A few months ago I began searching for someone local to help drive me, run errands, and aid in other miscellaneous excursions. I preferred someone with healthcare experience so I sought referrals from an agency representative, who then gave me a name and an email address of an independent provider who was certified to care for Medicaid home health clients.
I was doubtful but emailed Deana (pseudonym) anyways describing the services I wanted. She answered and requested an interview, during which she did most of the talking. Deana said she had more than 15 years’ experience as a nurse aide and had done home health for awhile. At the time she worked part-time for a Medicaid home health client on weekends. I knew that Medicaid paid more than I would, and I wondered how long she would work for me if she found other clients.
Deana is 50, which I thought was a good age. She said her part-time job was 20 miles away and that she needed to get other clients to support herself. She also said most Medicaid clients were not local. I told her I would need only eight hours a week, unless something unusual happened, but she felt I needed to give her more.
She wanted to come each evening, bring me dinner, do a few tasks, and then leave. When I told her that was not what I wanted, she was not pleased. On our first outing she said the nursing home was not for me and that I needed to rent an apartment with her. She would work and supervise my care. I told her I was not interested in moving into the community, and I was surprised she would suggest that when we hardly knew each other.
Each day she worked she asked how long I would need her, even though I had told her eight hours. She asked because she wanted me to write her a check to cash before the bank closed. I had never written a check for a hired hand to cash during the day they worked, but I realized if I prepaid her and let her cash the check while we were out, my day was much more pleasant.
I became concerned because she needed money so badly. When she told me how much she cared for me and talked about what we could do, she acted like I was “the goose that laid the golden egg.”
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At times Deana or her boyfriend Scott (pseudonym) stopped in at the facility unannounced. Since Scott did not have a job, he called wanting to wash and detail my van or do other maintenance tasks to earn money. Scott said he would charge less than a detailer or garage, but In order for him to work on my van, I had to write him a check for the oil or any parts and a separate check for the labor. He also wanted both checks before he did any work. I did not like this but I let him do it. While he had my van he swept it out without asking and said I owed him $80. I gave him $30 and told him not to do anything unless I authorized it.