...can you guess where this is going?

She has taken to wrapping the used incontinence pad in its original wrapper. This is not big enough to cover the used (saturated!) pad, and even if it was, it's still not keeping anything from dripping out.

And do you know what else gets put in that basket? Food. Bags of food we share.

She doesn't understand why it's an issue. "I wrap it up really well." She's not changing.

I want to keep her healthy. Also, food is part of my pay here.

...on the plus side, even though I gained 30 pounds since starting here in March, I've lost 9 this month! Gonna be pretty sexy by the time I go on vacation... in 324 hours...

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I do get a paycheck, but I am also fed and housed. She throws a fit about what I'd like to eat, and I've sot of given up the battle.

If we count all the time that isn't my 1.33 days off, but don't count food or housing as part of my compensation, it comes to just under 4.70 an hour.

Countrymouse, the basket is the one on the front of her walker that she uses in the home. The problem is all in the home; she takes her used pads out and puts food in and sometimes they are together. I can't be awake 24/7, the way she seems to manage to be, and don't know how to stop this.

I am not in a place where I can be too pushy, or my job and housing go away. I am so conflicted between putting my foot down about the food/pads and wanting to keep my job.

I'm not sure if she appreciates me here. Doesn't seem like it lately. She wants to be on her own.

I come with large, hairy dogs and a bunch of stuff, and so I'm not the easiest to match up to someone needing caretaking.

I want to eventually go back to school, and hoped this would be a good thing to do after taking a break due to some trauma, to give myself some time to recover, but it's not really giving me much room to think/breathe/etc. Still, I am grateful for it.

Even as an unpaid relative (I live with my mom and care for her 24/7) there are facets I consider indisputable of my job: cleanliness and sanitation. I tell my mom it’s against the law for me to not dispose of diapers and pads properly, or to not make her change them.
I’ve often stood over her and stamped my foot (kind of) “no, we’re not carrying that in your basket where we have food sometimes! It’s not sanitary! I could go to jail for that! It’s my job to keep you clean and healthy!”
Of course, my mom wants me here. Does this woman appreciate your being there at all? She may be just being stubborn because she doesn’t want to admit she needs help. They do feel the need to exert authority now and then because they feel so helpless.
It sounds as if your concerned about job security. It actually sounds like it’s not a very good job to hang onto under the circumstances. Care providers are in high demand aren’t they? I would love to be able to hire you and would worship the ground you walk on just for caring about my mom. I’m sorry for saying it but that’s my take on it.

It's good that there will soon be an opportunity to review your client's care with her son, Andorra.

It is also good that her children have reassured their mother that she has a say in who lives her house.

But all the same. "He who pays the piper calls the tune," and it is entirely appropriate for you to revisit your client's needs and your own compensation/benefits/conditions with the son.

Be fair, don't make him feel you've got him over a barrel or anything, but also be fair to yourself. You are doing difficult and demanding work 24/7, and room and board don't really do a lot to make up for it, do they?

Ref. the eeuww shopping basket thing - either don't put food in it, carry it yourself separately; or get her another walker for use in the home and keep one in the car or in the porch for shopping expeditions.

Andorra, you sound as though you are in the position that is little better than slavery.

Food is part of your pay but she won't buy what you like to eat?.

How much are you being paid in money for this job?

She's not that "out of it" sometimes, in some ways. I'm not a professional, at least not a trained one. It'd be hard to convince her to accept help in the bathroom. She got out of the hospital a few months ago after suffering a few strokes, which is when I moved in with her to care for her 24/7.

I'm here 24/7 save for part of Sunday (most of this time off is church/related activities) and all of one week day, which is my day off, (except I still handle her meds and at least some meals).

She is not convinced she needs 24/7 care, of course. She also doesn't believe she had two strokes, and usually doesn't even think she had one.

Though her children arranged my employment, she is in charge of terminating it should she want to, which leaves me in a position where I feel I can't put my foot down about much.

Because she's always right, obviously.

How does one determine when an adult can't/shouldn't live alone?

When I arrived here three months ago I helped her more with showering, etc. She doesn't remember that I used to do this and now won't let me, since I "don't know what I'm doing" and "have never done it." I want her to be clean and comfortable. She gives herself a sponge bath (wipes her body with a washcloth) in the AM. Not the same as a shower.

I didn't mind food being part of my pay but she won't buy much of what I like so between that and the food safety issues that are now turning up, I'm not eating much. Would rather get a "food stipend" if we're going to play this way.

There is room for negotiation.

I am going on vacation for over a week very soon, during which her son will come and stay with her during the days, but she'll be alone overnight. I worry. He comes for a few days every so often (and they talk on the phone--he's not local), but not when I'm not there, so this will be a good chance for him to get a good picture of how she's doing. He's very perceptive and seems to see her and her condition pretty realistically.

I know what she is doing. She thinks its a sanitary napkin. I agree, its time to be with her when she goes. Take her every two hours. A pad may not be enough for her now. May want to suggest Depends. I had a trash can with a lid I lined with a plastic bag. I would put the soiled diaper in there and empty into a larger bag every few days. The baby Genie is good for this too. I would take the basket off and bleach it and set it in the sun to dry. If she is housebound I see no reason for it.

"Food is part of my pay here"?.

Um, no. That is not acceptable.

This person needs to be accompanied to the restroom and assisted with her hygiene. Allowing her to change herself is a ship that has sailed.

Perhaps others have better suggestions.

My FIL used to try to wash out his incontinence briefs in the bathroom sink. Of course they’d disintegrate and block up the sink. When you see her doing this, kindly take them away and put them in a plastic grocery bag and tie the handles. Tell her you’ll throw them away for her.

Congrats on your weight loss! Have s great vacation!

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