This photo of my family was taken this past Thanksgiving. I am not in the picture because I was home sick. my cousin David took the photo.
I’m including this photo because I’m thinking about how we care for family members. I have been talking to various home care agencies in Boston trying to find the best match for my mother.
I just got off the phone with an agency. One of my sisters told me that several members of her community used the agency. Their rates were low. They were really low. Their workers make a shade over $6 per hour. I know that one could say that the care worker is sleeping for part of that time, but still. Taking care of an old person is hard work. Being around a person who is not of full mental or physical soundness is exhausting. taking care of such a person takes real skill.
I asked the agency about how much time off their full time 24 hour workers get. I was told “ Oh they aren’t like you or me, they don’t need much time off.” I don’t know, If I were taking care of even a completely delightful human being 24/7 for only $6/hour after several days I would get kind of cranky. I could not imagine what I would be like after a month. I would assume that even if I had the disposition of a saint I would be mean and resentful of the person I was caring for.
Needless to say, we did not go with that agency. We have selected the agency that pays it’s workers a decent wage and gives it’s workers 2 days off each week.