HHA Horror Stories?

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Anonymous in Akron, Ohio

48 months ago

I have had to leave early because I didn't feel safe. I've been in several bad situations. One in which the father of a patient I was caring for tried to rape me. I later found out that my scheduler/supervisor knew about his tendencies which was very upsetting to me because she acted so surprised when I told her what happened and even tried to force me to stay on the case.
I've had violent clients that the company didn't know were violent, yet they sent me a small 21 year old into these homes they knew nothing about.
I've heard stories from fellow aides, of clients trying to stab them (happened to me too.) often clients accuse you of things you didnt do. The homes can be over-cluttered and filthy. Literally FILTHY. If you cant take strong overbearing smells, insects, pet dander, etc.. that you cant escape for a 4-8 hour shifts, I would think twice.
I would take time to talk to other HHA's you may know before you venture into this field. It's not for everyone. And you need to consider the fact that you are working alone with just that person you are caring for 9/10 times. That can be very dangerous.
Not everyone has as many bad HHA experiences as some of us do, but you should consider the probability that you will encounter a few.
I wish I'd had someone to tell me this when I first started. I would never have gone into this.

bigrosie in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

47 months ago

Anonymous in Akron, Ohio said: I have had to leave early because I didn't feel safe. I've been in several bad situations. One in which the father of a patient I was caring for tried to rape me. I later found out that my scheduler/supervisor knew about his tendencies which was very upsetting to me because she acted so surprised when I told her what happened and even tried to force me to stay on the case.
I've had violent clients that the company didn't know were violent, yet they sent me a small 21 year old into these homes they knew nothing about.
I've heard stories from fellow aides, of clients trying to stab them (happened to me too.) often clients accuse you of things you didnt do. The homes can be over-cluttered and filthy. Literally FILTHY. If you cant take strong overbearing smells, insects, pet dander, etc.. that you cant escape for a 4-8 hour shifts, I would think twice.
I would take time to talk to other HHA's you may know before you venture into this field. It's not for everyone. And you need to consider the fact that you are working alone with just that person you are caring for 9/10 times. That can be very dangerous.
Not everyone has as many bad HHA experiences as some of us do, but you should consider the probability that you will encounter a few.
I wish I'd had someone to tell me this when I first started. I would never have gone into this.

I hope you sued the company that sent you in there! I was considering doing this (HHA) after reading this, I think I won't.

annoyed in Brooklyn, New York

32 months ago

the worst agency I ever worked for Central home health aide, these people paid me just $9 an hour to work with two severely disabled adults. their disability is one thing. They are a married coupled that like calling the police on the aides and making false accusation, screaming & yelling and sometime hit their aides. while the husband tells you no one will believe you because they are disabled. People will always believe them. Can you believe they expect us to work in this stressful environment, lifting and doing everything for two grown adults who can't even assist you in their care for $9 an hr. With the exception of this couple all their other patients are drug addicts from adult homes which they only pay $8 because its just one patient. Joke of an health insurance that nobody accept, but they keep deducted out of my paycheck. plus they take out for union fees but i never seen this union. i even tried looking them up not even a site.

JJ123 in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania

28 months ago

Don't EVER leave a nursing shift early with an unsupervised client, that is considered patient abandonment/elder abuse and can get you into serious trouble...

Here's a nightmare story...worked for a lovely lady, 82, 10 years ago recovering from stroke. Her 50 yr. old daughter was POA and 100% certifiable (Bi-Polar with hoarding tendencies). Red flag 1) no references from former caregivers 2) when I first met her she told me all over her personal business 3) she slowly started hoarding junk in her Mom's house 4) she started dropping her children off after school to visit Grandma for "an hour or so". Well, 2 months into this, the daughter had 2 BEDROOMS FULL of crap in her Mom's place (as well as the entire basement--can you say fire hazard?) and the kids would come to visit after school then stay until she picked them up at 10 PM ON SCHOOL NIGHTS. When I protested, suddenly a gold cross "was missing" and I stole it and got fired. She did this when I showed up for work a few days after Mother's Day: the locks were changed and she DUG UP all of the flowers from the front yard (I paid for and planted) for her Mom. She left me a scathing VM. I was devasted but glad to get away from the scary daughter--felt soooo bad for the old lady who was sweet. Anyway, she ended up calling me 3 weeks later as the jewelry mysteriously "turned up" lol and asked me back. In the meantime 2 other CNAs quit. Needless to say, I didn't reply....

Salcare Home Health Care Services Inc in New York, New York

25 months ago

The supervising nurse and the coordinator create a plan of care that involves YOU. All complaints/comments should be directed to them. Receipts are required and is taught to all aides from the onset.

If you receive no satisfaction, change agencies. If your complaints to the agency are unheeded, you don't have much of a choice but to switch, since the direct aide supervision comes from the nursing supervisor. If the nursing supervisor is not doing her job, you can bet the aide won't either.

