone who becomes a close friend, doesn't mind helping with meals, laundry etc.
                  C5/6 incomplete

                  "I assume you all have guns and crack....."

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Actually that may not be the only option.

                    My mother has a live-in PCA. She does my mother's AM and bedtime care Mon-Friday, and also has a job she goes to from 2PM-10PM at a local hospital. Although she lives in 24/7, she does not do my mother's weekend care. We have another part-time PCA (a nursing student) who comes in for that. Other than the times that we have arranged ahead of time with the primary caregiver for my mother's care, she is free to come and go as she pleases and is only "on-call" for emergencies.

                    This way my mother's primary caregiver can do what she wants on the weekends, whether it is sleep in and watch movies in her room or go out with friends or spend the night with her mother. It works out well. Just because you have a live in does not necessarily mean you have only one attendant, in fact in my state it is illegal for a live-in employee to NOT have at least one day off per week. Depending on only one person is also a problem if they get ill, have family emergencies, or suddenly quit.

                    (KLD)
                    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.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I can't imagine which would be worse, Betheny, Brownback or Coburn? I suppose Coburn would be more fun since I would be a constituent then and could harass him regularly.

                      Thanks Nov.

                      Originally posted by RehabRhino
                      The reason I didn't was that - even needing a lot less PCA hours than you - I realised that the one person option wasn't enough and was fraught with issues.

                      Even if you are giving free room and board you are essentially asking that one person to be on hand 7 days a week for a variety of things, including each meal in your case.
                      Damn you and your realism!

                      In my home, I am fairly self-sufficient.

                      Once up, I only need help refilling my water, emptying my leg bag, and eating. The first problem can be eliminated by buying more water jugs and having them all filled in the morning. Equipment exists to solve the second problem, and the third I'm sure I can figure out somehow. (Liquid diet?)

                      Vonage can be operated entirely through the computer, so the phone wouldn't be a problem.

                      Also, what about when they are home but with friends or studying? Do you set specific times when you can call on them when they're actually in your home or are they considered a permanent helper? When can they switch off or go out? It's why spouse caregivers often burn out.
                      Good points. Basically, the only time requirements would be AM care and bedtime stuff. The rest of the day would be theirs, including friend and study times.

                      KLD, if you don't mind my asking, does your mother's live-in PCA get a salary in addition to room and board?
                      ...it's worse than we thought. it turns out the people at the white house are not secret muslims, they're nerds.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Your needs are not the same, but the situation is kind of similar. My father is 93 and unable to live on his own. Dad's live-in companion gets a small salary. He considers Dad's house his home, and looks after that as well as Dad. He does most of the cooking. He makes sure Dad is showered regularly, takes him to doctors, shopping, and the senior center. All expenses, such as utilities, food, auto and gas, are paid by Dad. Although he lives with Dad 24/7, he is free to leave and do his own thing for hours at a time. Should the companion have a medical emergency, we have a local home care agency ready step in on nearly a moment's notice.

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                          #13
                          Yes, my mother's PCA gets paid a salary, but it is much less than we would pay if we were not providing her room. We don't provide a lot of her food, she has her own car, her own telephone line and cable line for TV and her computer, and of course has other expenses, so I know she would not work for only board and room. We do pay her a weekly (not hourly) rate that she and my dad negotiated though.

                          (KLD)
                          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.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Nosy time-Do you have a colostomy? You don't have to answer LOL, but there's one more thing you need assistance with.

                            Also, factor in 2 weeks a year with no power, and figure what it will take you to survive that. People say global warming is a myth. I'm here to tell you global icing is alive and well in Kansas, and seems to be getting worse.

                            Maybe I'm dumb to think about that. I'm trying to get my sick father to install a full-on permanent generator setup though!
                            Blog:
                            Does This Wheelchair Make My Ass Look Fat?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              You are not dumb to think about that, Betheny. It is a very real concern. I learned during the devastating hurricanes of 2004/5 that we need to be self-sufficient with enough food and water to last several days without power. It is not just weather, either. We forget that we are at war, and could be attacked at any time. Planning for the inevitable is not dumb. It is wise.

                              Sorry for going off topic, Steven.

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