WOW I'm getting a helper through my county

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by mezombie, Jun 11, 2008.

  1. mezombie

    mezombie Member

    I just received a call from my county's home chore services program. They've arranged for someone to come in starting June 18th from 2-6 pm to help with light cleaning and laundry, possibly more!

    I have no idea how I ever even figured out this program existed, or how I got in touch with them. Maybe somebody made calls for me; maybe I had a good day, looked in the phone book under anything that had "disability" in the name, and made the calls.

    I was put on a wait list, and was asked if I still was interested a year later. Patience pays off.

    Well, apparently I qualify. The county will pay part or all of the cost, depending on my income and assets. I need to get that paperwork to them ASAP.

    The moral of the story is: If you need help, see if your local area has something like this. You might be pleasantly surprised!
  2. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Ahhhh, my kingdom for a helper. I'm thrilled for you, Z. When do they start? You said you have paperwork to complete so I trust it isn't this week.

  3. doloresf1

    doloresf1 New Member

    That's great news! I'm so happy to hear it.

    Yes, please keep this post near the top. There are so many who need help of this sort and cannot afford to hire it. You gave valuable information here. Thank you!

    Also, please keep your medicines out of sight and out of reach when your worker comes. You just don't know if someone might steal pain meds., etc. I, too, don't want to be negative, but it just makes good sense to be careful.

    Enjoy your household helper!

  4. AnnieLeu

    AnnieLeu New Member

    So glad you are getting some help. I'm sure it will make a world of difference for you & you won't have to push yourself so much.
  5. mezombie

    mezombie Member

    Thank you all for your good wishes!

    What's particularly terrific about this is that the county, not me, will contract with someone from a well-reputed home health care agency, and has already made the arrangements for the person to come. For someone who has such difficulty organizing these type of things, this is wonderful.

    And it's not easy to find someone on your own. Believe me, I've tried. I did have someone who helped with cooking and laundry, but she was very unreliable and clearly believed I could do what she did on my own but was simply lazy. The language barrier (she spoke very little English) did not help.

    Yesterday I managed to get the paperwork together and mailed in time to meet the deadline. Frankly, I'd given on this program because I couldn't find someone on my own and finally resorted to a laundry delivery service, which the county won't pay for.

    Marta608--I was told the aide would start on Wednesday, June 18 and would be here from 2 to 6 pm. It will be difficult for me to have someone around for four hours straight, but I'll figure it out.

    Jam338--Thanks for reminding me to secure any valuables. The aide comes from an a private agency and is licensed, bonded, and insured, but you never know!

    Doloresf1--I hadn't thought about the meds! Thank you for that pointer.

    I'm a little nervous about "looking good" and the response I might get for that reason, and hope that I will have four hours of stamina to get some help.

    I'm sure it will work out.

    Thanks again for your support!
  6. doloresf1

    doloresf1 New Member

    You are one lucky lady!!!

    Again, please keep this bumped for others. It would be helpful if they had a particular agency to call for the first contact. I believe the United Way Agency in a person's area would have the information on where to call to begin the process.

    Good Luck and rest up now that you'll have the time :)

  7. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    That's really great.

  8. kellygirl

    kellygirl Member

    Hi Mezombie,

    I work in home health with the county clients; I do skilled personal care and help with laundry, light housekeeping, errands, etc. There is usually a care-plan to refer to.

    As far as "looking good", it's not up to that person to judge. When I go into a person's house, I am more concerned about how I will be treated. You would not believe how mean people can be to someone coming in there to help them. I have allowed myself to be traumatized by a few clients with their verbal abuse. I will quit them immendiately.

    But, yes, it's only happened a few times that I know of, but put the medication away and any money laying around. Most people are very trusting and it's a shame when it happens to them.

    Hopefully, you will get someone that will be your regular person and you will hit it off right from the start. You will like her and she will like you.

    I tend to form a bond with the clients I like and enjoy seeing them.