Good luck!

Queenbee75 in Chicago, Illinois

25 months ago

Salcare Home Health Care Services Inc in New York, New York said: The supervising nurse and the coordinator create a plan of care that involves YOU. All complaints/comments should be directed to them. Receipts are required and is taught to all aides from the onset.

If you receive no satisfaction, change agencies. If your complaints to the agency are unheeded, you don't have much of a choice but to switch, since the direct aide supervision comes from the nursing supervisor. If the nursing supervisor is not doing her job, you can bet the aide won't either.

Good luck!

As a home health aide for the past four years I have had clients who were a piece of work to deal with. A lot of them don't need us around because many of them don't want you doing things for them and yet what's the purpose of you being there when your job is to service them with homemaker and caregiving services? I had a client I was forced to drop because he had a huge problem with trash being all over the house and wound up having to report him to my supervisor even taking photos to prove what I was talking about and my boss immediately took me off and placed someone else on with this client and she too had quit because everything I said in the notes was exactly what this last aide reported in hers. The client had a rodent problem, the client is a fall risk since he's fallen twice when I worked with him, he has memory issues, his house needs a lot of work because I reported issues with the plumbing, and an overabundance of trash which resulted in the house smelling really bad and attracting rodents. The agency I work for along with who also was funding the client's homemaker services suspended the services until the client makes necessary repairs on his house and has to pass an inspection for services to resume. It comes down to this when clients homes are not safe for them or the worker to be there. My health and safety come first in order for me to do my job.

Queenbee75 in Chicago, Illinois

25 months ago

cont.

After having several sinus infections due to the rodent droppings and dirt all over the house it became clear that this client is well on his way to a nursing home. I believed he had early mild dementia since some of his memory wasnt all there and he would fall asleep forgetting he left the door unlocked which is a concern because anyone could walk into his house off the street and he wouldnt hear them come in. I was also concerned for my safety because this man also did things that was not normal like hauling his groceries in a trash can that was used to dispose of garbage knowing it's not clean. It's stuff like that which makes you nuts on your job and then they get mad when you let them know you're not putting the food they eat in something to move it to the house. Like one person said you have a lot of judgment calls and I've had my share of making a few of them.

Anonymous in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania

25 months ago

My personal spin: as a former client for my parents, a HHA, and current nursing student (worked private care and agencies) the agency should have been notified ASAP, period. You are paying for a service. Also, just my personal opinion, but agencies suck, overcharge, and hire "warm bodies". You are better off calling a local community college and trying to find nursing students who already have criminal background checks, training, etc. They will charge half of what an agency will...up to them to file taxes as independent contractors, etc.

Queenbee75 in Chicago, Illinois

25 months ago

CNAs are not eliminating LPN jobs when CNAs don't make nearly as much as an LPN and not everyone can take off the full two years to get their RN credentials. Some people still have to work and go to school and where I live in IL LPNs are a fast growing field for working professionals who want to go to nursing school, but can't take off for two years and still want to work on their RN at their own pace.

Anonymous in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania

25 months ago

That's true, LPNs are in need but it depends on the area of the country you reside. Here in PA, the only LPN jobs are nursing homes and even those are short...in general in PA/Philly the LPN/RN/and BSN market is tough...too many grads and not enough jobs. Most hospitals want nurses with BSN (for magnet status) and won't even hire a BSN out of school without 2 years "experience". It's brutal...how do you get experience without a job, and a job with no experience??? I hope Obamacare broadens hiring but I've been told due to it, the care will be minimal and hospitals will still cut staff/less hiring due to costs and doctors leaving the profession...we will all have to be more open to non-hospital jobs.

Anonymous in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania

25 months ago

learning in Reading, Pennsylvania said: Im a home health aid and needed advise to be assured if the job i chose is the right job for me. Tell you the truth i rather go work in a factory where there was not so many problems like the job i work at now, after reading about what happened at your jobs as home health aides really is helpful and I am very thankful that a client kindly sent me home without yelling, all he did was tell me that he can't have me there anymore if im going to keep on being nervous but hey what are you suppose to do if somebody keeps getting on your case about every little move you make and have you feel stupid like its not good enough they got whats annoying them off his or her chest, verbal abuse is something you do not need at all on the job.

If you are into nursing, go for it. If you just need "a job"--take the factory.

Bluetea in Texas

25 months ago

Anonymous in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania said: That's true, LPNs are in need but it depends on the area of the country you reside. Here in PA, the only LPN jobs are nursing homes and even those are short...in general in PA/Philly the LPN/RN/and BSN market is tough...too many grads and not enough jobs. Most hospitals want nurses with BSN (for magnet status) and won't even hire a BSN out of school without 2 years "experience". It's brutal...how do you get experience without a job, and a job with no experience??? I hope Obamacare broadens hiring but I've been told due to it, the care will be minimal and hospitals will still cut staff/less hiring due to costs and doctors leaving the profession...we will all have to be more open to non-hospital jobs.

