“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


The Company that Cannot

Is this a story I should tell?

Should I be brave & mention the real names,
or play it safe & only hint at them?

It's the story of a company that doesn't care, despite their name.
It's the story of S
(you see how I'm hinting  here, how I have so little courage? ),
who bought the company from B.
It's the story of F, who works for S - are you keeping this straight?
It's so difficult,  I know.
I am here, in the midst of this story, and it is difficult even for me.
It's the story of a company who finds nothing wrong,
nothing untoward in treating a woman like a commodity.
Yes, she is aged,
yes, she is ailing,
yes, she is stubborn & angry sometimes,
but she is a woman,
a human being,
still alive,
still listening to their lies & watching their games.

It's the story of a company who pretends.  Oh,  they will say, her comfort,  her well-being, these are the things we care most about.  Oh,  they will say, we are so sorry  we didn't return any of your phone calls last night - sometimes that particular cell phone doesn't work until we open up the office the next morning.   "But is she okay?",  they will ask, voices oozing concern, "that's the most important  thing."

It's the story of a company that cannot pick up broken cookies or bowls of peanut butter from the floor - yes, she left them there in a moment of confusion, but this is the story of a company that cannot.  Do not forget that or, like me, you will be disappointed & angry when they step over those bowls.  This is a company that cannot allow their employees to change a cat litter box, cannot allow their employees to help her take her medicine, cannot allow their employees to help her bathe, cannot allow their employees to wash a window so she can see outside, so she can enjoy the birds & the flowers & the rainclouds.  This is a company that cannot take the reheated food out of the Tupperware bowl & place it on a plate for her - eating from the bowl should be just fine  for her.  She is aged - no reason to make the meal pleasant.  This is a company that cannot remember that you know they already have  the nurse's phone # & the doctor's name, when they ask again,  when they make a great show of writing it all down again.

This is a company that cannot understand why the neighbors have keys, but they  do not.  This is a company that cannot have that.  Oh, they will ask, and why did  you just happen to stop by when we were supposed to be there & we weren't?

This is a company that cannot tell the truth - the dishes will be washed, they say, but there they sit in the sink the next morning. Oh, they will say, you misunderstood.  And her, too.  Yes, and he  misunderstood also.

You too, they will say.


  1. You should check to see if Tyler has an Agency on Aging or other state agency that can help out. I know that there are programs here where you can have someone come in everyday to take care of little things like that. I hope that Mary can hang on that long without help. Sorry you are having to deal with it, I understand. Love you!

  2. Oh, I am out of the picture. No, I don't mean THAT. It's just that the company in charge of her caretaking has been sold & the new owner is not good. And, of course, Mary's daughter lives out of state & has her own medical problems. Luckily the new owner has retained L., although she HAS done everything in her power to drive L. away. It's senseless. Another bit of good news is that an everning caretaker has been rehired - someone who predates L., someone Mary loves. Unfortunately, however, they must work under the auspices of this company's rules, regulations & procedures - all of which have suddenly changed.

    Things will be okay. But I wanted it on record in case something happens.

    How's that for a little happy ending?

    :) Debi

  3. Well...it's wonderful that Mary has someone back that she feels comfortable with...but all this other stuff is just plain, well...shitty.

    I hear your aggravation...


  4. So, WHAT does this company do? I mean, on paper, what is their obligation?
    Sigh...this should not be falling onto Mary at this time in her life. Makes me want to shake a corporate tree. Argh!
    However, how fortunate that Mary has people like yourself in her life even if you are standing helplessly being witness to this atrocity. You do care. You do check on her status. And I know you do spend time with her. This support is priceless. Perhaps you feel that it isn't nearly enough to offset the injustice of it all.
    But, it truly is better than nothing.
    You are an angel! : )
    Big hugs to you.

  5. Celeste & Paula - It's a horrible situation. Katie & I talk often & ask why now? Why not just let things stay as they were, even though rules were being broken? On paper - they do very little but take money. They sit. Literally. If she wants a shower, she must hire someone else. If she wants the floor swept, she must hire someone else.

    And you know? They don't even sit well. They will just sit. It is truly unbelievable. It is a terrible company that . . . oh, I could TELL YOU THINGS!

    Thank you all for the shoulders to cry on.

    Love you all,

  6. It is so incredibly sad that so many are motivated only by money, especially when they are in the business of *taking care* of others.
    What is happening to humanity? Has it always been like this?
    We are all going to become aged, and we will all want to be taken care of by caring and compassionate souls. What a gift Mary has in you, dear Debi. You see her in her beautiful entirety, as a human being complete with her own thoughts and emotions and sensitivities...not just a series of jobs that need to be done.
    Much love to you both.

  7. Sending love your way. I hope Mary is having a good week.


  8. Jaime - It's really awful. Awful. And every day they "discover" a new rule that must be followed. I understand that they are liable legally for stuff, but not all caretaking companies are this way. I've dealt with the one my mom used when she broke her hip, and they were terrific. NEVER hassled me for money as I had funds transferred from here to there, etc., 24 hour a day care with no problems. These people Mary has to contend with want a new person to be hired for every little thing. Even her nurse says it's a bunch of hooey.

    Cookie - I think she's a bit better this week. She finally realized yesterday that she's being "baby-sat" & was not happy about it. This weekend oughta be a pain. She's supoosed to only see one of the women who didn't pick up the cookies & peanut butter. No one to give her meds, etc. That leaves me. Which will be fine, but I KNOW she will be in a Mary-Mary-quite-contrary mood. Sigh.

    Thanks to both of y'all for your concerns.

    Love, Debi


come. sit under the emma tree & let's talk. i have cookies . . .