Navy vet's family struggles to get reliable home care
Published Friday, June 8, 2018 9:20PM ADT
Last Updated Friday, June 8, 2018 10:52PM ADT
Donna Thompson has spent the last six months caring for her ailing father.
83-year-old Raymond Beaulieu has coped, and is now into his fourth bout of cancer. He needs constant support and, as a Navy veteran, he's entitled to home care benefits. But he says he's had trouble with caregivers showing up at his Grand Lake home when they're scheduled.
“At the end of the day, there's nobody here, and that's the most frustrating part,” Raymond Beaulieu said. “If you promise something, the way I was brought up, that you believe that these people will be here.”
Thompson says the struggles are a shame and her father deserves better.
“These are his last days, and he should be able to enjoy it with family, not waiting for the phone to ring, not getting more empty promises,” she said.
Thompson says the caregivers from the two agencies who work with them are fantastic, but figuring out the schedule is a nightmare.
“Every other day I'm on the phone, trying to find out 'have you found somebody yet? Have you found somebody yet for this shift?' and it's still ‘we're working on it,’” she said.
One of their current agencies, Home Instead Senior Care, says this level of difficulty is out of the ordinary for their clients.
“It’s not normal,” says Natalie Smithof Home Instead Senior Care.“With some of our clients that do live further out, where we may have some staffing challenges, it does take us longer to staff and to schedule.”
Home instead doesn't generally pay for gas, mileage, or other transportation expenses for their employees, but they do offer care throughout the Halifax region.
Previously, the Beaulieu family worked with another agency, Always Home, which they say missed four shifts in two weeks.
A representative for the company says their records indicate just two missed days, but regardless, they simply should have been there.
The family will now have another schedule to manage. Beaulieu's wife, Joan, recently underwent heart surgery. Her home care is supposed to begin on Monday.
With files from Emily Baron Cadloff.