Might depend on the area and the profession but my niece is a medical biller and she says to stay with direct patient care. What is going to be cut will be administration. They will: 1. Consolidate 2. Outsource or 3. Automate it.

tina in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

23 months ago

I am HHA for two going on two years and I feel for the other HHA like me. I have gone to similar problems but the one I am about to leave know if to me the top of the line. I take care of a rich client. he is a 61 year old man he had a stroke 3 years ago he is parralise from his left side and he has Parkinson decease which of course only shows in his right side it take two people to move him and get this he smoke and I have to hold the cigaret because since his has is constantly moving because of Parkinson decease so I have being twice at the doctors office I expend $150 the first time and $120 the second time I have miss two days from work I have no sick days because we are considered self employees are independent contractors I have miss two days of work each day $132 per day that is $264 and $270 on doctors visits plus medication. I do not get insurance offer by the agency so I am on my own.
This is not all it gets even better I was wearing a masck that I provide myself and the patient does not want me wearing my mask he told me if I could not handle his smoking habits he did not want me there.

I do not know what I was thinking when I decide to get work in this field. I was told it was easy to find a job doing this type of work, but it you loose your job very easy too.
Without even warnings.

tina in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

23 months ago

I am HHA going on two years and I feel for the other HHA like me. I have gone to similar problems but the one I am about to leave know if to me the top of the line. I take care of a rich client. he is a 61 year old man he had a stroke 3 years ago he is parralise from his left side and he has Parkinson decease which of course only shows in his right side it take two people to move him and get this he smoke and I have to hold the cigaret because since his has is constantly moving because of Parkinson decease so I have being twice at the doctors office I expend $150 the first time and $120 the second time I have miss two days from work I have no sick days because we are considered self employees are independent contractors I have miss two days of work each day $132 per day that is $264 and $270 on doctors visits plus medication. I do not get insurance offer by the agency so I am on my own.
This is not all it gets even better I was wearing a masck that I provide myself and the patient does not want me wearing my mask he told me if I could not handle his smoking habits he did not want me there.

I do not know what I was thinking when I decide to get work in this field. I was told it was easy to find a job doing this type of work, but it you loose your job very easy too.
Without even warnings.

tina in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

23 months ago

I am HHA going on two years and I feel for the other HHA like me. I have gone to similar problems but the one I am about to leave know if to me the top of the line. I take care of a rich client. he is a 61 year old man he had a stroke 3 years ago he is dead on his left side of the body do to Parkinson decease which of course only shows in his right side it take two people to move him, he likes to smoke and I have to hold the cigaret because since his right hand is constantly moving do to Parkinson decease.

I have being twice at the doctors office I expend $150 the first time and $120 the second time I have miss two days from work. I have no sick days because we are considered self employees are independent contractors I have miss two days of work each day $132 per day that is $264 and $270 on doctors visits plus medication, I do not get insurance offered by the agency so I am on my own.

This is not all it gets even better I was wearing a mask that I provide myself and the patient does not want me wearing the mask, he told me if I could not handle his smoking habits he did not want me there.

I do not know what I was thinking when I decide to get work in this field. I was told it was easy to find a job doing this type of work, but it is very easy to loose it
too without any warnings.

Jenny in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania

23 months ago

WOW.More proof these CNA/HHA jobs are "slave labor".

Jenny in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania

23 months ago

tina in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida said: I am HHA going on two years and I feel for the other HHA like me. I have gone to similar problems but the one I am about to leave know if to me the top of the line. I take care of a rich client. he is a 61 year old man he had a stroke 3 years ago he is dead on his left side of the body do to Parkinson decease which of course only shows in his right side it take two people to move him, he likes to smoke and I have to hold the cigaret because since his right hand is constantly moving do to Parkinson decease.

I have being twice at the doctors office I expend $150 the first time and $120 the second time I have miss two days from work. I have no sick days because we are considered self employees are independent contractors I have miss two days of work each day $132 per day that is $264 and $270 on doctors visits plus medication, I do not get insurance offered by the agency so I am on my own.

This is not all it gets even better I was wearing a mask that I provide myself and the patient does not want me wearing the mask, he told me if I could not handle his smoking habits he did not want me there.

I do not know what I was thinking when I decide to get work in this field. I was told it was easy to find a job doing this type of work, but it is very easy to loose it
too without any warnings.

You should charge $175/day min....any agency would charge $250-257/day for this client!

