Thursday, December 13, 2012

Making a Better Life

I am finally taking the leap from the waiver that we've been receiving services through for almost two years to the 'Consumer-Directed Care Plus' option. This will put me in charge of monthly budgeting, timesheets, hiring, training, and purchasing for Daniel. It means far more flexibility in terms of getting people on board to assist him. I'll no longer be required to use an agency or an APD employee. I can hire family, friends, or whoever else I choose.

Since I have no family in Florida, and no friends that can act as assistants for Daniel, I'll be hiring people I don't know. My add on is  entitled, "Energetic, Happy Caregiver Needed". I've had too many blah, tired, uninspired workers through the agency these past nine months since losing our first full-time care provider. We had one who was outstanding, but her last shift was Sunday. She's moving to Virginia and we'll miss her terribly. She was the epitome of happy energy. From the moment she walked through the door until she left each Sunday, she was tuned in and focused on Daniel. She truly loved spending time with him, and she was good for all of us.

My goal for 2013 is more activity and more fun for Daniel. In his nearly 14 years on earth, it has been mostly me, my parents and daughter who take him everywhere and include him as much as possible. For the past year this has dwindled. It just feels like too much work at times, and he doesn't act happy when we drag him to church or restaurants. Sometimes going out to eat is good for him, but usually it's not. This means that one of us stays behind with him at home while the others do their thing. We're not as fired up about day trips anymore, either. Burn out. It's in the house.

I want to enable him to do the things that HE enjoys on a more regular basis. He loves to be outside. Right now we are constrained because the agency workers are not allowed to take him anywhere by car. If we find the right people, trips to the park and the beach will be much more frequent.  We live in the sunshine state, and the big advantage to that is being able to give him the out of doors. It doesn't happen enough when you're tired from being the only one on board.

So. Big hopes for changes that will make life better. That's my Christmas/New Year's wish.