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Thread: A carer out of the blue refused to feed Grant and the intimidation statement = crikey

  1. #1
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    Oct 2006

    Exclamation A carer out of the blue refused to feed Grant and the intimidation statement = crikey

    G'day neuro buddies, both youngies and oldies :)

    At the moment our carer team has fallen in a bit of a heap :(

    We are covered permanently for Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

    But on Monday and Friday we only have permanents fortnightly, which is not very good at all. When a carer comes once a fortnight Grant doesn't really get to know the carer. Also, quite often the carer has forgotten how to use the hoist (all hoists are different), and may need assistance getting Grant into the shower as there is not much room to move.

    Well a few Fridays back I had a phone call from the agency, saying tht Joan (not her real name) was coming.

    "Hmm", I thought to myself. "That name doesn't ring a bell." (We now have about 8 carers who have been before and prefer working with them rather than having someone who has never been before care for Grant). The agency person assured me that Joan had been two weeks previously.

    So, Joan arrived and sure enough, she had never been before.

    I took her through all the activities with Grant (changing his nappy, giving him a bath, getting him dressed).

    Joan was excellent with Grant, talking to him, telling him what she was doing etc :) Definitely a keeper :)


    It was now time for Grant to have his lunch. I got the equiipment out for PEG feeding and showed Joan what to do. But she said that legally she was not allowed to feed Grant = crikey!, We have never had that statement made by a carer before.

    So, I fed Grant. As Joan was so good and as she was able to come fortnightly permanently, I asked her if it was okay to ask the agency about giving her permission to feed Grant. She was quite happy with that.

    When she went home, I emailed the agency manager. Here is his response.

    - - - - - - - - -

    Hi Paul

    I apologise that Fridays shift did not run smoothly and that Joan struggled with the necessary tasks involved. I have checked on the roster and Joan was rostered on for a shift with Grant on 19/8/11 but this another SW (support worker) completed this shift as Joan's car broke down. Unfortunately it looks as though Crhistine (the agency booking person) mistakenly organised Joan to do the shift thinking that Joan had assisted Grant in the past, when this wasn’t the case.

    I have contacted Joan this afternoon regarding her shifts with Grant. Joan does not wish to continue to do shifts with Grant as she felt intimidated (my emphasis, Paul's) on the shift on Friday.

    - - - - - - - - -

    I then responded to him =

    Hi John (not his real name).

    I am sorry to hear that Joan does not want to continue with Grant. She was really wonderful with him, talking to him, telling him what she was doing, and being very perceptive to his needs.

    You wrote Joan does not wish to continue to do shifts with Grant as she felt intimidated on the shift on Friday.

    Goodness, the word 'intimdated' is a strong word. I wonder if she meant it in relation to Grant's significant needs.

    Perhaps I should let you know what happens when a carer comes for the first time, as was the case with Joan.

    When joan came I introduced her to Grant explaining some of his specific needs, such as him having a 'frozen' leg, etc. I assisted with getting Grant into the hoist, and showed Joan the procedure of getting Grant into the bath via the hoist, via Grant's room, which is a challenge for first timers.

    When Grant was dressed and Joan said that she couldn't feed him, I fed Grant and we chatted about Grant in general. Then I asked Joan to tell me a little bit about herself. She said that she had gone with clients to swimming, which was very promising.

    When Joan left I told her that I would mention the restriiction on feeding to you and she said that she was quite happy with that idea.

    I found her delighful with Grant. Could you please pass on my best wishes to her. Thank you.

    - - - - - - -

    Crumbs! The word intimidated is rather a strong word isn't it. Sounds as though Joan was a bit scared of me. Surely not. We seemed to get on well and as I said before she was excellent with Grant :) I think it might not have anything at all to do with intimidation. Joan had shared with me that she wasn't at all happy at the agency. She also has significant family needs at home.

    So there you go.

    Time to get permanent weekly carers on Mondays and Fridays, preferably every week.

    Any takers?

    You would initially be paid about $22.00 an hour, which I think increases to about $25 an hour.

    Seeya here soon eh :)

    Best wishes to you all and your precious kiddos of course.

    Paul and Alison, needing permanent weekly carers on Mondays and Fridays, and Grant in championship mode wondering who will come tomorrow (Monday in Australia)!
    Grant's story in pictures and music. A must see :)
    Seeya there :)

  2. #2


    Wow Paul,

    Are you sure you didn't beat her with a big stick or lock her in a cupboard....

    Seriously, I hope you manage to get another couple of carers who are good with Grant and happy to be permanent for a long time.

    See ya
    Yvonne xx

  3. #3


    Well, Paul, God is in control. If she is a good person for Grant, the situation will change and she will return. If not, perhaps someone even better is on the horizon. All the best!
    mom to four boys who keep things interesting...

  4. #4
    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
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    ((((((Paul Grant & Alison))))))

    I'm curious whether you've received a response from John to your follow up email.

    I'm also curious whether Joan or John used the word "intimidated" inappropriately.

    Perhaps the word they meant was "overwhelmed" (by Grant's needs).

    Maybe Joan is concerned that Grant's level of care is more than she feels she can take on, or has a fear that she might not be able to carry out all of his care tasks. Afraid that she might injure him in the process of transfer or bathing, because Grant is fragile. Perhaps she hasn't cared for anyone with the kinds of needs Grant has. And maybe it was awkward or uncomfortable to admit these things to you face to face when she left, or she thought about Grant's needs and realized he was more than she could handle.

    I would go with these options, before I would ever think that YOU intimidated her, although I certainly understand how you might draw that conclusion from what was said in John's email.

    A wage of $22/hr is certainly excellent, by US standards. In our state, taxpayer funded careproviders (paid through government programs) are paid $8.60/hr. In our state, the government is actually contemplating ending all careproviding programs for disabled and elderly folks.

    To me this is a startling example of the disparity between the US with regard to providing health care for all citizens and services for persons with disabilities or who are seniors, and that of other civilized countries throughout the rest of the world.

    Your country pays caregivers $22/hr. Our state is trying to get rid of our caregivers by paying close to minimum wage.

    You are able to acquire caregivers for Grant for several days a week. I am lucky to be able to have a nurse here to change Jon's indwelling catheter twice a month.

    Stark discrepancies.

    Anyway, I digress ~ I think it's a misuse of the word, because you are anything but intimidating, Paul. I hope another caregiver arrives, who will be the perfect fit for Grant and for you.

    Love & Light,

    Last edited by Earth Mother 2 Angels; 09-17-2011 at 07:54 PM.

  5. #5
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    Oct 2006


    Hi Yvonne, Grace and Rose.

    Thank you for your comments.

    The event is now truly over and done with. The carer will not be coming back and has been spoken to by the agency folk. I feel that most probably she was put off with Grant's level of needs and perhaps didn't like to tell me that she didn't want to work with Grant, but instead passed on her concern to the agency. Not to worry though. We only want carers who are 100% confident with Grant and at ease with him.

    Indeed Rose, we are very blessed with carers.

    One of the carers who was coming fortnightly will be able to come weekly now to fill one of the gaps. We only have one gap fortnightly, which I am sure will be filled soon.

    In Australia there is a minimum basic hourly wave, which I think for adults is about $18 per hour, but don't quote me on that.

    Best wishes as always and seeya,

    Paul, Alison and Grant the champ.

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