Trusting strangers in my mom's home is scary. Does anyone have any thought or advice?

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Its so hard these days. I hears a horror story from a colleague at work and its a concern.
Any experienced ones out there? Blees you! Jan

Answers 1 to 4 of 4
Top Answer
Are you talking about caregivers or maintenance people who might come over? Tell her to not open her door to someone she does not know. Tell her to not give out any personal information. She should not have money or other valuables in sight. Maintenance people should show an ID when coming over. If your mom has dementia, then no maintenance worker should come over unless you are in attendance. She should not leave her door open or leave keys in the mail box or give a key to anyone but a close trusted relative. Caregivers should not have keys. If she is not able to go to the door to unlock it for a maintenance person, then she should not be left alone. Any medications should be hidden so that caregivers/maintenance people cannot get to them. Her caregivers should not be permitted to take any meds from their bottles. My relative's agency does not permit this. She should be wearing some sort of personal alarm to use if needed. She should have a portable phone right by her side. Make sure she or the caregivers lock up at night and never tell anyone if her door is unlocked during the day. If she does not know the difference between a stranger and someone she knows, then she should not be left alone.
While there is no absolute 'guarantee', your safest routes would be:
1. the aid/worker is bonded and insured
2. hire an agency that has the above.
3. have a criminal background check done thru local sheriff's office
4. try an online background check.
I haven't had any problems with caregivers that I have screened (whether I used an agency or not). Also, letting these folks know that you will be "dropping in" helps.
If you have that "funny feeling" that a person is not doing what they should be, replace them. There are so many really great, trustworthy, reliable caregivers out there who are looking for work.
The only time I had a problem was when Mom still lived in her home state. After a hospital visit, Medicare sent a staff of caregivers, etc. A woman, disguising herself as a Medicare helper, followed the cars of the legitimate caregivers and just walked into Mom's home. She asked to use Mom's bathroom and kept asking her if she was given an Rx for pain meds. Mom became alarmed and asked her to leave. Soon after, I had her move out here near us.
As LME said above, instruct your Mom not to share personal info about family, finances, or medications. You can "proof" her home by taking away anything valuable, personal papers, cash, etc.
There will always be predators out there. If you do your homework and keep following up, you shouldn't have any problems.
If your talking about caregivers, let me suggest research! Prior to me taking care of mom I worked in home health care for years. The first agency I worked for did no background check on me or required CPR certification(That was at caregivers option).The second agency I worked for was wonderful. They required monthly evaluations of my work performance from the family I was helping, I had to be CPR trained. I was bonded and insured. This company ran every background check out there on me. I had to do regular "surprize" drug screenings. Periodically I was "shadowed" at the patients home by a supervisor. This company was very stict. I felt that this agency not only protected the patient but the caregiver as well. I had to sign waivers on privacy of patients. To me thats the kind of agency you should look for. If your still leary install a nanny cam or two. Require that ALL meds be accounted for before and after each aides shift (witnessed)and have them sign off on it. Any valuables should be locked away. I personally one time requested to a family that I felt uncomfortable with money and jewerly laying around in a patients home and asked if it could be put up.Not that I was temped, but I was not the only caregiver coming in and out of the house. If something happened I didn't want to be thrown in chaos of who did what? Also if possible limit the areas of the home where the caregiver is allowed. Thats not being mean or not trusting. thats just protecting everyone involved. If I would be the caregiver I would not have a problem with that. I have also heard "stories" of bad things. I am moms sole caregiver and I honestly have a hard time thinking of letting someone come in here to care for mom. Mom has dementia and she is so trusting. She can easily be coereced into signing things and giving things away. I would want someone to come here to take care of her, not just come here and "case" her house. There are very good people out there your just have to research to find them!! GOOD LUCK!

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