    Trust me, the night before, the aide is more worried about the impression she will make on you, and meeting you for the first time.

  9. Forebearance

    Forebearance Member

    Wow, that is great, Zombie!!!

    I hope it goes really well for you.

    While I had helpers at my home packing for me, I did lie down some of the time, in the same room so I was available to answer questions. The helper understood and did not mind at all.

  10. Khalyal

    Khalyal New Member

    That's excellent news! Yes, it is worth checking on your local resources for help. Most metropolitan areas have a number you can call, just dial 211 on your phone. You tell the operator what your situation is and they hook you up with the appropriate agencies for help.
  11. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    I'm so happy for you, mezombie! Keep us posted and let us know how it works out. I'm sure it will be a great arrangement.

    Warm hugs,

  12. msbsgblue

    msbsgblue Member

    How do you find out about this and what do I do. I am in WA state.
  13. doloresf1

    doloresf1 New Member

    To the poster in Washington State:

    Try calling your area Agency On Aging if you are over 60 yrs. of age.

  14. coolma

    coolma New Member

    You have to be your own advocate and search for the help you need.
    Community Care Access Centres are usualy available for help; and if you contact your local arthritis society, there may be a guide there to direct you to further help.
    Libraries are great resource centres for people on disability also.
    Social services too. Doctor's offices.
    In Canada we have what is called the "Blue Book" which is a listing all social service personnel and Doctors have of support systems available.
    Also, senior's support services. Although you may not be a senior, you can enter most of their services and programs offered by just being on disability. That is how I networked into the help I needed.
    Another great resource is your local neighbourhood churchs. There are great volunteers there just looking for people to serve. I had a lady volunteer to take me for groceries as I couldn't carry the bags.
    The help is there but you have to think "out of the box" and network into some of these agencies.
    Good luck and congratulations on getting some help! There's even more out there for you.
  15. mezombie

    mezombie Member

    Doloresf1, slayadragon,forbearance, khalyal,zenouchy, jaminhealth, and coolma--thanks for your well wishes.

    Well, after all the replies about keeping valuables, etc. out of sight, I find I'm not resting but trying to collect bank statements, etc. and find a place to put them. In the paper blizzard I live in, that's no small feat! And there is so much clutter, I don't know how the helper will clean. Then again, this is how I'm forced to live so she may as well see it in all it gory glory.

    For those of you, like Msbsgblue, who would like to know how I found this service: I'm pretty sure an elderly neighbor who used to work as a social worker for the county told me to look in the phone book's government pages for "Aging and Disability Services". I made several calls, told whoever answered how I was struggling, and finally was referred to the "Home Chore Servies Program". There I was told they could help me, but there was a wait list of at least a year. I was asked if I wanted to put my name on it, and did. Of course, I totally forgot I was on the wait list, so when they called me two years later, and asked if I was still interested, I was shocked!

    I do want to point out that this help is not free. The program works on a sliding-fee based on one's income. I had to submit copies of my SSDI statement of benefits, bank statement, and other documentation. So I will be getting a subsidy, and will have to pay part of the cost.

    Not all counties have something like this. I'm very lucky mine does. But it is definitely worthwhile checking out if something like this is available, the way I did, or through the 211 number Khalyal suggested, the United Way (as Doloresf1 suggested). Coolma has listed some excellent resources as well. I would add your local Red Cross chapter. Mine had a grocery shopping service at one point. Along with the Arthritis Association, consider the Brain Injury Association. Local hospitals also have social workers who may have leads.

    When I was at my sickest and early into this illness, the church I was affiliated with arranged for Meals on Wheels. One can find the local contact for this program at A friend also looked into assisted living programs for me. At various times, I had people from my church grocery shop for me. Many churces have outreach programs for ill people; the problem I've found is that they are equipped for short-term, acute illnesses, not chronic ones.

