Tuesday 12 January 2016

Bored cat; bored me

Poor Daisy, she's so bored. I was cleaning the fish tank, and had the cover partially open. She was fascinated with her fishy friends. Aside from a 7:00 a.m. phone call from Steve at Srutech (?) regarding Windows, it is a busy day. Hubby asked, "WHO?" and Steve hung up. It is the second such call.

Hubby dispatches and delivers Meals on Wheels Tuesdays (a 3-hour job), while I visit with my client for 3 hours or so. Disparities in the system abound. Hubby gets mileage. I do not. Those of us who do respite and hospice volunteer work cost too much money and the agency doesn't have enough funds for us. It irks me. I don't mind the time, but the lack of respect for those of us who help caregivers, and help keep failing or palliative seniors in their homes. There isn't the money for it.
I learned this app for a client with ALS

I've been doing newsletters for this group, two per year, and did the last in 2015, until there was a change in policy. Suddenly, they've outsourced the newsletter to a PR firm, who also manages their Social Media. I'd offered to do this, revise their blog, post some of my article based on current research. I need something to do. With an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Technology, I wanted to use my skills where I could. Suddenly retiring is a shock to the system. My previous volunteer job is similarly being done by a young person hired by a grant. You have to give it to the young people who find a niche, and earn a living doing this. I thought I'd been doing a good job. It is demoralizing. The powers-that-be have no idea.

I learned technology on the job, then used the skills I'd learned tutoring and providing workshops to my peers for my volunteer agencies. I began writing educational articles, as well. Society is going to have to figure out how to meld those needing employment with those who are retired. I retired at age 50, burned out having cared for mom and dad, while teaching anger management students in Parry Sound. I was sneered at by my bossy principal, who mocked my work. I wrote my book, but left her out of it, as well as the doctor who failed my father. It sold some, but getting press was difficult. I learned how to manage social media and managed to give some caregiving workshops. Then, I looked for something else to do.

We have 85 volunteers in our regional office. Many are age 70+. There are many who take off for a month or two, to go south. They need to be replaced. I've often replaced those on vacation. I did 3 years occasional teaching, I can go in cold! I relearned sign language for one client. Sadly, they took him away from me. Since my depression issues, I'd have panic attacks, as well as other symptoms, I've found a balance in my medication. Since hubby's major surgery, another appointment to check the progress of his cancer, I've learned to find a balance, but things like this set me on edge.
Rant over. Thanks for listening.

We had 9 deer visit this morning. We've seen few bucks, they've taken off somewhere.
On our walk a few of days ago (Jan 6th), Daisy and I found a skunk track. You can tell it is a skunk rom the size of the track, as well as the digging job it did, looking for grubs.
The walking is treacherous, since the snow melted, and then froze. The frog pond is very full.


Anonymous said...

The only part of your blog that made me chuckled was your comment of, "I need something to DO." Omigosh, my friend it seems to me that all you do is DO and mostly for others.
Your observations re: hospice care are spot on and supported by a recent article in The Globe & Mail.
As to volunteers....it seems to me that given what they save 'the system' a per diem to cover out of pocket expenses is hardly unreasonable. I think there are those who can't volunteer because they can't afford to! I know that it costs us about $600 a month for gas and day trips 'treats' alone when we spend a month at a time with my mom. All she enjoys is driving around hour after hour to look at the sights. Howe could a volunteer do that?? Hell...I can barely afford it!
You have so much expertise and compassion to offer. Here's to some agency recognizing it in 2016.

William Kendall said...

Every once in awhile a good rant is required.

Kay L. Davies said...

Oh, Jenn, I understand...even if I'm seeing the problem from a different angle. I start off every day (except for the worst ones) thinking of all the things I will do. Then I find out I can't do most of them. Dick has become quite useful, however, so that's good.
I don't have any real knowledge of the funds available to help volunteers help others. I think there should be some sort of stipend available for gas and mileage, though.
Nevertheless, I hear you, my friend. Frustration can drive us crazy, can't it?
Love and hugs,

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
It's true that volunteers of all kinds are pretty much always not considered as 'employees', neither are they considered to have any kind of academic standing. It stinks. If all volunteers, everywhere on earth, withdrew their services forthwith, it'd be a fair bet a few establishments would grind rather slowly along, wondering what happened to their engine!!!

Nil illegitimi carborundum Jennifer! YAM xx

Phil Slade said...

It's hard getting to a certain age when one becomes invisible. My sympathies to you Jennifer. Keep up the good thoughts and good deeds, not to mention your empathy with the natural world.