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I've learned something this past week. Don't pay people that you've used from an agency more $$ or off the books because it and most important THEY will not work out. This is the 2nd time I've discovered this fact from 2 different agencies. We get them from the agency -- they work out great and then let us know that they are willing to work as a free lance (SSH, don't let the agency know -- that they ALL do this) . You think great, mom loves them, the paid help will get more $$ in their pockets -- all good right. WRONG. As soon as they become free lancers, they think THEY are the boss and don't follow instructions, take over your TV, feed your mom junk food so she gets constipated and act like they should be paid good $$ for this. Sometimes they have the nerve to not even treat your mom with the respect she deserves which is an even bigger insult. SInce you can't complain to the boss -- you the payer are screwed. Advice to the wise: Only use people through the agency. Seems they are on their better behavior then because they know you can complain to a higher up. The help may get less $$ in their pockets through the agency but from my experience -- the more $$ doesn't seem to make them "better". Strange but true. You thinkit would be opposite but people are people.

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I work for an agency, am middle-aged and I give my patients the care that I would give my own parents. But never would I steal my patients away from the agency that brought them to me. In fact, my patients children asked me to work directly for them and thereby put more $$ in my pocket. I said NO! I am not willing to be underhanded and show that I have absolutely no integrity. The family was so impressed with this (which I now realize they were testing my truthfulness before they signed the contract with the agency for my services) and they now give me an extra hundred dollars every few weeks. Loyalty and honesty always pays off and 'what goes around-comes around' Be true to yourself and others!! as well as being the best caregiver you can be!
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I'm offended by this "profiling" you have put on independent Caregivers. First of all, maybe you would be wiser to not default on your contract with the agency, and hire their employees on the side. That's the first problem. Anyone dishonest enough to betray the employer, and the agency itself is questionable in the first place. I've been an independent Caregiver for 3 years, and all kinds of people try to boss me around, and tell me what to do. I'm not interested in bossy, disruptive people. I treat people with respect, and it has to be mutual. I listen to what my boss tells me to do. (And, her lawyer)...as long as she is well cared for, and happy, and healthy..lm doing my job. I am committed, and work my butt off for the lady I care for. It's not easy being around anyone for 96 hours straight....a week for ANY amount of money. And those of us who are reputable, and care about the people we take care of DO deserve a fair rate of pay. Insurance companies pay anywhere from $15.75 to $27.00 per hour in California. I don't make a fraction of that, but I still choose to stay with my boss for as long as she needs me. Please don't label private Caregivers or profile them in generalities that are so negative. There are many, many of us who are taking excellent care of your parents, and work hard to keep them healthy, happy, and nurtured! Show a little respect...please.
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You're welsome Kedwards, yes mine are early 50's and fabulous. I have had trouble with younger ones (with kids) calling in alot and unable to lift mom for transfers. I also didnt want ones from a nursing home bringing in germs, I am a fanatic that they wash and purell when they get to my house. Ya, a little ocd maybe but they can carry lots of things to my Mom regardless of where they have been. HaHa. When you get a good caretaker, keep em! The job changes over time as they decline and that can change the person a lot when lifting is involved. Btw, the survelience cameras are great. (They can also lie and say they fell themselves so its good to have everything on tape) We dont watch them anymore, we did in the beginning, unless we suspect something. We had one really nice woman tell us mom slide out of her chair, etc and actually she dropped her slowly and tried to drag her near the chair to make it look like that. Regardless she quit, lol. I dodged 2 that I had a bad feeling about, from agencies, who ended up being sued for stealing. I nearly died when I read it in the newspaper. I have a daily schedule for Mom so it helps, good luck!!!
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Reverseroles: I am thinking of a nanny cam. Funny you mentioned it. Sorry you had bad luck through the agency. WE finally found 1 through the agency (AND THROUGH THE AGENCY SHE WILL STAY FOR MANY REASONS but the main one is we need to start using mom's LTC to cover SOME of these exorbenant costs). This young girl is a CNA, has a grandmother with PD who she takes care of and is sweet. Had misgivings because she's so young but the ones we've had that are middle aged (like me) dont' work out. You think they (older) would be better but they could be menopausal or burnt by other life issues and they don't work out. Thanks for advice for. I'm keeping my fingers crossed on the gem we got from the agency and hope she doesn't get too comfortable. Have a great day.
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Sorry I am on an iPad and it wouldn't let me spell correct nor scroll to see what I wrote, hope u can read it. Hate this thing!
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Kedwards, I have used both agency and caregivers from care.com or word of mouth throughout the daycare owner. My experience is the women from agencies are lousy. No offense , there shouldnbe good ones but I tried four of them. You see, these are people who cannot do other jobs usually. Whe you hire privately younger true caregivers whondo it for s living andnlove their job, most young retirees who can now do what they want and Rent just in it for the money. They pay their taxes and I pay them well if they are good to keep them. Inalso have nanny cams, most people lie I can tell you that! I went thru so many to find the best, good luck to you!
Ps when you hire from care.com or other places online they do a free background check.
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Kedwards460, if you got a caregiver through an agency and decided to treat her as a "free lancer" instead, she is not working for the agency in your case, even if she has other clients through the agency. That is what the "ssh don't let the agency know" is about. And paying under the table is a way to cheat the IRS.