Jocelyn in New York, New York

22 months ago

I just posted this under a new thread but wanted to put it here too. Concepts of Independent doesn't pay! Even after you've put in work for them :( anyone else had this experience? I am hoping if some of us get together we can force them

"Hi! I worked as an assistant for Concepts of Independence at 120 Wall Street and have been having a really hard time getting paid. It took hours and hours of work to get my back pay because the "lost" my time sheets, and it's been 7 months and I am still waiting for 450 dollars!!! Nothing I do seems to work and I am wondering if other people are having the same problem. Please please reply if so!"

Salcare Home Health Care Services Inc in New York, New York

22 months ago

Jocelyn in New York, New York said: I just posted this under a new thread but wanted to put it here too. Concepts of Independent doesn't pay! Even after you've put in work for them :( anyone else had this experience? I am hoping if some of us get together we can force them

"Hi! I worked as an assistant for Concepts of Independence at 120 Wall Street and have been having a really hard time getting paid. It took hours and hours of work to get my back pay because the "lost" my time sheets, and it's been 7 months and I am still waiting for 450 dollars!!! Nothing I do seems to work and I am wondering if other people are having the same problem. Please please reply if so!"

Concepts of Independence is a Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP). They do not have to pay the home care living wage, but they do have to pay the New York City living wage. If I am not mistaken, the agency is a union agency (1199), so find your shop steward. You should write a demand letter and send it certified. If they do not answer you, consider suing them on small claims court (if the union will not intercede).

Good luck!

Jocelyn in Brooklyn, New York

22 months ago

Thanks Selcare! I did send them a few letters quoting last pay regulations, and it sped things up a little bit, but I was definitely wondering if other people here had worked for them or had similar experience because there is strength in numbers. I was never informed that it was a union shop, not even when I did my paperwork, but that doesn't mean they aren't--however an online search of their website (1199 or SEIU international) didn't turn anything up either. I only worked there for 2 months, do you have any more information or where you heard they were SEIU?

Would still love to hear from others who work or worked at concepts or who had problems with late pay in NYC. Thanks!

frustrated in Youngstown, Ohio

22 months ago

I am so glad to stumble upon this site. I am a home health aide and to read some of the things that we as HHA's have to go through is refreshing to know that I am not alone. I am a very conscientious worker and like to perform my job to the best of my ability which means well. I get frustrated when I see that I am not able to do my job the way I need to in order to help my client get or feel better. Reason being because the client will not allow you to do their job. But yet they complain about the establishment and other issues that are irrelevant. I started working on the job because I wanted to make a difference in the field. But I feel like I am getting no where fast. I went to school for accounting and am in the process of looking for an internship. But I wish that there is something that we can do to change our situation. My client uses this service as though it is a maid service and it is designed to assist him/her get back own their feet. The individual don't like to cooperate with their therapy. For me I get frustrated because there are things that I can't do even around the house because I am not permitted to do. We don't just need a union we need agencies and all establishments involved to make sure that the clients are complying with the services that they are provided. Most of my clients do but I have a couple clients that are not in compliance. I am frustrated because I feel that it is a disservice to me and well as them. So I am going to pray and ask God what do I need to do to bring about a change if possible.

Jenny in Berwyn, Pennsylvania

21 months ago

Grant013 in Astoria, New York said: I'm going to tell you all something, folks. Many nasty people become ill with dementia, altzheimers and other illnesses.They hoard things, are dirty and become very abusive verbally and physically. Basically, if someone was mean before that person aged, same person will be twice as hard after they age.They need to go to a nursing home or a mental ward. You can't work with someone like that. Forget about them being a danger to themselves, they are a danger to YOU. Their own children /relatives refuse to take care of them, because of all the problem behaviors. There are many agencies out there who just want to make the money so of course, they won't tell you. This is a low skilled, low paying job working with a very difficult and often dangerous population. I encourage some of you who can get out, to seriously get out before you lose an eye or end up in the hospital . These seniors are crazy. It's going to be too late to look for a better career when you have a scar across your face from some nut with dementia.

I sadly agree...when I worked for an "agency"--the cases were bad, very, very BAD. And the agencies ALWAYS LIED. Even as a CNA, and 2nd year nursing student...NOBODY, and I mean NOBODY, has any business working with above stage 5 Alzheimer's patient's if you have not studied any college level psychology, esp. Abnormal Psychology, or have not completed at least 1 clinical nursing student rotation. It's not safe for ANYONE, and this is what cheapens the CNA/nursing profession.

Queenbee75 in Chicago, Illinois

21 months ago

Sacha10461 in Bronx, New York said: I hear you! I have been there so many times!
Like I had one patient that was so proud that she went through at least 100 aides in 3 years. She was more interested in how I cooked her food and how I cleaned her place then her back issues!

What we need to do as HHA's is to form our own union! Plain and simple. Or some sort of agency that will look after us. The Home care agencies will NEVER look out for us!

