Year: 2018

Should You Trust Home Caregivers Who Work Fast?

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Can you trust health care workers to do their job? What happens when you do not trust a health-care-giver who is very nice and get the work done very fast?

Only in a perfect world can you trust a stranger. No employee is perfect- not even me.

When a family with a disabled person needs extra ordinary care-taking life is stressful enough – then hire a kind acting stranger who  seem to have all the necessary skills to help out – but, they are only there for the pay check and all the extras they can rip off.

This  post will address some issues with health-care  employees that willfully cross the line of neglect and fraud, from my per-spective.

Trust in God, but lock your door…

For the last 6 1/2 years we have had some very good people in and out of our home to care for my adult son who – BAM! – got hit hard with Progressive Multiple Sclerosis.

We have also have a number of home health who care-givers who crossed the legal lines. With all of my years of experience as an RN that including doing home-health care, I have let my guard down. It is exhausting living with a disabled person, no matter how much you love them. We family members needs a break on a regular basis, extra outside care-givers are hired by what ever funds we can get to help do daily cares or even the more heavy lifting tasks.

Examples: Transferring from bed to wheelchair and back : do Range of Motion and strengthening exercises: bathing; dressing; assist with toileting….and more.

Unfortunately we live-in caregivers can not stand over the top of every hired out side employee every minute- it’s CRAZY to assume we can or even should have to. We feel relief when we sleep deprived parents or spouces can grab an extra few minutes of sleep or go out to have lunch with friends because the care-giver is at home doing what they were hired to do….

I let my guard down…

– all caregivers let their guard down. We are exhausted. There is nothing romantic about caring for an ailing loved one day after day – week after week- year after year.

In retrospect I should-a would-a could-a have done things differently when employees proudly proclaimed to be ‘very fast and very good.‘ – According to whom are they very good when they are very fast?

RED FLAG! Could “I work FAST” means they may cut too many corners in care-giving?

A former caregiver snapped one day when they were reprimanded for not recording* the time it took to do what task.

The reply was, ” I’m the only one who does anything around here. I should not be penalized for being much more efficient than you. No one needs to know that I do my worker faster than anyone else.”

Upon further investigation as the mother of the client being cared for it was discovered that the employee was telling the employer of record that they worked 8 hours a day instead of the actual 1.5 to 2 hours total they may have been in the home.

There had been sneaky excuses without making up the not just the time but the health care tasks that were needed to maintain the patients; skin integrity; the joints and muscles to prevent damage as the disease progressed….and more. it was not about being FAST. The prescribed duties to prevent complications were being neglected and act  of omission.

When is a line crossed that does harm to the patient when he/she consistently is not getting the care that is being paid for?

That fine line of neglect and or fraud can be crossed right under the noses of family members of a disabled or elderly patient…one…step…at…a…time…and with charming sweetness…it becomes..easier…and easier… to…get robbed…of…services…your…care-giver…is being…paid…to…do…causing your loved one…or…yourself…to be irreparably..harmed.

For your information:

Who ends up being responsible for a subordinate in the “nursing chain” of task delegation?

In our home care-situation with my disabled adult son, we employees do not work under a licence as would happen in a facility. We still have a “pecking order” in our home. My son is the ’employer’ who hires and fires his employees.

When an employee in your home is not doing what they should; makes decisions to do something against established protocol; does not communicate in writing or even verbally; leaves early within out doing the job and charges for it – guess who is also responsibly for neglect?

As the mother, father or wife in home of a disabled child or spouse, you are responsible for the employees neglect or fraud if you do not act soon enough to correct the employees action- even tho’ you are the case manager or the social worker supervising nor are the not the employee who is committing a crime- as a mandatory reporter you are held legally responsible for not acting on the patient behalf in a timely manner…no matter how many cries 

for help take days and weeks to get a response from the legal managers who don;t get back to you for days on end- they are on 

overload. The Hot-line for Medicaid fraud takes weeks to get a reply from. Even the Adult Protective Services don’t get out to see the victim for weeks.

Sure, call the police who can no nothing because your don;t have an evidence – the offender has the right to be innocent until proven guilty.

I do not sanction wrong-doings of any care-giver – in my home or in a facility work place EVER and I try various appropriate ways to correct the other employee I am stuck between a rock and hard place to legally prove there is a problem and how legally handle the problem with out legal black-lash from the employee even if they are dead wrong.

You can not just up and fire someone. There are steps to go through which protect the job of the employee…sneaky and manipulative as they may be…

a bad employee ripping you off has more rights than you do. it is your word against theirs and your responsibility to show the evidence. Sounds like a stressed our person – all law enforcement; social workers and doctors are so overworked will the make sense of your desperate cries for help? Probably not- exact why the elderly and disabled are getting neglected and dishonest health care-providers are getting awy with “murder”. ( My opinion.)

