Lost, Overwhelmed and Abandoned


Lost, Overwhelmed and Abandoned

Today everything came crashing down. At 6:30 this morning. The person I trusted and the only one who was being supportive ... quit.

Yesterday you see was a bad day for Mom. New caregiver - completely useless for starters. This "friend" had the afternoon shift (2-5), was all cheerful when I got home, said she'd fill me in on the new girl later. Mom had not wanted her to help with getting changed for physical therapy. Okay, she has bad days on occasion. No big deal she wouldn't allow it the week before either. "Friend" though is the only one who can get her to use her walker so that's cool.

I went to get Mom changed so we could get to therapy. We'd be a little late but we'd get there. Nope. Poop everywhere. On the waistband of her pants, down her legs inside the pants - dried, crusted. It was all dried enough that the stink wasn't bad really so it had happened hours before. I called "friend" to see if the crusted matter on Mom's face had been there when she arrived. Was told yes it was, her hands had also been a mess but she had cleaned that, Mom wouldn't let her do her face. "Friend" thought it was chocolate cake.

Told "friend" what I had found and that I was going to give the agency what for over this new girl and that I would keep "friend" posted because she was my support and was great at letting me know how the caregiver was when she arrived on Tuesdays and Thursdays and a couple of Fridays.

We ended up missing P.T. due t the need to shower, sanitize the bathroom, etc.

All night kept finding other things that the new caregiver had not done. Left PJs, top sheet and mattress pad wet in the washer never putting in the dryer. Left 20 minutes early. Left dishes in the sink. Didn't take out the trash (which included all of the day's dirty Depends). Didn't replace soiled top sheet on the bed, didn't remake the bed at all despite the clean sheets and mattress pad sitting right there for such a purpose. I'm livid.

I let the agency know exactly what I think and copy friend on the email. Explained that I am not at all comfortable with new girl being here alone on Thursday. Agency is going to look into it. And after cleaning and washing I finally get to bed around midnight.

6:30 a.m. I turn on my phone and there's an email from "friend". Sent at 4:00 a.m. She can't come over any more. She's not a nurse. Can't do it. Hello? Mom doesn't need skilled nursing. Basic aide type stuff but meds, and meals are done by 2:00 when "friend" comes in. All "friend" needed to do was keep her company and steady her a bit if she needs to get up. That's it. But now it's "too much".

She was the ONLY person who could cover so I could attend school board and committee meetings, get groceries/run errands and by coming in two to three days a week for the afternoons it was helping with the cost of care. One bad day and she quits. Here's the kicker - she's provided care in HER home for two people dying from cancer. Took them to appointments, took care of them through chemo, etc. and hospice. But one bad caregiver day here and she quits. With chemo and radiation you know she dealt with more than poop.

No one expected her to deal with the poop. Not her fault it happened. Clearly happened on the caregiver's watch, especially since Mom is fairly regular and tends to go between 12 and 1. Obviously the caregiver did not escort Mom to the bathroom, help her pull up her pants after using the bathroom or anything. Neglectful. Despite having told the agency that she was experienced, clearly she isn't. Not "friend's" fault, not her responsibility other to maybe call me and let me know. That's all, just call me if she had discovered it which she hadn't.

So I get this email and immediately burst into tears. I email back telling her none of the poop thing was her fault nor was she expected to deal with it other than to call me. I tell her I'm hurt, I'm angry and what the hell am I supposed to do now? I told her how I trusted her, depended on her and this is what happens? This!?

I can barely get through the work day. I'm on the verge of tears all day. I can't eat. I have the headache from hell. I feel completely lost and utterly abandoned.

What does the agency do? They send the girl back today for more training with the good caregiver. New girl is going to be here by herself all damned day tomorrow - 8 freaking hours because "friend" won't be back, won't be coming at 2:00.

How do I tell Mom that "friend" won't be here any more? She depended on her too. How do I tell her that the woman who said she was delightful and that keeping her company was a joy has suddenly decided that she can't take it anymore? After three weeks.

So even if I have to find another agency over this girl for the day work - which I have calls out there to start looking at options - there's no one to sit with Mom for when I'm at meetings. So I will have to resign from the school board. I will have to get groceries and run errands in the dead of night after I put Mom to bed and hope she doesn't suddenly decide to get up. I will have to stop going to book club every other month with the neighborhood women.

And that $30 bucks I spent on Star Wars tickets including soda and popcorn was a total waste of money. Despite having been in attendance every opening weekend of every Star Wars film since the very first one in 1977, I will not be able to see it unless it comes out on DVD/BluRay. I was very much looking forward to that little outing. Now that's gone too.

Like this article? Share on social


Sign in to comment

Rachel Hiles

I am so sorry this happened to you. I can relate to biohazard messes as my grandma has a colostomy. Hopefully things will turn a corner and you will get the support you both need.


Oh, my friend! How awful! This is distressing and disgusting and I want to find you and help and all I can do is pray and let you know how much I care for you and what you are experiencing. Please tell me the agency is not Home Instead? Cat, feel free to pm me and talk. I could probably use it also. I love you!


I understand the frustration all too well. I was approved for 6 hours, 3 days a week for someone to come and help with my aggressive husband. I was straight forward and up front about how aggressive he was. We finally had an agency send someone. She trained for 3 days with me. refused to do any hands on. On day 4, he was having a bit of a bad day and was spitting and kicking. She was cooking dinner. She left in a hurry that day, then her vehicle broke down and she asked to sit with us until her husband came. The next day, time for her to arrive came and went. I had planned on stepping next door and having coffee. After she did not arrive an hour later, I called the agency. She quit, said he spit at her and kicked her. I do not remember him getting close enough to have done that, but, like I said they knew he could be aggressive. 2 days later I receive a phone call from the state agency that authorized the time. They were very formal and talked about the form I signed that stated that I understood that service would be terminated if there was any show of violence. I had asked the state rep at the time I signed it \"Why am I signing this when I know he can be violent?\" \"It is protocol,\" I was told. Yeah...Easy out.


Oh, Cat, what a punch in the gut! I'm so sorry. It's awful to feel like one decision that's completely out of your control changes so much for you. It just sucks.