And maybe even report these patient for possible fraud ? If my tax money is paying for a patient that claims she needs a HHA because her back is hurting but yet she does all her ADL's on her own and I'm there only to cook and clean then she committing insurance fraud!

Sacha10461

OMG you are so on point because these seniors are something else they're bringing in home health aides and can do 99.9% of their ADLs on their own then yes they are committing insurance fraud. This does need to stop because the people who ACTUALLY need the help can't get it because of seniors who are able to do for themselves without any kind of assistance of a home health aide or caregiver. I dropped a client after nearly 5 years realizing she doesnt need a home health aide to come around because she's able to cook, dress, bathe, wash, iron, and make her own bed up on her own. Even my friend who works in social service said that she's committing fraud with these services that she clearly does not need. It's sad that this is happening and it needs to be exposed for what it is.

No name in Berwyn, Pennsylvania

21 months ago

I appreciate but refute your claims personally as an RN, BSN, and MSN.

Jocelyn in Brooklyn, New York

21 months ago

This person must be a boss or someone who has never had to work to be so against us people who work hard and have the intelligence, skill, and dedication to do HHA work. We need to get together to stop people like this from intimidating us. They are the ones who are stupid because they can't see the whole picture: our companies survive off of not paying us on time or even at all, or paying us below what we need to survive, and by not giving us the support we need with clients. It is their business model, and we need an organizing model to counteract it.

If anyone is in NY or even if not, you should look up this group florencejohnstoncollective.wordpress.com they are trying to link up with HHAs and other healthcare workers who know they need to fight back and that we need to act together.

Queenbee75 in Chicago, Illinois

21 months ago

I got rid of her because I wasnt going to continue servicing a client who can do ADLs on her own without any help. I already reported this to my boss and wrote it up and it's in her file so it's a matter of time before they come in and do a redetermination of her services. My boss was floored when I told her this woman claims I am supposed to cook for her when in fact she didnt need it after she was up in the kitchen cooking lunch for herself and her family. She can dress, bathe, iron and wash for herself. She does not need me to do any of these things for her. She's got family members that can do this and they don't because they don't want to be bothered. My stress level has gone down since leaving this client and I am much happier not to have to drive clients around and spending half my paycheck on gas and maintenance.

Queenbee75 in Chicago, Illinois

21 months ago

Same reason people say the same about Mexicans and their way of doing things not all blacks are dirty and lazy. You need to get out and expose your mind you are very closed minded making blanketed statements about black people.

Miss Lizzie in Somewhere

21 months ago

Latinafemme in Brooklyn, New York said: YOU SHOULD HEAR HOW CRAZY AND STUPID YOU SOUND, I'M NOT AFRAID OF ANYBODY BECAUSE I'M A STRONG SISTER MYSELF AND I DON'T ABUSE THE HHA THEY ABUSE ME YOU STUPID JERK. BUT I DONT LET THEM GET AWAY WITH IT. I CLEANED PEOPLES HOUSES TOO AT ONE TIME AND I DID IT FOR $10 AN HOUR, I DID MY WORK, DID WELL BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT THE JOB PAID. I DIDNT TAKE IT OUT ON THE CLIENT, BECAUSE I'M BETTER THAN THAT. I WENT AND GOT A DIFFERENT JOB. IF YOU DON'T LIKE YOUR LOW PAYING JOB GO TO SCHOOL. BECAUSE RIGHT NOW YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO TALK.

Jeeze, can't we all just get along? Why are you shouting? Maybe your aide should tell your nurse you need a psych men adjustment.

Step away from the internet, troll. :eyeroll:

Miss Lizzie in Somewhere

21 months ago

Miss Lizzie in Somewhere said: Jeeze, can't we all just get along? Why are you shouting? Maybe your aide should tell your nurse you need a psych men adjustment.

Step away from the internet, troll. :eyeroll:

'med'

Miss Lizzie in Somewhere

21 months ago

Latinafemme in Brooklyn, New York said: SHUT THE HELL UP NASTY THING THATS WHY YOU HAVE A CHEAP JOB, MY SPANISH HHA IS BEAUTIFUL WITH ME. THATS WHY I HAVE SPANISH AIDES ONLY. YOU SUCKER GO BACK TO THE STREET CORNER!!!

*yawn*

Be gone Troll. Grow ups are trying to have a conversation here.

