It was snowy morning when the call came in. Ted answered the phone and immediately handed the phone to his wife, Helen, before heading out the door for the long commute to work. It was Helen’s mother’s caregiver calling. Ted didn’t take the time to find out what she wanted, as it probably had something to do with locating a certain pair of shoes or some other non-emergency that she called about far too often.
However, this time it was a real emergency. The in home care provider was calling to tell Helen that she wouldn’t be able to stop by and spend any time with her mother that day or for a couple of days because she had to fly out of town for her own family emergency. Helen asked her what she should do, but the caregiver didn’t have any suggestions. She was distraught and it was easy to tell that she was really dealing with an emergency situation.
Helen hung up the phone and tried to think about the next course of action. She had found this in home care provider through a classified ad that she had placed in the newspaper in her mother’s home town. Helen lived more than a three hour drive from her mother’s house, and with her own work obligations, she couldn’t think about leaving.
She called her mother to tell her about the news and to see that she was doing okay at the moment. Her mother assured her that she was okay and that she hoped everything would be fine with the in home care provider. More than that, she hoped that the woman would return, though she wasn’t too convinced. “She kept talking about how homesick she’s been and how she would like to get back home,” her mother said. The caregiver never mentioned anything about that to Helen when she interviewed her, though.
Next, Helen tried to decide what to do. She had asked her mother if she would mind a different home care provider stopping by for the next few days, if she could find one. “As long as they’re honest and not going to steal from me,” she replied.
Helen finally decided to contact a home health care agency near her mother’s home. She had avoided that initially because she knew that they would charge far more than an independent contractor. She learned otherwise and couldn’t believe that the cost was comparable. She secured a professional caregiver to check on her mother and when the first care provider returned, Helen knew that they’d be okay, no matter what emergency arose next time.