It’s complicated.


( My son has fired me about 15 times in 10 years, but, he never would fire a care-giver who had be-friend him. Huge RED FLAG! Do NOT cross the line of employees becoming personal friends. Keep it professional.)

Are we There Yet?-Traveling with Kids

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Traveling with kids is a challenge. Tips to plan ahead when going to grandma’s house for the holidays.

The most common question children will ask when traveling is “ARE WE THERE YET?”

This post will share some of our old fashioned traveling games and some newer ideas from cheap to very nice and neat and more modern… Granny tips for traveling with kids …plus my travel picks from the fun products I just happen to sell in my store.

 

Back in the 1950’s we traveled by car with out seat belts – not horse and buggy- sisters and I knew we had better behave – or else… so we figured out games to play in the car.

I still remember dreading long car trips to go to Grandma’s house for the holidays. Back in the 50’s we did not have VCR’s and cozy car seats to ride in, the heater did  work too well from where we kids…opening the windows was the A/C. And there weren’t many if any road side rest rooms.

 

Must Have’s for the Road

  1. Coffee cans with lids -porta potty for when there is no place to “go”.
  2. 3 ring binders – keeps maps, important papers or kids games organized
  3. Zipper lock bags – endless possibles for keeping thing clean and organized- and in a pinch- a barf bag that will seal in the smell.
  4. Hand wipes- I prefer over hand sanitizer gel – think about it- who wants to smear sticky-icky all over? 
  5. brown paper bags – bio-degradable containers to collect trash after the packages are open or the banana peels have come off.
  6. Re-purpose baby wipe containers – they have a lid that snaps closed and you can stuff little things in and out.
  7. RULES. We all need RULES to help us fee more safe and secure
  8. Water
  9. First aid kit
  10. Plastic bags – many uses including an emergency cover to prevent hypo-thermia.
  11.  Emergency tools for the car like a jack and tire iron- spare tire etc
  12. Flash light and batteries
  • Write down simple 4 to 5 simple rules of the road.
  • What rules you make will depend on the the age of your family and needs

I suggest 3 major rules:

  1. Go potty when you have a chance.
  2. Have an emergency CODE word for when every one must listen and follow your directions to stay safe.
  3. Enjoy each other’s company

 

Mind you there were tons of billboards along the roads that we don’t have have any more that made alphabet games easily entertaining for awhile in the 50 – 70’s. Those billboards helped many a ‘captive audience” to learn to read.

 

A. Alphabet Game – shout out the ABC’s in order when you see the next letter then the next…the big challenge are the J’s.

  • Use billboards
  • Traffic signs
  • Licence plates

B. Number game – shout out the 1’s in order from 1 to 10

  •  licence plates.
  • mile markers
  • house #’s
  • or just count objects”  “I see 1 dog. I see 2 red cars, I see, 3 people walking”

C. Animal, Vegetable or Mineral?

D. I Spy

E. I’m psychic game….I thought about it…I think I won’t reveal the trick today… so let’s just call it the guess what I’m thinking game

F.  I’m going on a trip. ..”I’m packing a ____ in my suit case…”. Each person verbally puts something into their suit case. Example: a hair brush. The next persona says,  “”I’m packing a ____ in my suit case and in it I am putting a pair of underwear and a hair brush.” The 3rd players add something and repeats everything the other said before…test your memory for so much fun.

G. Cyclops!!! When ever you see a car with only one head light you blurt out, “CYCLOPS!”

H. Tell a Round Robbin Story… each person tells 2 or 3 sentences then passing on the story telling to the next passenger

I. Rhymes with… Pick a word them everyone gets to try to find a word that rhymes with that word… Example: CAR… far, tar, bar, star. jar, mar, scar….

J. =&1=&

K. How about this novel idea? Talk…just talk.. ask a question then listen. Later on let’s see how many can remember the other people’s answers?

  • What’s your favorite color
  • What’s your favorite book?
  • What’s your favorite kind of ice cream?

L. Trivia Facts: You can pull up misc things out of your memory or you can plan ahead. For example if you are traveling from state to state you may want to gather up facts like: What state has the biggest ball of twine? Name the state capitols. Spell Iowa backwards…awoI …now spell Mississippi backward…ippississiM

M. How many silly Camp Songs do you know? WHAT? You don”t know any?

  • Baby Shark
  • On top of Old Smokey
  • Mary had a Little Lamb
  • Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
  • ABC’s
  • B-I-N-G-O
  • Home On the Range

Check out these resources or you may hear your 4 year old sing  Miss Poly Had a Dolly 36,987 times before you get to Texas.

Ultimate Camp Resource 

Please go their website where you will see all kinds of clickable links to words and even videos…sure, It’s OK to cheat with some song videos as long as you Mom and Dad sing-a-long, too…Remember to make your trip a fun memory.