No name in Berwyn, Pennsylvania

21 months ago

You are a sad, sad "person"--and I use the term loosely. It is no wonder that over-worked, OVER-STRESSED, low-wage paid CNAs REFUSE to take care of the likes of YOU.
I have met "bitter" many times and days in my CNA travels, but you are the BOTTOM of the proverbial barrel. And guess what? I already have a college degree (B.S. BIOLOGY), CNA, and am now completing my clinical hospital rotations (third year nursing student) for my R.N. So, NO, I won't be selling drugs on YOUR HOVEL street corner. Thanks for the sarcasm. Oh yeah, by the way---WHERE IS YOUR FAMILY? YOU SEEM VERY BITTER THAT HIRED HELP
HAS TO COME IN TO ASSIST? LOL. GOOD LUCK.YOU MAKE A HEART ATTACK LOOK PLEASANT. YOU ARE THE POSTER PARENT FOR WHY CHILDREN PLACE THEIR PARENTS IN "FACILITIES": THEY CANNOT TAKE YOUR CRAP, EITHER.

Concerned in the BX in Bronx, New York

20 months ago

Wow-you totally took the words right out of my mouth b/c I could not say it better! I have been an hha for, unfortunately, three and a half years and I am sick of it! The majority of the seniors I have worked w/really are crazy and our jobs are considered the lowest of the low! We get little to no respect on a daily basis. I cannot tell you how many agencies I have been through due to lack of work (aka good cases) or just from the plain lack of respect the agency outright does not had for me as an aide. Right now I am back in school, attending my neighborhood community college&it feels great b/c I am desperately seeking to move on to a better and briter career. This job sucks and is low-paying and unappreciative. If there were more weekly paying jobs that were easy to get into here in nyc I would have been left this job for good b/c I have been mistreated and back-stabbed by mean seniors so many times I really hate the thought of working for them again b/c over half of them don't deserve a good aide. I will always keep reaching for a better job and I suggest anyone who is an hha and experiencing the same thing to do the same. We are better than simply being "domestic service workers" and deserve respect.

Jocelyn in Brooklyn, New York

20 months ago

Hi concerned! I hear you!! It is back breaking labor (sometimes literally!!) with no respect and less money, how can we survive to come back another day??? I think it is always good to try to learn more and do different work, but I worry that other jobs have terrible treatment too. I have worked as a teacher and as a receptionist, both more money than HHA (only slightly) but same problems--no job security, no respect, no health insurance, not enough days off (or too many days off ie not enough hours...) the people I am working with in florence johnston collective (florencejohnston.wordpress.com) are nurses, cna's, and case managers and have the same problems :( we want to work together to struggle against them by building unions and unity across workplaces so we can organize city wide actions (like work stoppages and take-overs) so we can actually change all our conditions for ever! What do you think? If you are in the bronx we are working with moms and workers at jacobi and NCBH...

Concerned in the BX in Bronx, New York

20 months ago

Hi Jocelyn. Thanks for the response to my post and I'm glad to know you feel where I am coming from as well. I understand where you are coming from about jobs being rough in general but my heart is no longer in helping people as an hha. I am still very passionate about the health field but I've realized that I'd rather help impoverished communities by educating them about health via outreach outside of the home environment while reaching more people. I'm just at the point where I am ready to quit this field for good and simply take my chances on another dream b/c I know deep down in my heart that there's got to be something better out there for me than this thankless and scary job. To tell you the truth, posting on this forum today has made me realize even more that hopping from one agency to another in search of something better is not the answer either cause I can never truly be happy in a field that is just another paycheck to me now. I think the work stoppage idea sounds interesting b/c I've always felt that we need to organize&unite. I'm not a patron of Jacobi or NCBH but would like to know more information about your organization for moms and workers.

Jocelyn in Brooklyn, New York

20 months ago

Hi Concerned I totally understand. I also stopped my work as an HHA and am in training to be a massage therapist and herbalist because I think it has a better chance of healing people, but it is taking a while and I am thinking of stopping to get my PCT because of job prospects. But I think you're right , no company is going to better than another! I think health education is a really admirable field. To be good educators I think its good to educate about organizing and uniting too! I don't want to post my email on this because there are real trolls out there out to hurt people, but you should email florencejohnstoncollective@gmail.com. It is the collective I work with of teachers, nurses, CNAs, and others around health care. It would be really good to meet up!

Concerned in the BX in Bronx, New York

20 months ago

Thanks Jocelyn. I'm glad to hear it. However, I recently thought about it & realized that due to this bad economy we are still in&the scarce amount of jobs out there that are available, I have no choice but to keep myself on the books to work as an hha. So I resigned from my currently agency (due to lack of work&for personal reasons) and got back to the agency hunting game by applying to another agency yesterday&making an appointment to apply w/another one on Wednesday. The biting reality is that no matter how mad I get at the situations dominating the field, it has become the only supplemental wage income I have been able to steadily rely on from agency to agency for over three years now. And another reality that keeps bringing me back is that I do enjoy getting up in the morning, donning the uniform and going to work knowing that I will get paid. As well as the fact that I do enjoy helping people (that accept and genuinely appreciate my help and company) when I do get those rare good cases. Going back to school definitely keeps me encouraged and uplifted enough to get back into it b/c I do need to keep that paycheck coming in in order to continue to pay for school. I just had to leave my last agency (Advantage Home Care) b/c my long-term patient (whom I was working w/for a few months) let me go&kept her replacement aide while I was away due to a death in my family. The agency didn't even bother to fight to help me get my job back w/the patient like they did in the past when I did not have a family emergency that took me out of town. So between that&the fact that now they don't even have any cases coming in, I resigned and am currently applying for work at other agencies. But at the end of the day, deep down we are all expendable as aides to the agencies. So my new philosophy is that we have to treat them the same. The minute they stop working for us, we have to do the same in order to let them know we mean business & are looking out for ourselves if they are not.

