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Divide & Conquer (Part 1)

Reprinted from PN August 2002

Splitting your needs among several assistants may solve many problems.

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For all the help you need each day, you employ one personal assistant (PA). So, how many of the following nightmares have you experienced...or worried about?

Your PA:

— Calls at noon from the hospital's emergency room. She has been in a car accident, has a broken femur, and won't be able to assist you for at least six weeks. As you hang up the phone, you wonder whom you can call for help getting to bed tonight!

— Provided the 30-day advance notice you require for resigning and told you she must move out of the area as soon as the 30 days are over. That was more than three weeks ago, and your newspaper ads haven't been successful in recruiting a replacement. You're worried about not finding new help by the deadline.

— Has also been a romantic live-in. You have sensed your mate might be cheating on you. However, tonight, after you were helped into bed, the two of you had a painful blowup. As your mate stormed out of the shared apartment, she screamed she would be back in the morning to get you up, pack her belongings, and move out. Alone in bed tonight, you doubt you will get much sleep while wondering whether she will actually show up tomorrow morning to assist you —and then, how you will be able to recruit her replacement by bedtime.

— Has been losing interest in helping you and has often vented his anger at you during work shifts. He has been adjusting your needs and schedule around his preferences. He arrives late, refuses to assist more and more of your needs, and leaves early. You've also just discovered he has been using your credit card and stealing from your prescription meds. He is in a position of incredible power and abuse; he knows it and is enjoying it. You haven't a clue about how to get him out —and get new help in —while maintaining uninterrupted assistance to your needs.

If you have experienced or wondered about situations like these, you will want to read Alfred H. "Skip" DeGraff's article in the August 2002 PN/Paraplegia News. In Part 1 of a two-part series, this SCI quad, who has hired and managed his PAs for almost 35 years, offers insights into how you can gain —and retain —control over your personal-assistance needs.

 

To read more about this, order the August 2002 PN, Click Here.
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Divide & Conquer (Part 1)

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