There is No Place Like Home....

Posted by Heather , 4.04.2009 4:51 PM

So, you know how in The Wizard of Oz Dorothy goes on this long difficult journey, trying to get to the wizard and fulfilling all of his requests, and in the end she had the answer all along.  Glinda sweetly tells her that all she has to do is click the ruby slippers and say "There's no place like home," and she would be on her way?  Well, I am having a serious Dorothy moment.

After a long arduous journey trying to figure out a good home for us to live in with Nick, we have come full circle and have decided to try to make our home work again.  It's a long story, but in summary, this is what happened.  Originally we were planning on making our basement into a sort of apartment for Nick.  For that to work, we needed a fancy lift to get him into the basement and back up to the main floor.  It would cost $18K.  After thinking it over and over, it just didn't seem like a good solution.  It would leave us only 2 bedrooms upstairs for the rest of the family, and would be a huge investment that would not add value to our home. So we started the search for something that would work better.  We looked at MANY houses.  A few of them had some good features, but none of them were an obvious fits.  The one we wrote about earlier looked pretty good until we found out how expensive a lift into the basement would be.

After looking at a ton of mother-in-law apartments in basements, we decided maybe an apartment wasn't the best idea after all, so we started looking for homes that had at least one good bedroom and bathroom on the main floor that Nick could use.  Again, we looked at MANY houses, and found a couple that could potentially work, but had other no yard, or they were far away from anything Nick could get to, or far away from the rest of our family.

After a long afternoon of looking at houses with our wonderful agent, Jed (my bro), we came back to our house to grab something.  Someone started measuring our doorways, and hall.  They looked a little tight, but not any worse than some other properties we were seriously considering.  Hmmmmm....this got the wheels turning.  The next morning I called our lift guy and he said a lift that only accesses the main floor would be about $9K.  We would probably be able to get a little grant to cover part of it.  $6,000 sounds much more reasonable.  Heck, I'd pay almost that much not to have to move.  

So, we have come full circle.  And, I am feeling a bit silly, like Dorothy.  The answer was staring us in the face all along: There is no place like home.

If I had known two months ago we would be back where we are, I would not have dragged everyone along for the ride.  We did what we thought was right in the moment.  So many of you have helped get our house ready to sell.  I don't think the yard has been this well-maintained since we moved in.  All I can say is,  "thank you."  It always seems ironic to finally get things fixed up right before you sell a house.  Then someone else gets to enjoy all the work. Well, we get to enjoy it this time....bonus :).

There are a few  projects we need to do to make the main level of our home work for Nick.  Our plan is to let him use the large master bedroom upstairs, and modify the upstairs bathroom to work for him.  We will use the bedrooms in the basement with the kiddos.  

At the bare minimum, we need to tear the stairs off the deck and put in a lift, and widen the doorways upstairs.  If we get really ambitious we may make the bathroom more spacious by moving a wall, and installing a roll-in shower.  We'll see how far we get.

Many of you have expressed a desire to help us out.  We will get busy making a plan of what we are going to do when.  The timing may be a little tricky with Easter and Spring Break coming up. We don't know how long we have until he comes home.  We are just waiting for his Medicaid to come through.  It could be 2-5 weeks.

Thank you for being so patient with us as we muddle through this.  Nick is doing really well.  He is ready to come home.  We are all looking forward to when he will be safely home, and happily settled in with our family.

We are also looking for someone to help us with home health care.  We can either use an agency, or find individuals on our own.  We are looking to fill 2 2-3 hour shifts in the morning and evening.  The pay would be about $9.50/hr.  If you know of someone that may be interested, please let us know.

Thanks again!  
Heather & JT

3 Response to "There is No Place Like Home...."

OlsenUpdate Says:

Heather, JT and glad you are staying!
The cost of a Home Health agency being paid for privately is really pricey. If Nic is on service with Home Health for nursing, PT, OT etc. he will likely get HHA if okay'd by his insurance, but it usually is only for about 2-3x/wk for an hour or less.
Some people use other agencies, in addition to home health for those extra hours. These are still pricey and seem to run $15 plus dollars/hr. I can get you the names of some agencies that come recommended if you would like.
I know a couple of male (and several female) CNA's that might do it privately...but I don't know if they'd do that many hours or how much they would charge. Does Nic need someone who has previous experience?
I've known people that have had success posting the job description on the UVU job board (BYU probably has one too). Another suggestion is the singles ward, BYU or UVU married and singles wards.
Last I heard (this was in July) Utah Medicaid cut off all PT and OT for home health. Nursing and aid services were still being covered.
There is a Medical Social Worker that could give you some great info if you need to talk to him. He works for First Choice Home Health and he is FABULOUS! Let me know if you want his number.
Michelle Olsen

Mary O Says:

Yea we get to keep the Zemps!!! We love all you guys and will welcome JT's brother with open arms.

April Says:

It was heart breaking for all of us to see you having to move from your dream house! That house and YARD are soooo Heather and JT. I am so happy for you guys! It will be ten thousand times easier to not have to move. That's awesome that it will work. Let us know how we can help!

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