Concerned in the BX in Bronx, New York

20 months ago

As for the florence johnston collective. It sounds interesting&I will be sure to get back to you on that once I finish checking it out via the website. Thanks.

Jocelyn in New York, New York

20 months ago

Concerned in the BX in Bronx, New York said: As for the florence johnston collective. It sounds interesting&I will be sure to get back to you on that once I finish checking it out via the website. Thanks.

Concerned,
I hear you. For the time being, we all have to figure out where to work to keep money coming in. While none of them are better than any other in a lot of ways, I agree with this " But at the end of the day, deep down we are all expendable as aides to the agencies. So my new philosophy is that we have to treat them the same. The minute they stop working for us, we have to do the same in order to let them know we mean business & are looking out for ourselves if they are not." Doing this individually is good, but doing it together is even better, this is what workers do together when they strike, they treat the company the way they are treated!

FJC is also working on making part of a blog a place where people can share info about the worst agencies anonymously (like a backwards yelp controlled by workers!). This might be a good way to build some power leading up to collective action. it is an indirect way of putting pressure on orgs too!

We should work together to figure out how to fight the agencies collectively...right now they (the agency management) meet together in trade organizations, and meet together with "management advisers" and figure out how to screw over (pardon my language!) HHAs, but we don't have a group that gets together to figure out how to have the control we need.

Also, FJC is going to be at a small rally tomorrow at North Central Bronx Hospital with a community group in the BX to protest the L&D closure and what its doing to workers. If you (or others!) want to join do email florencejohnstoncollective@gmail.com and we can send details!

Jocelyn in New York, New York

20 months ago

Also, here are updated flyers florencejohnstoncollective.wordpress.com/2013/09/19/98/. Feel free to print and post or hand out! (they are meant to be 2-sided)

Concerned in the Bronx in Bronx, New York

20 months ago

Hi Jocelyn,

You are so right and I do agree w/where you are coming from. We do need to stand together as a collective. It will be tough though, not every hha will hop on board no matter how badly they are treated by the agencies. They are either too scared to lose what little they have or are uneducated. I know b/c of other aides I know who are like that&will not leave their agency no matter how bad it gets for them. *Also, another ugly pattern I have seen (even among my own hha co-workers/friends) is that the economical crisis is so bad that aides are willing to stab you in the back just to take your case or get over on you or ahead of you for a few extra crumbs. So you don't even have friends anymore in this field cause they are too busy backstabbing&running down your agencies/cases for hours. Friendship is gone in this field. I've even had close friends/co-workers either back stab or try to compete w/me for work.

I read the flyer link you sent me and it sounds very interesting and I am glad there is an organization out there. It makes me feel good that I am not alone&that people are out there working collectively to take a stand as hha workers b/c the funny thing is that patients (both good&bad) know they need us...However, we get treated like we are expendable on a daily basis by both our agencies and the patients. And over time, I realized that this is the secret we can all manipulate to our advantage to make the agencies bend to our will& realize how bad it will be for everyone w/out hha's to work for them. So yes, I do agree we should call for a strike one day. That's what it's gonna take in the end.

As for the FJC, I would definitely like to look into how to get more involved & I will follow-up w/the e-mail you sent me to contact them. The rally sounds great. However, I would like to know more details about it like what time is it being held and at what specific location in NCBH b/c that will help me determine whether I can attend tomorrow.

Concerned in the Bronx in Bronx, New York

20 months ago

**Also, I am very happy to say that an online job I applied for came through for me :) And if that job takes off&provides me the income I need on the side then I can begin weaning my way from home care work&just concentrate on school. That is my ultimate goal to get to a point in my life where I don't even need this kind of job b/c truthfully, I'm a college grad. & student again and my skill level is much higher than the b.s.&low skills/quality required for this job.

Jocelyn in Bronx, New York

20 months ago

Congratulations on job!! It is the least everyone deserves. I am excited to get to share more about work and how to work together. Running out the door now but ncbh rally is 11am tomorrow in front of the hospital which is by moshulu parkway and 210th!

