Home Health Aide Bingo
In the effort to get affordable home care I tried out some marginal incompetents
Am I hired? Craig asked eagerly after a short interview to be my home health aide. When I said yes, he looked like he’d won the lottery.
Craig was very tall, thin, graying, in his 50s, with a cute smile. An ex-Marine, he looked a little like Ichabod Crane and despite his age had the demeanor of an eager puppy dog. I often felt he was about to salute me with “yes, ma’am.”
When I got out of the hospital in November I realized I needed a home health aide of some sort. I’d knew I’d have to pay out of pocket since Medicare does not, which severely limits the hours I can afford. In the effort to get affordable home health I tried out some marginal incompetents to fill the bill.
Craig seemed to be a bright guy but his ADHD got in the way. if I asked him to buy diet ginger ale and regular cough drops, he was likely to come back with regular ginger ale and sugar-free cough drops.
Snarky Senior is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
He was also a typical #Floridaman. On the hustle. Despite his desire to please he was always on the lookout for a better gig. The day he left me sitting in a hot car while he dickered on the phone for another job was the end. He tried a typical #Floridaman ploy, gaslighting me by telling me how I promised to be flexible about time.
I wanted someone to take care of me, but I seemed to be taking care of him, which is somehow what always happens to me with men.
So I moved on. A pretty young nursing student in her 20s had applied and I thought maybe she’d be more malleable. I just had to tell her what to do. Turns out Tiffany was a #Floridagirl. She turned up for work so skimpily dressed I was embarrassed to look at her. I know, I’m an old prude, but really... Shorts should not look like underwear and t shirts should not have bikini cleavage. What happened to professionalism? Her attire would have been forgivable if she hadn’t taken passive aggressiveness to new extremes. Whatever she didn’t want to do she screwed up, such as putting all my hand wash dresses in the washer and dryer. They are now mini dresses.
She was constantly asking me if I wanted to go to the beach. Her fantasy of being a home health aide was taking a helpless old lady on excursions to the beach or Costco. She loved Costco and was thrilled the one time I had her take me there to get my hearing aids adjusted. Unfortunately most tasks—like laundry—weren’t as much fun as Costco.
Things did not improve. We parted ways eventually—not on the best of terms.
I now have Mary Ann, who is in her 60s, not a nurse but a retired professional who is intelligent and educated. She’s more expensive but is an actual adult who is honest and had experience taking care of her mom who also had COPD and lung cancer. She understands she’s supposed to keep the place clean and make sure I have food to eat. We bond over our love of Succession and other bingeable shows.
My only problem with Mary Ann is that she’s too law abiding. She refuses to park illegally even with my handicapped placard and doesn’t question authority. I’m the opposite. This is not a deal breaker, Either she’ll wind up more of a goniff as a result of our relationship or maybe I’ll become a straight arrow.
In the meantime I love having someone to deconstruct the machinations of Shiv, Roman and Kendall with. We’re laying bets on who will take over Waystar Royco.
Adorable. Well done. Funny.
Glad you found someone to tote the weight of reality.
Love your honesty about getting health aides. We need to hear more about the experiences that most of us will have. Keep writing.