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Theft - are we too easy of a target?

Theft – are we too easy of a target?

Sometimes I struggle with what to write about for my blog, but today, that is definitely not a problem. Nothing gives you more of an incentive to write then an emotional rise, and nothing fuels the emotions more than having someone steal from you. Today, for the third time in a year, I have caught […]

Personal Attendants: Avoiding the Bad Hires

Personal Attendants: Avoiding the Bad Hires

Over 14 years of interviewing and hiring caregivers I’ve learned to expect the unexpected in terms of responses, appearances and caregiving philosophies. I hired a guy who couldn’t tell his twin sons apart. I worked with a grown man who made custom headdresses for Star Wars action figures and used soap scum to style his […]

Tim Gilmer

Bully Pulpit: Bipedal Service Animals

I used to think a service animal was a bull. Years ago, after moving to a farm with a pasture, my wife and I bought some heifers to raise as breeding stock. Heifers, in case you’re unclear on bovine nomenclature, are the equivalent of female teenagers in the world of beef cows: They are a […]

Service Dogs: Making the Grade

Service Dogs: Making the Grade

The use of service animals has been growing over the last several years, but when it comes to properly qualified, ADA-sanctioned assistance dogs for people with disabilities, not all dogs make the grade. If you notice a lot of tail wagging these days, chalk it up to canine pride as the efforts of elite pack […]

Escaping the Nursing Home

Escaping the Nursing Home

People end up in nursing homes for a variety of reasons, the biggest four being they have nowhere else to go or can’t find accessible housing, they’re unable to secure reliable and affordable home health services, they are shipped to nursing homes to convalesce from surgery and never leave, or they lack the necessary family […]

Top 10 Tips for Keeping a Happy PCA

Top 10 Tips for Keeping a Happy PCA

Editor’s note: In writing this article, Roxanne Furlong interviewed Al DeGraff — author of Caregivers and Personal Assistants — who has employed hundreds of personal care assistants over the past 40 years. What follows is a hybrid mix of DeGraff’s ideas and principles and Furlong’s own advice from her personal experience with PCAs. Of all […]

Owning a trained service dog pays off--in more ways than one.

A Wheeler’s Best Friend

Service dogs enhance the lives of their handlers–owners–on many levels. They can tow your chair, pick up objects, bring the phone when it rings, even help you dress and undress. They can redirect comments like, “What happened to you?” to “Wow, cool dog!” They are great conversation starters and even help with making acquaintances. Having […]

PCAs I Have Known

Bob arrived for his interview the week that three other people responding to my newspaper ad for a personal care attendant (PCA) had failed even to show up. I tried to keep the desperation out of my voice.

A Labor of Love - Beating Stress in Long-Term Caregiving

A Labor of Love – Beating Stress in Long-Term Caregiving

Disability, illness and old age have created approximately 25 million family caregivers who provide two-thirds of all in-home care in this country. The annual worth of the services they provide has been estimated at $300 billion dollars. Yet virtually all of these caregivers are unpaid, receive no vacations or benefits and can’t quit their jobs. […]