My mother is emotionally attached to her caregiver, so the duties of the caregiver are being neglected. What do can we do about this?

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HELLO THERE;
I HAVE BEEN A CAREGIVER FOR 30 YEARS AND I SUGGEST YOU LET HER GO. BECAUSE OBVIOUSLEY SHE IS TAKING AD VANTAGE OF YOUR MOTHER BY NEGLECTING HER CAREGIVING DUTIES... AND FROM MY EXPERIENCE I]VE SEEN ALL KINDS.HOPFULLY YOU DONT HAVE ANY MONEYIN THE HOUSE AND MOTHERS NOT IN CHARGE OF THE FINANCES.THIS IS A RED FLAG.ALREADY.. I KNOW YOU WANT MOTHER TO BE HAPPY , HOWEVER TAKE CHARGE AND MOVE ON.GOOD LUCK.TO YOU...NANCY
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Yes, ladeeda, it's so true! Explaining what I am about to do is SO necessary! I even have to announce that I'm going to the bathroom. Ha ha. Sounds funny - but I'm sure other caregivers understand the discomfort of sitting on the potty only to hear a shaky voice yell "RUUUUUUUTH" and what they want is for the trash can to be moved closer to their chair....
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I also am a paid caregiver,24/7, and completely agree with Ruth1957, I have alot to do during the day and early evening and have done what Ruth1957 does, just explain what I am needing to do. I have found that if I tell her what I am doing before I start, that helps her. I don't know that talking to present caregiver will change anything. Simply make arragments for another caregiver. You do not have to explain anything. Sounds a little mean, but there are many loving and caring caregivers with integrity that would not take advantage of the situation. Good luck to you.
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Lilliput,
Thank you for the kind words.
In the case of the couple I'm assigned to, there are a total of 6 caregivers, as they have 24 hour care and are very, very, very, very labor intensive. So I'm one of 6, and the only one who is considered more than "just" a caregiver. I'm currently there 36 - 48 hours a week. It's almost more than I can handle!!!
When the Colonel had his stroke in October, he called 911, couldn't speak, then called me and stammered out "i've had a bit of a spill" knowing I would call 911. When I arrived at the emergency room I could hear him up the hall saying "Where is she? Where is she?"
You can't force OR prevent (in my opinion) a deep bond. But the honest, as you say, and giving caregiver will be able to maintain a lovingly professional relationship. The gap I've filled in the family is that I do not become upset when there is an emergency such as the other night when he was bleeding fairly alarmingly and we had all kinds of chaos. He told me later that he really appreciated that I never seem to be shaken up by anything, which helps him stay more calm. The same (unfortunately) cannot be said for his daughter. They called her AFTER all was well.
I guess all I'm saying is that if a caregiver enters your mom's life who becomes a "daughter" to her, step back and evaluate what sort of value this adds to your mom's life in as non-biased of a way as you can. My couples' son thinks I'm a saint (as I said - they are intense in the level of care they require) and I think the daughter is just glad she doesn't have to do what I do. One thing that IS tough is knowing that I am looked at as "the hired help" or a servant, sometimes. In my world, this job is just ONE of the things I do, and I have to smile and realize perception does not equal reality. As a nutrition and health coach, I have people from all over the US calling me and listening to my Pod Casts, and the contrast is so stark.

Whooo turning into a venting session. :-)

Take care - and I do wish you the best caregiver on earth walking in and filling exactly the role that would make your life, and Mom's life, better.

Ruth
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Ruth, how I wish all caregivers were as honest and as giving as you. Unfortunately, I think that you may be the exception.
No matter how close a caregiver becomes to their charges, they are not family (for better or worse). It is such an intimate relationship that it takes a very vigilant caregiver to not be "sucked" into the family drama or take advantage of a vulnerable population.
I would be very leary if my Mom started talking about her caregiver as "family." I still think that there needs to be a professional separation.
Kudos to you for seeing that this is necessary with your clients.
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Lilliput, I can see your point... but my sweet couple has decided that I am "family". I'm called to join some pretty personal family discussions. It is me, ultimately, who decides to draw a line and tell them "I feel it would be good for your family to enjoy this time together. I'll be in the next room." Sometimes you do get a caregiver who would exploit or take advantage. I suppose the situation will vary with the degree understanding the client has. My two are failing - the gentleman more so than the lady - however both are fully aware of finances, medication, and what's "right". I am given some pretty weighty responsibilities and even do bill paying for them. But you have to be ever so careful. If I even suspected a caregiver of taking advantage of these people, I'd be on them like a... dog on a bone? I guess my response to your comment would be... If something feels right, go with it! There are those situations where a "stranger" really can become family. As I was leaving last night, the Colonel took my hand and pulled me close. "Listen honey. You be very very careful, and come back soon. It's always better when you're here." There is nothing wrong with this attachment, because no harm will come to my precious Colonel. If I were ever offered anything financial, or legal, I would notify the kids immediately. Hugs, kisses, and smiles... I collect those.
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I have to remind my mother repeatedly that these people who come in to help are working for HER. She has always had a personality that draws people to her and her caregivers are no exception.
One thing I have done is to choose 3 caregivers for different things ie: bathing/personal care, shopping, cleaning. That way she does not get too attached to just one person. I also reminded her to not share personal information about her family, finances, or medication. I also interview and instruct the caregiver up front. I tell them not to ask personal questions, etc. There are so many other things to converse about.
If I found that a caregiver was getting too "involved" in Mom's life, I would dismiss them. There are too many scary stories on this site about parents who were taken advantage of by paid caregivers...some cases go to court because the parent has given the POA, etc. over to the caregiver.
If something does not feel right...act on it now.
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I am a hired caregiver. I have a work ethic which prevents me from exploiting the love my couple have for me. Tonight is an example. The Colonel called "Come join us, honey!" To which I replied "In just a sec! I'm doing the dishes right now." It's pretty simple. Talk to your Caregiver. It's so hard to pull away when your elderlies want you to just be with them. On the other hand, when I explain what I'm doing, they are so grateful. "I'm going to wash the bathroom floor, make your beds, and then I'll be back to chat for a while..." works wonders. You have to know that your hired caregiver has his/her own motivation to accomplish the tasks AND love on your mom. Both can be done. I know this first hand.
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make a suggestion that you would like to hire someone else part time to fill in just in case a need arises and the current caregiver is sick and unable to work. if the caregiver thinks she can be replaced she may start doing more and let her know that if the duties are not do you will have to find someone that can be a friend and caregiver also, there are more fish in the sea. been there many times and they do become close to the one they take care of , but they have to be reminded that you can not take up where they need to be doing their job it is to much on you. shake them up with interviewing other caregivers for part time and if that doesnt do it hire someone else. there are plenty of people looking for work.
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Let me be a bit stronger relative to the GREAT advise given above.

In that I come from a perspective involving my care for my Mother who had Alzheimer's Disease, this may or may not be entirely fitting, but I think so.

You must remember, lowrider, that in effect, you are the parent and your Mom is your child. Therefore, always think in terms of what type of 'babysitter' would you wish to care for your child.

Surely one who emotionally supports your child, but moreso, one who attempts to view your Mom and you with the idea... 'how can I really - honorably - help them"? And then proceeds accordingly. (Which is, after all, the all encompassing essence of Care-Giving) You want a Caregiver who not only with sincerity accomplishes the successful encouragement of your child, but also one who doesn't neglect the 'mechanics' of what Care Giving requires. There are Caregivers who are willing and able to do both.

Speak with your current Caregiver and encourage their slight change in approach, but if necessary, do not fear bringing someone else in during alternate times in your effort to make a gradual transition.

Good luck,

V
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