Paid caregiver woes.

Started by

I have not seen this issue addressed. Does anyone who works full time and cares for their parent after work have caregivers who are difficult for one reason or another? The first one I had was chosen by my family, but I did not know her at all. She gave my mother great care; everyone things that is all that matters. She added enormously to my stress ; she was controlling, in my business, going behind my back to numerous family members, often about things that had nothing to do with my mother . She told lies. She rolled her eyes and smart mouthed if I asked her to do things differently. I always bent over backwards to please her-giving her time off often, rushing home from work so she could leave. Ultimately, she lied about a few things and managed to turn my family against me; we were a very close family. It has been many months, but hard to get over. Since then, a parade of caregivers from irresponsible to sickly to downright lazy have come through. The caregiving is intense ( Mom is 102), my job is crazy, and the caregivers just add to the stress. I'm grateful to have them, but wish I didn't have to.


Doraann, so sorry to read about the paid caregiver issues. Knock on wood I have had zero problems, I use an agency for my Dad's caregivers and they are on a rotating schedule, so it isn't just one person there for 24 hours, there are 3 separate shifts. And different caregivers for the weekends. Each one has a special skill to Dad's care.

Yes, agencies are expensive especially if they are licensed, bonded, insured, and have workman's comps for their employees. And it can take awhile to find the right fit for the patient. Plus if a caregiver calls in sick or has transportation issues, the agency gets another person to fill in, even if it is one of the Staff who comes to help.

Dad complains about the cost, but that is what rainy days funds are for.
Thanks. freqflyer. Unfortunately, we paid out of Mom's assests until all was gone! She had been very thrifty, very saving, but paying for care used it all in a few years. Now, Medicaid pays-and they do not pay for around the clock in VA.
Doraann, I am impressed that your Mom is 102, wow all the things she had seen in her life time, all the new inventions that us youngsters take for granted.

I don't think Medicaid pays around the clock in any of the States, except if one is in a long-term-care facility.
Contrary to accepted wisdom I think in many ways it would be easier to have several caregivers rather than relying on one. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, so the caregivers can hopefully balance and compliment each other. Also I would think there is less frustration and burnout on both sides since everybody gets a break from each other.
Never had this experience but I can tell you that from the various home care nursing services, I like the idea of rotating and/or varying as after the second or so time they've been hired, there's some deterioration of attentiveness.

There's also a vast difference between ones who are mature and have more experience, those who have more experience with elders, and those who are much younger and primarily want the flexibility of working their own hours but don't have that much elder experience.

How are you getting these caregivers? Are they all through the same agency? If so, perhaps it's time to change agencies. I have the feeling though that they're not agency employed, as it doesn't seem as if someone who reports to an agency structure would be as callous as the ones you described.
I agree with cwillie and GardenArtist postings above. Doranne, if you are not limited to just one caregiver see if Medicaid could split the time using two different caregivers.

The caregivers I have for my Dad are a nice variety of different personalities, different ages, and each brings to the table their special knack of doing things. Example, one day I walked into my parent's house and the Caregiver had rearranged the living room making it more user friendly, wow what a difference and much better for my Dad to use.... another Caregiver can open up the refrig and prepare a 3 course meal from the items she finds :)
I agree with most of you that rotating caregivers is far superior to just one. I am a somewhat-paid live-in caregiver for a family and being the only one has way too many downsides--everything gets blamed on me. I am a doormat, a punching bag, a ping pong ball in a manipulation game between family members....i could go on and on. Better to have boundaries and not B so familiar /closely involved. They say that familiarity breeds contempt, and it's true!!
wow, if the caregiver lied about things and turned your family against you, that is pretty bad. I sure hope you filed a complaint or something like that! so sorry you have to go thru all this. yes, several caregivers would be better.
Dallas have you found a way out yet? Or are you still there with all the problems? I have been wondering?
Yes, Pamzimmrrt, I finally did! I had met a very interesting fellow at the grocery store about six months ago. He used to be the piano player for Al Hirt and Pete Fountain, mostly in New Orleans "glory days" and was so interesting! Unfortunately, he passed away and his roommate, a singer, allowed me to stay in his old room for 3 weeks only (because of my FIVE cats. I am so much better and have begun to heal. I snuck out in the middle of the night to avoid my ever-abusive employer who had become SO VERY ugly. Still a lot to overcome, but things are looking up for us! Thank you for asking!

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support