Hiring an independent ("free lance") caregiver who is in business for herself and set up to operate that way is NOT the same as working with someone who is willing to cheat their employer and the government.

I am not a caregiver but I am a consultant. I have worked through an agency (which I am doing now) and I have also worked independently. My work ethics and my integrity are exactly the same either way. I am good at what I do and my clients get full value from my services, whether they pay the agency or pay me directly. But when I have worked independently it was all above-board. No cheating on taxes. Nothing behind-the-backs of an agency. No under-the-table payments.

I agree with hessaw. Whether you use an agency or an independant care provider, you are responsible for monitoring the level of care.

RLP, I would not discourage you from hiring an independent contractor.

I'm just cautioning against dealing with someone willing to be unethical in her work practices.
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It is most important to monitor any caregiver in the home. When patients are at risk is when the "supervisor", you, is not doing your job. Agency or freelance, only you can watch out for your patient's safety and well being. Wonderful caregivers deserve gratitude and monetary reward if possible. Most do not make enough for the importance of the job's responsibility.
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In some ways I agree with this, but when you live in a small town it is easier to know a "free lancer's" reputation. My mother would be happier with someone she knows, so I will look at both situations.
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I, also, am a paid caregiver, and I do understand what you are saying... You have had a bad experiance... while I do understand your motive, it should have been a red flag that said caregiver was willing to screw over the agency that was helping them to find work.... I do not work thru an agency, never have.... and I have a good reputation and very good references.... so while I do understand how you feel, there are some of us PAID caregivers out here that give better care than the families we work for... So as you have had a bad experiance, so have we, we could tell horror stories about some of the families we have worked for.... and I said SOME of the familes... so I pray you get someone who is loving and caring, responsible and respectful, and will treat your elder with all the dignity they deserve...
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JeanneGibbs: The employees have not been 'stolen" and still work for the agency perhaps providing the best care through that said agency so the agency is still getting their investment from them. As it turns out we can only deal with agencies in the future (as of this day) because we need to start using mom's LTC insurance to provide some reimbursement as we all know home care agencies are so expensive. That can only be done legit.
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We use an agency.....only when we get out occasionally. When we have a caregiver who goes above and beyond we just give her a nice tip. That keeps it all legal and they appreciate being appreciated. We also know mom will get great care the next time.
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If you are paying someone "off the books" -- that is, helping them hide the income from the IRS, if you have "stolen" an employee away from an agency who has made an investment in background checks, training, setting up legal tax accounts, etc., then I don't think you should be surprised the whole transaction doesn't work out favorably.

There are plenty of independent caregivers wtih impeccable work ethics and integrity. But I wouldn't necessarily expect to find those characteristics among caregivers who pull shady deals behind their employers' backs.
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Kedwards460, no you didn't offend me, I do understand, not everybody has what it takes to be a good caregiver, it takes a very special person to do this delicate job, what borders me a little is, when people are unhappy with a caregiver than all of a sudden all caregivers are bad. I see a Agency works best for you thats great, we are all different and I respect that. Have a blessed day~
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CNA1922 Sorry if I offended you. Of course not all caregivers are bad and some are wonderful. What I've found in my own personal world is that some of the most 'wonderful" caregivers from the agencies change as soon as they aren't answeriing TO that agency and that I found disheartening and somewhat shocking (the old Dr. Jekyll Mr. Hyde thing). Right now we found a wonderful CNA from an agency but if she ever asks to do it on the down low, I will decline and just deal with her through her agency. Been burned in once again I will reinterate my PERSONAL experience.
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I am a Professional Caregiver/CNA. I have to disagree, not all People are like this.Yes you find some bad caregivers, but please don't put all caregiver in the same category.If you look around in any job there are good ones and bad ones.
Why do caregivers always get a bad review? I mostly hear on this forum negativity. Get to know your caregiver, talk to them what borders you.
A very devoted and proud caregiver
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