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I take care of a 95 yo lady that had a partial hip replacement 3 weeks ago. Her mind is sharp as a tack and she had a personal trainer come to her home 2 times a week for at least the 3 yrs I have been working for her so she has as fit of a body as I've ever seen on someone her age. I've been with her 24/7 for 3 weeks now and she makes me walk with her to the bathroom every time she goes. She does the rest, I just have to go to the bathroom every time she goes. She has p.t. 3 times a week and said today she didn't want it anymore because it wasn't doing her any good. But I still have to walk with her to the bathroom and wait on her hand and foot. I have a 15 year old daughter at home by herself and another client that this one refuses to let me go check on. She says she needs me. There are no complications from her surgery everything went very well. She says she has to be "released from doctor" before she can stay alone. We can't go back to the dr until at least may because of corona virus concerns. I don't want to rush her but I have my own life. I feel so guilty but manipulated as well.

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I want to reinforce what Countrymouse said. I know you mean very well! However, it is very unprofessional to discuss one client with another client. If you worked for an agency, you could easily be fired for so doing. I know the 2 clients are or once were best friends, but you are their employee, and that's what you are being paid to do, not to get involved in the vicissitudes of their friendship. Tell each client you will have regular hours for each of them. That is the normal way caregivers are hired. If you are actually 24/7 for the first client, then you should have only 1 client! Again, if you were with an agency, you might work 24 hr, but you would not work 7 days a week!

If you want to keep both clients, you need to tell them both that you will not discuss other clients at all. If each wants to talk to you about the other client, you can listen, but not respond. I know you mean very well, but what you've been doing is unethical! I understand you are not experienced in this kind of caregiving, so now is the time to learn!

You also need to agree in writing with each client what kind of caregiving you will be doing. If you are supposed to be helping the client with the hip replacement to become more independent, then it would be apprpriate to phase out gradually going to the bathroom with her. However, if you have simply agreed to help her in activities of daily living (ADLs), then it's not unresonable for her to ask you to accompany her each time until her doctor tells her she should be going on her own. If your doctor has a PT with whom he works, under the circumstances, then that PT could report to the doctor and the doctor can tell the woman that it's time to start going on her own. Finally, you need to set boundaries on the kinds of activities you'll be doing for her. Most home health agencies, for example, specify only light housekeeping (which does leave some room for interpretation), so if you are routinely scrubbing floors (as opposed for example, to cleaning up a bathroom mess), you would be doing too much. I would say the same for ironing sheets, but others may disagree. Since you are not working for an agency, you may want different boundaries, but the boundaries need to be specified and adhered to!
Last, you need to know (if you don't already) that you are receiving earned income reportable to the IRS. Your employer need to be paying for Social Security, unemployment, workers' comp. The latter is very important--it's your protrcct ion, and hers, if you are hurt on the job. You are responsible for paying taxes, also, on this income--or for reporting it if you don't owe any tax,

I know this is a lot to handle on top of what you're going through with your clients, but it really needs to be done. Once there is a better structure, things should hopefully go a lot more smoothly. Good luck, and keep us in touch! Hugs, also!
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It's none of your client's business where you are or what you're doing when you're not scheduled to be with her. In fact, you really ought not to tell one client anything about another client, right down to including whether or not you even have any other clients. For perfect compliance with your duty of confidentiality, picture this: 😶

Much more honoured in the breach than the observance, this rule; nonetheless it IS a rule, and a rule you can get "pinged" for, as they say in ball games. I once explained, in all sincerity, that I try never to think about the next call because it distracts me from concentrating on this one; and that excuse for not answering when asked where I was off to next (apart from its being true) seemed to go down quite well.

You are a professional caregiver. You are not this lady's friend, nor her ministering angel, nor her life support system. You have the luxury that you can write your boundaries down in black and white, on a timetable that shows exactly when you will be on duty in her home, working the hours for which you are paid, in accordance with your contractual agreement with her. Focus on providing her with objectively excellent care and reject all her attempts at emotional blackmail.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Well done Atlanta.

You are handling this well and doing what you feel like you should by helping Betty and going home to your family.

If I can recommend one thing, when your manipulative client starts throwing a tantrum, quietly and calmly tell her that is enough, if she doesn't stop you will be leaving immediately. If she doesn't stop, you go. Even if you are only gone for 15 minutes. She is making herself sick to control you and I promise you that you want to nip this in the bud. No disrespect intended, but seniors are like dogs, if you let them do something 3 times it becomes a habit. You have to teach her that her antics only cause you to leave. She is safe to be alone, she is just frightened. The way to over coming fear is to face it. So leaving her everyday will help her adjust and you can do it in a way that isn't abrupt.