Concerned in the Bronx in Bronx, New York

20 months ago

Thanks :) I appreciate that. It's a work-at-home gig but it's w/a more prestigious job title and pay. Can you believe it? Even a work at home job in a field that has nothing to do w/home care offers a better pay rate per client than someone providing home care to a patient via an agency. That really tells me a lot about what caring for people at home really means to this country & it's very sad.

Thanks for the info. about the rally. It is very interesting but unfortunately, I may not be able to make it b/c of the short notice about it and my other obligations for the day. However, I would like to stay informed about future rallies/events so I can try to make it to a future rally b/c I still think it is very important for us to all stand together as hha workers in a thankless career field. We need a shake down that will provide us better wages, better work environments, hours, and job security.

Concerned in the Bronx in Bronx, New York

20 months ago

*Also, since I have experience working for three and a half years w/home care agencies, I wouldn't mind working private now b/c I know I have the skills and the abilities to do it. So, on the side, I am also looking for my own workload via a website that advertises for people seeking caregivers. Working private may just be the next best thing in working home care until the agencies get better. Plus, I feel it is a great way to establish oneself independently from home care agencies.

No name in Berwyn, Pennsylvania

20 months ago

It is! Get the training and references from agencies/clients. You can then expand on your own. I have be independent for 3 years now while attending nursing school. I set my salary/days, rules, etc. it is SO much better. Even charging $175/day for a live-in is STILL cheaper than the agencies--the difference is I cut out the "middleman"--them. Service/skills still the same. Try to team up with colleagues on assignments,too, helps a lot. These agencies do little but take your earned money!

Concerned in the Bronx in Bronx, New York

20 months ago

Very True. However, I think what is even better than that is having both private and agency work. That is why I am on the search to have both now. The reason why I say that is b/c what I realized is that going totally private in the field has its drawbacks too that I don't want to get caught up in. For example, the fact that even though you make more money, the money is not taxed so it won't go towards social security for retirement, workers' comp., SSI, etc. unless you save it up on your own (which is harder these days). Also, w/an agency there are more rules to guide you along so that you don't get in any legal binds or disputes w/a patient. Plus, the comradery of other fellow co-workers to vent with from the same agency is helpful and benefiting. It holds you together and keeps you going through tough times. And I don't see nothing wrong w/following certain rules and regulations of protocol b/c we all need them as a guide to protect ourselves. That's why no matter how I feel I always try to look for an agency to remain active with b/c in the end it will be beneficial even if I land something private on the side.

Miss Lizzie in Somewhere

20 months ago

Concerned in the Bronx in Bronx, New York said: For example, the fact that even though you make more money, the money is not taxed so it won't go towards social security for retirement, workers' comp., SSI, etc. unless you save it up on your own (which is harder these days).

Just a small correction, you DO get taxed for SS and Medicaid when you work as an independent, you pay double tax on both.

You pay the share you would pay if you were a W2 employee *and* you pay what the employer would pay. Which sucks, but I still make more money as an independent than I would if I worked in a nursing home and especially more than as a HHA.

Miss Lizzie in Somewhere

20 months ago

Miss Lizzie in Somewhere said: Just a small correction, you DO get taxed for SS and Medicaid when you work as an independent, you pay double tax on both.

You pay the share you would pay if you were a W2 employee *and* you pay what the employer would pay. Which sucks, but I still make more money as an independent than I would if I worked in a nursing home and especially more than as a HHA.

:correction: As an agency HHA

Concerned in the Bronx in Bronx, New York

20 months ago

Oh wow Lizzie :0 I didn't know that. Very interesting. However, I stand by what I say. I'd rather see if I can have it both ways in the field both private and agency, if possible. But I wish you the best of luck to keep doing what you do & whatever makes you happy while I will do the same. Also, truthfully, I don't know too many aides who work private. All the aides I know work for agencies and do agency based hha work. I have also seen random private aides come to agencies to apply or find out how they can apply to work or train to become an hha for the agency. Take Care.

Miss Lizzie in Somewhere

20 months ago

Concerned in the Bronx in Bronx, New York said: Oh wow Lizzie :0 I didn't know that. Very interesting. However, I stand by what I say. I'd rather see if I can have it both ways in the field both private and agency, if possible. But I wish you the best of luck to keep doing what you do & whatever makes you happy while I will do the same. Also, truthfully, I don't know too many aides who work private. All the aides I know work for agencies and do agency based hha work. I have also seen random private aides come to agencies to apply or find out how they can apply to work or train to become an hha for the agency. Take Care.

You too :)

I like being an independent. I have worked in a nursing home and as an agency home care aid. There is something to be said for having work friends, but aids come and go so quickly in nursing homes it's not worth it to me to work in facility just for friends.

I work a 40 hour week and I can choose the clients I want to work for. I could work more than 40 hours if I wanted to, or less. Taxes are a bear, but you get used to putting that money away. If I had kids or owned my own home I would get a better tax break, but being independent is still worth it, to me anyway.

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