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Apparently, the answer is yes.

The agency that handles my son’s waiver services recently sent out a mailing notifying all managing employers that we will no longer be responsible for completing the paperwork required to hire new aides for our loved ones. They informed us that they’ve hired a “Hiring Coordinator” to handle all paperwork. One individual for each of their two offices, so that one individual will cover a broad area of the state. They’ve predicted an additional two to three week period of time to complete the process.

I informed the agency that I’d located an individual interested in the back-up aide position we need to fill, for the period of time our recently hired permanent aide is on medical leave having surgery. I completed the qualification form they required before scheduling an appointment with the Hiring Coordinator. The new program began March 20.

I was just informed that the Hiring Coordinator made contact with the person we are interested in hiring, scheduled an appointment for tomorrow, but still has not contacted me. I was told that the appointment would be a joint meeting with the potential employee and myself, as I have to set scheduled hours, rate of pay, etc. There is a training on my son’s Individualized Service Plan (ISP) that I’m required to give before they can begin providing services, which I have to schedule.

When i learned that the appointment had been scheduled, I was also asked by the potential employee for a start date. I thought that she understood I had no start date because I have not been given any date for when the medical leave is to start, how long it will be or when it’s anticipated to end.

Our permanent aide told me that an MRI has to be scheduled, then the doctor has to read it, then schedule an appointment to discuss the result. They will have to schedule surgery and she can’t schedule surgery for any sooner than 8 weeks out from the MRI, as she has to give her other employer 8 weeks notice of a medical leave. She’s indicated that the doctor suggested she will need between 8 and 12 weeks at a minimum, to as much as 6¬† months of leave. She’s said when she had a similar surgery last year he refused to predict a duration until after the surgery and she’d completed half of her rehabilitation.

I explained to her that the back-up aide I’d found is only available from June 1 through the last week of August. Our aide told me I should be trying to find a second back-up just in case she’s out for 6 months. I suggested she should advocate for coming back after 12 weeks, as there’s no manual labor involved, just supervision. My son can lift boxes of materials at the volunteer location while she’s healing.

Our agency placed an ad for me on a hiring service, February 27. It’s been a month and we’ve not had one person show any interest in our ad.

I’m so tired of this nonsense. My son is fed up and telling me he wants a break, he can’t take any more either. I don’t blame him. This is ridiculous. Our last 4 aides have taken the job then had to take medical leaves, our last aide’s medical leave ended up being 9 months long and after returning for only 4 months notified us that she needed to take another medical leave.

This time, my son is convinced that this aide is going to end up taking 6 months, it’ll turn into 9 months, then she simply won’t come back at all. He’d like me to try to find someone else. I just can’t face that process again.

This has become a nightmare. I’m seriously thinking about giving up on family directed services, to allow the agency to do the hiring, managing, etc. If one more person tells me “I need this” … or “I need that” … “I want this” … or “I want that,” without any consideration of my son, of how their demands and choices affect/impact my son or our family I think I’m going to do bodily injury to that person.