Give her time boundaries with her shower. Sweetheart I need to have you in the shower no later than ?? at that time tell her that you need to start within 5 minutes or it will have to wait until later, then don't start the shower later than you can manage and still get home to see your family.

Remember that you are dealing with someone that is having a second childhood but has a lifetime of experience with which to work the situation. Imagine a 3 year old spoiled brat that has the life experiences of an 80 year old, scary what that looks like.

I would personally tell her what you need to do to support your family and make it clear that you have to do this or make the choice to be there for your family fulltime. Give her the choice to continue to have your help or lose your help completely because you can not abandon your family any longer.

In caregiving it has to work for everyone or it doesn't work, you are seeing that 1st hand, your resentment is a clear indication that it isn't working.

You can do this!
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FloridaDD Apr 17, 2020
REALLY bad advice.  Never leave client alone.  Tell agency about your problems, or her family
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Does this lady pay you well? Was that pay significantly increased when you went to 24/7? In other words, is it worth it?

Your 15-year-old daughter shouldn't be left alone. You are telling her what your priority is (not her, which it should be).

You know what you should do, which is cut this woman loose. She is okay to be on her own, according to the PTs. Can't you see what she's done to you?
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Atlantacaregive Apr 17, 2020
This is def not about money. I am compensated well. I even told her son that I didn't want to be paid at all, that I was quitting my job, that I had no intentions of leaving her and would still make sure she had everything she needed, but the fact that I was no longer a paid employee, I woukd be allowed to go check on betty and do things for her as well. I had them both well stocked with supplies in anticipation of the corona virus, filled my gas tank up so that I could make several trips back and forth home without having to stop for gas. The day they stopped allowing anyone in but caregivers, is the day my lady broke her hip. I stayed with her day and night until I felt I coukd safely leave her alone long enough for me to go check on betty, and that's when the craziness started with her not wanting me to do anything for betty. I have it made here, I am not a slave, however, if i have time to paint the baseboards, I should be able to go see about betty. I don't know what is causing her anger about me looking after her "best friend" especially during a time like this. I am perfectly fine spending a lot of time here making sure they both have what they need. They have suspended housekeeping here and while one is getting her sheets ironed, the other is asking me to come just change her sheets. I love both of these women and I am determined to protect them both as much as i can. Coukd her harsh insensitivity be related to her surgery? She has always been spoiled, had everything she wanted and needed. She never really cared for me helping betty before but now it's consuming her and if i even mention bettys name she either gets so mad I worry about her having a stroke or cries. I know that depression is an issue after surgery at her age and I feel like I am contributing to her demise by insisting on helping her friend and wanting to go home to see my daughter. I feel responsible for all of them and if my lady has been given her way her whole life, am I hurting her now by not giving it to her? Ugh. There is enough of me to go around, I'm not complaining about having to work. The situation calls for all of us needing to make some uncomfortable adjustments, but I just can't get her on the same page. So do I let her cry and go about doing what I need to do, or do I try it a different way because of her just having had surgery. I don't know whether tough love woukd help or hurt. I certainly don't want to hurt her. But right now isn't a good time to have to sit here and pacify her. I don't mean to sound whiney, I just really need to know ways of getting her to cooperate
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Do you need her recommendation and her money? If not, just quit. If you do need either of those essentials from her, tread carefully. Do you have sufficient income from your other clients? I don't think that walking her to the bathroom is a big deal; if you really think that's "waiting on someone hand and foot", it doesn't sound like you really know what total body care is all about. It sounds like you need a break.
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Atlantacaregive Apr 17, 2020
This is my first caregiving job, it was handed down to me by my best friend when she married. I have no experience in this field, and have no idea what is expected in a situation like this. I do have 4 children, so I'm not new to caring for someone. I wondered how I would handle "messy" situations when they came up, and surprisingly to me and you both, I handled it very well. I knew what had to be done and I guess I made her feel comfortable enough that she had me clean her up every time after that for the first few weeks she was home, until I found out that she could have been doing that herself. These ladies know that I will do anything for them that they NEED me to. And I love doing nice things for them even when I am sure that it's not part of my job. If it's something they can't do for themselves or that woukd be hard for them, then I'm their girl! I was raised to respect my elders and if my grandparents heard me tell a 95-98 year old no about anything, I would have gotten my tail beat. I really do love my job and I was worried about sounding like I was complaining about having to take care of them. I just thought someone coukd validate her manipulativeness and help me come up with a solution. I am great with doing everything she asks me to, that's what I am paid for. She is ok now, enough for me to go home some, and to go help betty, but doesn't want me to leave, I'm 90% sure, because she doesn't want me to go see betty. I have tried to tell her that I just need to go see about her for just a few mins every day and she keeps saying she is not healed enough. (She sat down and stood up 9 times in 30 secs for p.t.)
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As JoAnn said "If you r going to do this kind of work you need to set Boundries"

You are not held prisoner. You are a staff member & as so, should have agreed hours & pay. Yes you are being taken advantage of - but it's up to you to stand up for yourself & change this situation.

