Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Managing the Housework by Using a PCA

My PCA (Personal Care Attendant) is here. Asking for one was a hard decision. I'd been told that I could only get help if I was housebound and Master appreciates it if I go to the store with him whenever possible and go to his medical appointments with him. So, I was unwilling to give that up just to get help with the chores.
However, about two years ago I got desperate. The house was a nightmare and I was getting sicker due to the condition of our bathroom. Master was making himself sick trying to take care of me, cook, and keep up with the dishes. I made some calls asking about 'chore assistance' and got lucky. The program I'm enrolled in doesn't require that I be housebound and uses a sliding fee scale. Currently I get two hours a week of help. That can change if my needs change. For example, if Master can't drive for some reason I can call and my PCA can pick up my medicine from the pharmacy and go grocery shopping for us.
Currently she does dishes, sweeps, vacuums, mops, changes my bed, dusts, and cleans the kitchen and bath, and shovels our walk in the winter. I can ask for help with other 'light' occasional tasks such as cleaning the oven or freezer but not windows. Other than the snow, we still have to hire someone else to tend to the outside of our home.
I really feel like I should be doing all this for my Master myself but I can't. I have to accept that. The responsible thing to do is to make sure that things are taken care of somehow. What tools I utilize really isn't the important point.
Master really appreciates what my PCA does but he doesn't want to have to deal with her. So, it is my job to manage her. I have some experience with managing people from using readers during college but that was ten years ago. Plus, she tends to go to him with more 'technical' problems like with the vacuum cleaner.
Master really is a dear about the need for a PCA. He knows that dealing with her isn't easy for either of us and makes a real effort to be awake when she's here so he can support me if I get flustered. In turn, I make a a real effort to give my PCA the best instructions I can and to make sure the things Master wants done get done.
One benefit of having a PCA is that for two hours a week Master can relax to a degree. The dishes will get done. Someone else is in the house who can come get him if I fall or have an asthma attack. For those two house he can just relax and write or play games without worrying about me. It's great.

No comments:

Post a Comment