Keeping my head up as a new caregiver.

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I just started an "career" in care-giving for Home Instead for over two months. This is just one of my three part-time jobs to support my family as a divorce parent. I know that I have the right attributes for this type of industry. Like any job, there are the negative aspects. As I give my best efforts of care giving and represent Home Instead, I find myself in awkward situations with clients. For example, being accused of stealing (I immediately reported this and asked not to work with this client again right after my shift was over with) and not locking the door when the client let me outside the door (I was told that the client's son reported this and therefore I can't take care of his mother anymore). These are just a few. I'm still getting more assignments so there must be some good reports that I'm not hearing about. LOL Just how do I keep my head up and have a positive attitude and not be in fear of being terminated?

4 Comments

The accusations made are common from elderly with dementia, etc. I would imagine the agency you work for is quite familiar with all of this; and happens all the time. You are still getting assignments; that proves they believe in you.

The industry needs good people who truly enjoy this work and you mentioned you have the right attributes for it. If you have a good relationship with your supervisor and can discuss problems openly, it should work out. Try not to take any accusations personally - and realize it is part of this type of work and most likely will occur again. Wishing you luck.
I work as a nurse in home healthcare. Your clients are only as good as your agency. As in any business, there are good agencies and not-so-good agencies. Your agency should be supportive and willing to listen to any concerns you may have whether about a certain client or about the job in general. And you should feel free to call your agency any time.

The accusation of stealing? It happens. If you still have a job it's because your agency is aware of this particular client and his/her accusations. You don't have to accept that client anymore if it makes you uncomfortable and your agency should understand this.

We go into people's homes where there is illness and family and possible family dysfunction. We're there for one reason and that's to care for the patient. In my job I'm only there for an hour or so but caregivers are there for hours and hours and see and experience so much more than I do. I'd go to the caregiver if I had a question about something before I'd go to the family because the caregiver is always there and is (should be) objective. We're not there to be friends with our clients although it can kind of seem like that since we spend time with them in their home. We meet their family. It creates a false intimacy that some caregivers can mistake for real personal relationships. But in working in home healthcare we are professionals. We are detached. We observe privacy laws when discussing our client with someone else and we don't get too comfortable because we're in someone else's home. And we stay out of family arguments. Getting in the middle of a family dispute the only person who's going to lose is the caregiver because she can be replaced.

Good luck on your new job! Give yourself time to learn the ropes and always ask questions. You are the patient's impression of what a home healthcare aide is. Maybe their only impression. Or maybe they've had aides who clashed with the family or aides who didn't otherwise work out. You can be an answer to a prayer and help someone through a difficult time. And if you get a regular client that you like and with good hours hang onto that client for dear life. It can be very rewarding for everyone.

Sunfresh, I am an independent private caregiver with people with Alz/Dementia.... One of the very first thing we have to learn, is to not take some things personal...... I have been accused of all sorts of things.... just recently, being sexually inappropriate with someone's husband..... needless to say, I no longer work for her.... but that one hurt, and sent me on the quest to see if I still want to do this..... I have been in this for 16 years.....

I have had a range of things happen, even a broken leg by a client, whose family would not listen to me that she had a UTI... I'm not trying to frighten you, just simply telling you that this is not a job for someone whose heart is not in it.... We all go thru the stage of learning to not take it personal....so hang in there, if you really feel this is your calling, then learn, educate yourself..... ect. I personally do not work for an agency..... the downside being that I have no one to advocate for me.... but it makes me be very aware of many things.... Respecting their privacy.... not getting involved with the family dynamics...learning when to leave the room when family is there, ect....

You'll do great... just hang in there, give yourself some time....and come back here and share what is going on..... we care, and we understand.... paid or not.... this is a very hard job.... so sending you hugs for joining the forces that help familes...
Thanks so much everyone for responding so quickly! I do have one consistent client who has Alz/.Dementia, but there has not been any major issues with her. Yes, she has accused me of stealing, but I just keep a close watch on her and find her misplace items and informed her of where I found them. I'm with her three days a week. I made a "flyer" of the client's ten possible places for her purse and insert it in our journal for other caregiver's. It has been a great help for them and they have added to it. LOL. Once caregiver left a note of where she place her soda drinks. The next day, she told another caregiver that I stole them. This caregiver did not read the recent notes in the journal and I found it where it was noted. I pointed out to the client where it was and that she should know out of all the time we go out to eat, I don't drink soda. I have been with her for six weeks and now I hear that she speaks highly of me from other caregivers. I don't know what exactly I did, but I do know that sometimes like in any relationship some just click in some way. Thanks again.

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