    KELLYGIRL--Thanks so much for your reply! It really helps to understand the situation from the perspective of a helper. I'm still wondering what "light housekeeping" means. I wouldn't expect anyone to scrub the bathroom and kitchen, but would vacuuming be included? I have no idea what kind of "care plan" there is for me. I mentioned laundry, housekeeping, and cooking to the county program coordinator, but was told cooking (preparing simple meals) would not be included. Well, anything will help!

    I'm still concerned that I may not only look good, but be ambulatory, capable of speech, and basically functioning like a normal person because I can do this; it's just that I'll collapse after she's gone! So she really has to take what I say on faith. Like "If I do this, I'll...(fall flat on my face and stay that way for a good 12 hours)".

    Forbearance--lying down in the same room would help. Thanks for the suggestion. I may also have to close my eyes. It's the overstimulation that gets to me.
    [This Message was Edited on 06/20/2008]
  16. mezombie

    mezombie Member

    I'd bookmarked this at some point.

    It's at

    Once your at this website, you need to:

    Click on "State Information" in the left hand column.

    Scroll down (past "State Statistics", "State Program Data", etc. to "State Background & Contact Information for Resources & Agencies Related to PAS" and click on that.

    Click on "Agencies Related to PAS"

    Then click on your state, and look for a link that's called "Home Health Agencies" or something similar.

    I hope this helps!

    [This Message was Edited on 06/20/2008]
  17. kellygirl

    kellygirl Member

    That's for the agencies I work with. The caseworker from Sr. Services has it set up and if we are not sure of our duties, check the care plan.

    Some of the agencies are also affilitated with disability groups that the aides go in for personal care and assistance with acivities of daily living.

    Light housekeeping is vacuuming, dusting (but around the valuables and knicknacks), laundry, making beds, cleaning bathrooms, etc. No stepladders (though I have done this for people changing bulbs or something.

    You'll get use to a routine after awhile.

    Let us know how it goes.
  18. mezombie

    mezombie Member

    Thank you so much for your helpful information!

    Wow, vacuuming and cleaning bathrooms is included! That's the kind of stuff that really kills me.

    As a matter of fact, I'm paying dearly just for what little I did yesterday in preparation of the visit.

    I will try to stop fretting about this. I'm sure it will work out fine.

    You strike as a very kind person. Your clients must adore you!

    Thanks again,
  19. kellygirl

    kellygirl Member

    I hope you get someone that you immediately "click" with. Don't take any disrespect either. Some aides will bring their issues to the job with them or use the client as a therapist and tell you all of their problems. If you are a sensitive person, that would not be good for you.

    Just remember your boundaries and don't let anyone cross them.

    I use a lot of what I learned from Al-anon and ACOA. I allow the client full control. I do things the way they want them done, don't try to change anyone or the way they do things. It's their house. A lot of aides will try to change the way the client wants things done and overstep personal boundaries and become too personal with the client.

    A funny story........I went into someone and she told me the aide she had before told her all about her boyfriend in jail, etc.........she said after that she doesn't want her back. Why would you share anything like that? See what I mean?

    Feel the person out first and decide what you think about them.

    Clients tell me they are afraid of losing their hours if they call with a concern to the agency. That is not true! They want to know what is going on out in the field. Don't be afraid to call with any of your questions.

    In a way, you are the boss.
  20. Leaknits

    Leaknits New Member


    Congrats on getting a helper!! I hope yours turns out to be a jewel.

    Kelly said "You are the boss" and she's right. That's why I'm wondering why the agency you dealt with is dictating when your person will arrive and how long he or she will stay.

    Here in California such services are rendered through a county agency called InHome Support, IHS.
    They sent me several names and interviewing each person was a chore but worth it...I found that there's a helper living just a few blocks from my home...and when I asked her if she could be here in the mornings it was no problem.

    See, mornings are the only time I can really stand to have anyone in the house. Afternoon, I try for a nap since if I don't get one, sleep that night will be of the short nap, hours awake, short nap sort.

    YOU are the boss.