That was a good idea getting the PT review. Use that to discuss (& sign) a new work contract with this client that you BOTH understand & agree on.

Be professional but firm. THESE are the hours I can do.

If she is capable of making decisions, she hires extra staff. If she is not, her POA will need to arrange.

Just remember, she is not evil, just old & needy. When needy, people get manipulative to try to get their needs met. She trusts you, so she is trying to keep you - it's simple from her point of view really.

Another work option you may consider would be to work in nursing homes. You can care for many & will learn how other staff engage with their client, then gracefully disengage when time to leave & tend another. It takes practice. Good luck.
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4 weeks in now. Found someone to sit with her for 2 days a week. Lasted 2 days. My lady didn't like the way she fixed her water, made her frozen spag dinner in the micro, she was dirty ECT. So I texted her PT and asked them to please confirm when she could be left alone for any amount of time. They sent 2 different PTs to evaluate her progress and both said she was just fine. That there was no need for 24/7. I got up this morning, fixed her everything she might possibly need in my absence, and headed straight to my other ladies apt. I haven't been able to go see her, every time I mention it, my lady would get so mad, her face would turn red and her Bp go straight up. I've gotten disgusted with how selfish she is, getting her feet rubbed, catered to, shiny apt, sheets ironed, and wouldn't let me go check on her "best friend" for 15 mins. She kept saying my other lady just needed to find another caregiver. Well we are all locked down due to the coronavirus and it's not a good time to be trying to find help. No visitors policy. So I left this morning and went straight to "bettys" and spent 2 hours cleaning her apt and doing things she needed done. She is 98 years old. I went back upstairs to fetch my lady's dog (I offered to take the dog home with me for the day so she wouldn't have to worry about taking care of it) when I told her I had went to bettys she started crying.she said she hoped I left early enough to be home when her dinner arrived. I was so disgusted, I just left, with the dog, came back 6 hours later and she started crying again. She cried up until bedtime and I couldn't bring myself to talk to her or console her. Her mind is very sharp, she can remember her kindergarten teachers names. I told her that I plan on going home again tomorrow, more tears, and right before bed, she announced she wanted to shower tomorrow and I'll bet that she won't be in a hurry to do so. So here I lay, on a pallet in the floor, being held prisoner by this lady, all because, I think, she doesn't want me to do anything for her "best friend" I am becoming very resentful towards her and her selfishness especially during a pandemic. She gives frequently to charities but won't let me check on her friend. I am self employed and paid very well by both women. And since i am one of the few people allowed in the building, feel like i coukd make such a difference in both of their lives. Poor betty hasn't seen anyone in a month and this lady could care less. I feel like there is enough of me to go around but this lady WILL NOT BUDGE. Her bp went up to 187/151 the other day when I finally told her what I thought. She scream cried and said I was trying to make her feel guilty. I'm going home tomorrow, I don't care what time it is.
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Reply to Atlantacaregive
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If you r going to do this kind of work you need to set Boundries. When your hired you ask what their needs are and what ur capable of doing. You need to tell this lady that she is not your only client. You have a responsibility to her friend too. As you do to your family. 24/7 is unreasonable. If she needs more help, she needs to hire it. Or family told she needs someone with her when you aren't there.
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I agree with countrymouse. Of course she needs additional help but as countrymouse pointed out you cannot do the job of two people.

Tell her that she needs to hire another caregiver for another shift. Offer to help find someone if you want to speed up the process. You could fill in the new person on what is needed.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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Is she paying you for all the extra time she is demanding from you?

She has to pay you overtime for anything over 40 hours a week, unless your contract stipulates over 8 hours a day.

If she is not, this needs to be rectified immediately.

Did you agree to 24/7 for an unknown amount of time because of the surgery? If not you have no obligation to stay with her. If she can't be left alone you should inform her that you will call Adult protective services for her so she can get into an assisted living facility until she doesn't need 24/7 care.

It sounds like she is manipulating you and only you can stop it.

Best of luck getting her to see that you can not abandon your family for the duration.

Welcome to the forum.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Your client is being very sensible to err on the safe side. It isn't a bad idea for her to have somebody with her until she is fully confident that she won't fall and set herself back through a momentary stumble.

You cannot - nobody can - do this job 24/7. It's ALREADY unreasonable.

Sure, she needs someone with her until her doctor signs her off. So she needs another 2 x caregivers for the time being. Do you know any fellow professional caregivers you think well of that you could recommend to her? - if not, you can still help her recruit good ones.
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