Camp Songs for Grace
Camp Songs- Repeat-o Style
Chants & Cheers

Classic Camp Songs

The Child’s Job is to Role Play What They See Us Do -Uh OH!

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Do you think your child’s manner in public area reflection of your parenting? Uh- Oh!

Child’s play is the child’s job. Role playing with a few props or dress up clothes is a necessary tool to growing up in good time. The Child will act out ole what they wee us do -Uh OH! Are we demonstrating out best behavior?

Kids watch us parents, grand parents, teachers, doctors, community helpers- then the imitate us…uh oh! I hope we grown ups are setting a good example. Watch your kids and find out….

 

I identified 6 basic habits our kids role play reveals about us parents. I will give a few personal examples to get you started thinking about what habits your kids will be imitating.

What your child says and does is very revealing about what they see you do.

  1. Language
  2. Manners
  3. Hygiene and House Keeping
  4. Social Skills
  5. Empathy
  6. Problem Solving Skills

Kids Will Role Play What They Us Do….Uh OH!

How children act in public is a litmus paper for our grow up manners and habits.

In may image above, 2 of my grand daughters are politely looking at library books. The older girl is trying to help the younger one pick out a book. ( I’m very proud- or do you think I would be sharing this old picture?)

I was a student librarian for about 6 years. I learned a lot about how to help kids learn to treat books from the librarian.

At age 14 I wanted to ban all naughty kids from the library. But the head librarian, a wise woman, taught me, to show the little ones how to treat the books.

 

She taught me, that the library was for everyone to enjoy learning. … even if unruly kids disturbed people reading. We as librarians, even a student librarian who got paid 25 cents and hour,  could teach the children skills they did not have the opportunity to learn at home from their parents. ( How to do that is another post.)

  • Have you ever been shopping or at the library? Of course you have.
  • Have you seen kids destroy a store… and the parents did not seem to  notice? *

WARNING! Sometimes kids who run a muck in a store have been taught to do so. WHAT?

Don’t some kids have melt-downs because they are tired or hungry? Yes, kids get tired and cranky… but I’m not writing about how parents can help their kids with that… I’m talking about…

“Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves!”

What’s the Big Deal About Sensory Play for Kids?

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What’s the secret early childhood experts want you to know about the child’s developing brain?

What’s the Big Deal about Sensory Play? Don’t you need flash cards and expensive toys to be able to enroll your future rocket scientist in the right college when they are 2 years old? (I may or may not be exaggerating.)

If you ask  a dozen people on your block to explain Sensory Play chances are you will get 12 different answers. Why is that? It’s not a secret.

Gee, I don’t why so many people have different ideas… so I’ll just give you my version as an old RN, an early childhood educator and I was the owner of a fun e-commerce store that sell fun stuff for kids with an educational twist. But, I retired from business and still need to update my old blog posts. OOPS! Working on it.

If you you ask professionals who work with the young child they will give you a more detailed response then my colorful images with a short phrase.

Or – ask your 3rd grader to name the 5 senses. Sensory Learning is all about incorporating the senses.

Can you name the 5 senses?

5 Reasons Why Children Need A Toy to Hug

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Why children need a toy to. Mission statement of Heart Felt Play Store owner

My personal story…

Why I believe children need to have a toy to hug goes back to when…

…I was very young I could not sleep. I was often cold and hungry.

My parents worked very hard and had little time for the non-sense of a little girl who constantly begged for input.

So I would get out of the bed that I shared with my sister and my dolly, Pinky, in the scary darkness of night.

Pinky and I would go to the bay window that overlooked the street around our town square. I could see an amazing water fountain that had colorful lights. (The image is me at age 3 with my beloved Pinky.)

I had the belief that fairies danced in that fountain that lasted until I was quite grown up.

I would tell Pinky stories that I made up from my very vivid imagination about fairies, and unicorn flying among the stars, eating chocolate cake for breakfast every day, having shiny red patent leather shoes and being able to fly…I dreamed that I could fly away to where everyone loved me and I was always safe and warm with lots of food to eat.

Holding my doll close to me helped me to feel safe and warm. Talking to the doll helped me feel that my voice was heard. My doll calmed when I had all my “temper- tantrums” and I had a lot of melt-downs every day.

My parents did not know what to do with me…and that is another story I had been embarrassed to ever let my peers know about. It turns out I was not the only child in history to feel sad, cold and hungry or to fall apart.

All children need a toy to hug.

 5 Reasons Why Children Need a Toy to Hug

  • Comfort from something constant and familiar
  • Develop social skills with role play
  • Develop language by taking turn talking to  doll with a familiar face
  • Practice demonstrating empathy or compassion
  • Practicing tasks of daily living skills on the toy.