For About and By Caregivers

Subscribe to our bi-monthly publication Today's Caregiver magazine

  + Larger Font | - Smaller Font

CARENOTES | Past Carenotes | Discussion Forum | Let's Talk


Welcome to CareNotes. In this special section we will feature a reader's letter and provide an opportunity for an interactive exchange that will help find some answers and possible solutions to concerns. If you wish to respond to this letter, simple follow the link provided at the end of the letter and add your comments and thoughts to our CareNotes Board.

This Week's Carenote - 11/05/09

How do I find a caregiver to help me with my husband who has had a stroke? I have one now who is excellent in keeping my husband happy and clean but after 7 months I find my husband has not improved at all in using his left arm and leg. I was so busy paying bills, making appts, figuring out insurance, cleaning, cooking, driving to therapy appts. I left the therapy to the caregiver. After the neurologist last Friday said we had passed the six month window of opportunity for my husband to regain the use of his left arm, I realize the caregiver had not been doing any of the therapies that had been taught us.
He is paid $130 for a 24/7 day, plus all meals, a separate room with kitchenette and his own bathroom with shower and toilet.  I feel this comes to around $190 a day. I pay at the present time $3900 to the caregiver out of pocket. Am I unreasonable in my expectations?
The one agency I worked with the first month charged me $6000 a month. I could not keep this up.
How do I find a person who is honest,and capable of helping my husband?  We live in the Los Angeles area.

Thank you so much.


Reply to Letter  |  View Comments  | Past Carenotes |   Discussion Forum

View Comments

Date: 11/05/2009
Time: 05:51 AM


Who's to say your caregiver didn't do his best? My husband had a stroke almost 11 years ago. Although he did make some improvements during the first year, even after various therapies, he has never regained use of his right arm and leg! I see many, many people around that are obvious stroke victims and do not have use of a arm, leg, or both! I think it's rather common!

Name: Bette
Location: Delaware County, PA
Date: 11/05/2009
Time: 08:29 AM


Please consult your local Area Agency on Aging to get a free assessment and info on caregivers, adult daycare, transportation, respite, and the like. In LA (city), contact or call 213-252-4000. In LA County, contact or call 213-738-4004

Name: Barb
Location: Colorado
Date: 11/05/2009
Time: 08:40 AM


Try calling your local Area Agency on Aging. They are an excellent resource for information.

Name: Linda
Location: Pa
Date: 11/05/2009
Time: 10:58 AM


Depending on your live-ins background he may not have received training in assisting someone in performing these types of exercises. Talk with the caregiver and the agency that supplied him to discuss your expectations. If he was taught how to assist your husband in his therapies, and this expectation was made know to him and the agency, then you have every right to expect that your husbands exercise regimen is followed.

Name: Terri
Location: Falls Church, VA
Date: 11/05/2009
Time: 01:01 PM


Dear CS: I am very sorry for your situation, and I understand your frustration completely. My husband suffers from a neurodegenerative condition, and I tried for so long to get our home health aides to exercise with him every day, but they are just not motivated to do it(even though I hung up a list of exercises on the wall and we went over how to do them). So, I have given up because there are just so many battles I have the strength to fight. BUT, I have found a massage therapist who comes to our house every 3 weeks and brings his own table, and gives my husband a fantastic hour-long workout, with stretches, massages, resistance exercise, and tries to get him to talk and even arm wrestles with my husband! He charges $140 for the visit, but he is worth it - if I could afford it, I'd have him here more often. I gave up on Medicare's physical therapists - they didn't want to work with my husband because he will not "improve." I wish you strength and endurance. Also, check out the Well Spouse Assn. for support for spousal caregivers at Try to take care of yourself!

Location: Cypress CA 90630
Date: 11/05/2009
Time: 04:12 PM


Dear CS, Hope all is well with you. I fully understand how you feel in trying to make things comfortable for you and your husband. Please email me at As it is,there are options for you and your husband that are cost efficient and labor effective. I am just puzzled why your caregiver or your agency has not recommended to you a cost effective home care plan. Thank you.

Name: Jim
Location: Maryland
Date: 11/05/2009
Time: 07:48 PM


In my opinion, your neurologist and caregiver are quacks. You may have lost the six month window for recovery by not insisting on a second opinion. You seem more interested in cleaning than helping your husband. Your house should be dusty and the floors filled with books and magazines about stroke care giving and how to find a good doctor. Get on the phone and call the American Medical Association. Find and join a support group. Call your health insurance company and ask for referrals to other doctors. Raise hell with the caregiverís boss! Your husband cannot do this for himself. You must be his advocate. Donít stop looking for a good group of doctors until you find one. If you cannot get the proper care for him go to social services and ask for help. Most spouses donít have a live-in caregiver because they canít afford one. A regular caregiver is not interested in your husband's recovery and they donít do anything but sit and walk with the patient which keeps him happy and out of your hair. Sorry to be so blunt but you are running out of time.

Name: Pat
Location: Pa.
Date: 11/06/2009
Time: 07:18 PM


Dear CS, As long as you are going to hire someone privately you wil have to supervise that person. I would suggest calling your local hsopital social services department and ask trhem to recomend an agency or registry in your area that has a good reputation and is less expensive than the first company you had. Go with a company that is well established and has the proper licensing for your area. If you must hire privately , try the local nursing schools. Speak to the instructer there to recommend one or two of her students for you to hire. The students have their health screning, criminal background checks and some training in the field. They will most likey be very interested in helping your husband get better and would enjoy geting paid for the experience.

Location: Ohio
Date: 11/09/2009
Time: 07:25 PM


Check out I see on the location listing that there are 2 in the LA area.... Is your husband a Veteran ? There might be a program for assistance...? Does he need 24/7 care ? Is he able to feed himself, ??? Can he help get him self dressed..? You didn't mention his age and physical abilities as of this time.... Good Luck... Maybe a local College student could come and clean your house 4 hours a week and I bet she/he would be glad to get paid... Contact your Social Security Office about any programs they have where you get paid to take care of your husband at Home...????


Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Youtube Follow us on Pinterest Google Plus