I don't feel comfortable when the home health care aide comes in my home to bathe my mother.

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My 85 year old mother with dementia recently entered a hospice program and the home health care aide that they've been sending to my home to bathe my mom makes me feel very uncomfortable. The first thing that I noticed was that she wasn't bathing my mother at all when she thought I was occupied with other tasks and not watching her, this happened three of the four times she came to my home so far. There was just one time when the head nurse happened to be in my home, then she performed her job, I only imagine because her boss was there and she wanted to impress her.
Another thing is this person makes me feel very uncomfortable in my own home. She's not friendly at all and rarely says two words the whole ten minutes she's in my home. She also seems to have shifty eyes that betray her trustworthiness.
So I talked to the head nurse about not sending this woman to my home. I didn't want to get this woman in trouble so I told the head nurse that I was able to manage bathing my mom myself and didn't need the home health care aide, the head nurse seemed to try making an issue of it and repeatedly told me how important it was for this home health care aide to come to my home and bathe my mother even though I'm the one that bathes my mother every single day.
My issue seems to be that since I'm doing all the work why should this untrustworthy home health care aide be sent to my home to do nothing.
Am I wrong viewing things this way?

28 Comments

Just my opinion, but I would report her. She should not be in hospice if she is not doing her job. I have heard wonderful things about hospice, a bad apple in the bunch should be weeded out. What if she was taking care of someone that doesn't have someone there watching. I also know of someone in hospice in our town that was fired. I know her and I sure wouldn't want her taking care of my loved one.
The head nurse was adamant because of the money.... instead of her trying to convince you you needed this service, she should have been trying to find out if there was a problem.... they have to keep a census in order to be paid.... like goldbrand said, I have never heard anything but wonderful things about hospice, and my own experiances with them have been wonderful... so, report her, to me this is like child abuse, if not reported then this person goes on to do this to others....and if there was ever a time an elder needs to feel safe and cared for,it's the end of life... I am happy you followed your feelings, but please report her....
Ditto what they said and don't worry about it. "I'm not sure, but she seemed to not be bathing my mom, either way, I haven't felt as comfortable with her as I'd like". If you do want the service, ask if someone else may be available, perhaps she just wasn't the right fit for your family? Find a way to get the help you deserve. If you prefer to bathe mom, maybe get help with something else. Agencies are used to switching staff out to find the right fit.
Thank you all for your very helpful replies. I forgot to mention that I get up at 7am and the very first thing that I do is check on my mother then change her diaper and bathe her. I always do my best to keep my mother clean, since she has dementia she sometimes rips off her diaper and gets waste on her hands and body, oddly enough the head nurse recommended that I stopped bathing my mother and let her stay filthy until the home health care aide arrives which is around 11am... So I told her no, I just can't let my mother linger in filth and that I will continue to bathe her when I get up.
If you don't trust the aide you could try telling the Agency that the aide & your Mom "are not a good fit" (if you are worried about getting the aide in trouble). I stopped a rude Nurse from coming for Medicare skilled visits with my Mother after a hospital stay by saying that to the agency. They sent out a different nurse and she was very nice. You could always switch to a new agency also. If your gut instinct is that something is wrong - trust your gut. You and your mom have the right to have caregivers that you are comfortable with.
RaineSage: Two things: First: Your mom's bathing schedule is better with you. Why leave her like that until 11am. Second: I'm not impressed with the aid or the head nurse. I think you would do all elderly patients a kindness if you would be honest with the head nurse. Just tell her you don't feel her advise was helpful, nor could you follow it in good conscience and tell her the aid is a freeloader who does not bath your mom when she comes.

Sometimes bad behavior can start at the top and work down. Maybe there is another hospice in your area you could switch too. If not, then you really have to speak up. That's part of being an advocate for your mom and you may need help in the future so set the standard.

You are a wonderful daughter. Sending you love and hugs, Cattails
You have an absolute right to request that the hospice has a different home health aide come instead of the one that you are concerned about. If they cannot or will not change the HHA, then you have an absolute right to change to a different hospice (assuming another one is available and acceptable to you.).
You should definitely say something. They can send someone else. It is your home and you should not feel uncomfortable with this person. You will not get her in trouble. I have been through all this and the agency will just send her somewhere else. Your mother deserves the best care she can get. Do it for her. Good luck.
RaineSage, You are a wonderful daughter and your mom is so lucky to have you. After reading all the comments I have to say I, too, was fortunate with the Hospice we chose when my husband was dying; nothing but loving care was rendered. One thing I learned about choosing a Hospice is to ask them about credentialing. Many Hospices have only RNs and others have an RN directing LPNs and CNAs. This scenerio leads to a chain of command that can be inefficient. My advice from a nurse friend of mine was to hire the RN agency for my husband. Another thing to look into is what background checks does the agency perform (since you have observed her looking shifty.) You want to make sure that they check backgrounds across the U.S. and not just in your state. It's too easy for felons to move around. Bottom line is Hospice care = Medicare payments for these businesses. I would seriously consider interviewing other Hospice agencies. God bless you for your tender care of you mom.
I was a home health aide for ten years. Sometimes personalities don't fit but but as in you case she seems to want the money while doing very little. There are slackers in every profession, and she seems to be one. I have been sent to bathe a person and they refused. That is a different story. I agree that something could happen to someone who has no one to be as vigilent as you. DO report her.

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