Wednesday, December 12, 2012
The CareHome Story pt.1 The Beginning
I think it is time that I write the story of the carehome. I had in my old blog many references on the carehome but what I didn't EVER clarify is, how it came to be and how it almost killed me in more ways then the obvious ones.
This will be a story in parts because 7 years isn't a story to be told quickly and there is many moving parts to it, but there is certain things that I might skip over due to well confidentiality.
I once owned and operated a carehome for 15 people and 6 employees.
The Pierce Guest Home was an assisted living home for the elderly. My ex-husband owned it for almost 16 years. My ex is the father of my 2 oldest children. My kids spent their weekends there while their dad worked round the clock, they were 6 & 7 yrs. old. That type of business is 24/7, 365 days a year. I had no part in it during the early years of him first taking it over ( I was just happy he had a job & could start paying support), he took it over from an owner who was losing the license and had several bad incidents that ruined the reputation of it with abuse issues. The ex was able to regain that reputation from the early years, he was an excellent care giver whom cared for his residents greatly.
The guest home was set in a rural setting amongst the orchards and farm lands. It had a main house that had 7 bathrooms 2 large sitting rooms, huge kitchen, dining room, an upstairs apt or sleeping quarters and then 3 private outside rooms with their own bathrooms. The license was for 15 beds which meant we had private rooms and shared rooms. It had been established in the 60's by a local Dr. who seen the need of an assisted living place for those who didn't need a medical facility but just some care with meals, baths, medicine, medical appts. and housekeeping. The place had different owners thru the years but it had been part of that small community for years. The residents were are local folks who lived in the area their whole lives and even knew eachother thru family farms, the cannery, or churches. It was a sweet setting.
How do I start this..... hmmmm....First of all this was never about money, it was about helping someone out..... I got the care home from my ex-husband, he was losing his licenses due to some violations from the state regarding poor employee 's decision that along with his personality conflict with his case worker she wanted him out!!! He had dumped so much into this home and he was losing it, he tried to sell it, put out lots of money for a Realtor to help him get it sold but the economy had dropped and the loans weren't being easily given so he couldn't get a buyer before his license was being revoked. He was soon to be homeless, he was seriously losing everything, he constantly spoke with my husband penciling and papering him with figures.... we could make this much $$$ if we took it over and then sold it once the market got better hell it was a turn key money maker if ran right and he would lease it to us and then when sold we would get our bills paid off with a lump sum for helping (again not about the $$$). The ex lived at the facility, he had no other job and yes he made money from it, but it was his dream .....it was his goal and he was able to make it work. He loved being a care giver his parents were much older when they had him & his twin and his dad was already disabled so he grew up taking care of them, losing his license was a slap to his pride, broke his heart, but more than that he was not about to just walk away without some pay out from it.......enter ME the one person who would never allow a family member to suffer, Me the heart on my sleeves, he was my childrens father how do I face them knowing I could of helped but didn't, we got along well for our kids, they never were asked to choose, they knew there was no secrets amongst the houses. Him & I were never a good match and he wasn't a good husband for ME (I will not drag his faults out here in this story)......for one he was a drinker when we got married but quit AFTER we divorced, so it made it possible to interact. Holidays weren't divided up. We communicated not as a husband & wife but as a team raising kids. My husband, Michael, gets along fine with him(well they did before this CH mess) I did the work and the ex paid the kids bills, their dad was the provider in their later years not so much in the early years, not very present but he would make sure they had $$$ for the things they needed or wanted. Lots of friends would comment how lucky I was on how he was but the underlining thing here ....how lucky he was on how I was, I am not about money or revenge on my hurt by using my kids as weapons. I did not believe on dragging anyone thru court and I took a huge loss but I know now how much my adult children appreciate what I sacrificed of myself for them to have us both. The years of being a single mom yes single because it is easy to write a check what isn't easy is giving your time, showing up, staying up with sick kids, Dr. appts, and participating in their DAILY lives. My one rule was they could stay with him whenever..... but they live with me !!! I gave birth to them I provided that 1st home and until they were 18 they were mine no ifs or butts. His life was round the clock shifts and when home he slept what a great atmosphere for a teenager.... no supervision (NOT), so.......no living at his house!!
The beginning process to get me licensed started in March. Note I did this ALL while maintaining my FULL time job with the county in the Ag Dept. I would NOT quit my secure job, my insurance, my retirement. I used vacation time, sick leave and hours and hours of comp time, meaning I went into the office hours early. I had to attend an orientation to get familiar with what the State requires just for you to apply for a license. You have 3 chances with your application 3!!! If you do not dot all your I's right and cross your T's correctly you are denied and can not apply again for a whole year. So they have an agency that will help you with your application for a fee (1,000.00) and even then it can be denied. The application is 200 pages of bond stuff, laws, employee rights, residents rights, State stuff, and then of course money stuff, just to name a few. It costs to submit your application & if it is denied it costs to resubmit, mine was denied once even with the help of a professional. I had to get my administrator's license as well because even if I hire an administrator or have one I to begin with have to be one so I know the rules and regulations correctly myself. That is an 40 hour class with the test at the end of the week and it costs $250. for this class and then you are required 40 hrs of continuing education hours every 2 years to keep the license current the classes were all over the State of Calif and had to be done in a certain amount of time so you could not hold off hope that they would hold one close to your area (online stuff wasn't acceptable until the last year of me having it). There was also certain certifications required to obtain....... again classes, money, and my time away from family and my real job.
Because the State was involved with the ex's situation they were suppose to expedite my license. One of the things I learned in the numerous classes and orientation........there is an 80% mortality with the elderly by being move from home to a facility to another facility.... old folks just do not like change, it is tough for any of us, but the precipitations of our parents generation of a "HOME" was convalescent homes and that meant a place to go die. They were not comfy make it your own home places like they have now and what our place was. The carehome had a certain charm and it had 13 residents that would need new homes if they just shut the doors. So the State will not just go in and empty out a facility unless it is pretty horrible, they want it to stay open but with different management and staff if at all possible. The assisted living homes are badly in need of along with dementia care and Alzheimer. But they didn't do me any favors that were told to me in the beginning, I was treated the same as all the other applicants except my agenda was cramped into a huge time frame. I took classes I did numerous forms and financial statements. I had to prove private income, operating costs that I could obtain in case of emergency within 72 hours which meant a minimum of 86,000.00!!! Thank God for my credit history and my years of living in my means. I did not have that in a bank but I had enough credit that I could borrow to come within that #. Every step of this process was a stress, a major how much more stress can I go thru kind of stress while working full time and raising a family, a very active family. The hoops jumping thru were never ending and there was never any compensation or money coming from the home yet to support all the fees, licenses, applications, courses, certifications, and traveling. The ex's license was being revoked in Nov. I started in March come Nov. I still hadn't had my application approved so I operated under a emergency temporary until mine got approved.
To Be Continued........