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I am starting a new job soon and need to leave home at 7 am. The caregiver would arrive at 7:30 am. Is this against the law? Also I need to go to the grocery store sometimes after I get home and it is only a mile away. I feel like a prisoner in my home if I can't even go pick up a loaf of bread and milk at night.

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Let's be realistic here. I doubt a blazing fire will break out or the roof will cave in if your mother is let alone for a half hour. I've also never known of a case where anyone was prosecuted for leaving there parent alone and some tragedy happened. We can worry about all the "what ifs," but that does nothing but drive you crazy when it doesn't have to.

I'm also amazed some telling you to put your mom in an assisted care. Let me ask you, would your mom rather see your face, in her own surroundings, being at home with you where there's love? Or would she rather be in a facility with strange faces and unfamiliar surrounding with not knowing what kind of care she's receiving?

If you feel you can leave your mother alone for a short period of time, only you can make that decision and don't accept guilt trips from some of the posters here. Live your life in a reasonable way in the real world, you would have your mom's blessing.

Take care.
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Caregivers need not to feel like a prisoner in their own home, taking full care of there bed ridden family member. Fact is, we do it all, yes its great IF your able to a ford extra help, most of us can not, so we do the best we can. No its not agent the law- Hospice requirements that yes 24/7 care, But in Reality they know we need to leave to get food, medicine, our own needs so we can keep our head together. Its very scary and no one wants to risk anything or wonder what If, the "What Ifs" will always hold Any one back, us care givers ARE NOT selfish or going out hour on end! Especially If your the only caregiver of course you can do that, who esle all,no one. We do what we can and what is right. Good luck. Always do research on all that you question and always be the best advocate for your mom. Always question everything and look it up. This was 6 years ago you posted this, I truly hope your ok and all, I'm trying to learn all I can, for my grandmother is at home with me (always will be) on hospice care and its very sad how they treat the elderly. I hope everything worked out for you and your well.
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My aunt is 92 years old and requires 24 hour care. We are paying the caregivers (through a reputable agency) in the home yet we are finding that they are leaving her home alone for 15 minutes while they run to the store or pick up medication for her. I have complained and it continues to happen.
I have told the caregivers to call us yet they don't. I have also instructed the caregivers not to leave her alone and yet they do.
My suggestion to the person above is to find Elder daycare or hire someone. Universities that have nursing schools possibly could help. It is too risky to leave them by themselves.
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My niece came to take care of her elderly, failing Gramma. She went down the street to pick up a pizza. Her gramma fell in the bathroom and died within that short period of time. She was not arrested! If we are providing the best care possible ther is no intent of malpractice. My mom is presently 92 and restricted to being cared for at her home and in her bed. We cannot get the help we need through Medicare and she hasn't qualified for Medicade. We try not to leave her alone. Have hired an aide at our own expense. Family members are not always reliable. We are doing the best that we can.
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@mom2mom; For years I paid for Lifefone(as I do for my 90 year old Aunt), but cancelled it when Dr said Mom needed 24/7 care. I called Hospice to inquire re:part time/respite care for our CG's, & they said they do provide a volunteer sitter(I'm still learning more about Hospice & the services they provide since Mom was placed on it 2 .5 mths ago). I will use it, BUT if I hear anymore b^&hing, I will definitely heed BarbBrooklyn advice.
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My mother is not bedridden but is a fall risk. She gets around her apartment (connected to my house) with a walker. I leave for work about 45 minutes before the caregiver arrives. My kids are home but don't check on her in the mornings. They leave about 10-15 minutes before caregiver arrives. I get home about 45 minutes after the caregiver leaves. The kids are usually home well before that but don't always check on her.

I am perfectly comfortable with leaving Mom for those few minutes and will even leave her for a half an hour to run errands.

Of course, the other day when she WASN'T home alone, she thought she was and panicked and called 911... but that's another story.

Anyway, to answer your question, I would have no problem with your schedule and the little bit of time she was alone.. I would add the call button though.
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CaringRN, i think it may be time for mom to be in a facility just up the road from where brother and sister in law live. You've done your best. Now it's their turn.
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@vstefans; I don't think mom is being inappropriately left alone. Part of the problem is my mom is a chronic complainer & manipulator. We (her family) KNOW this & her age has made her worse. I have been there many times when she'll complain that the CG has not been in to see her. I am there & the CG is in the kitchen cooking & I tell her so. My uninvolved brother knows how our Mother is, but since he seldom sees her he doesn't see her decline. I explain to him, but he doesn't listen & has NO CLUE how much is involved in caring for mom & age related physical decline. He & wife are very vindictive. 2 months ago, SIL came to Mom's house alone(she has never visited mom alone)& was asking my mom lots of questions which made my mom very nervous & upset & made the CG angry that she upset mom. I told CG to document everything. This whole situation is shameful(on my brother & his wife)& I told him so. Our parents didn't raise us this way.
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CaringRN, you may want to start a new thread with this. It may be fine for the caregiver to do this if and only if mom could call for help independently. And, Mom could be incorrect. But if she is inappropriately left alone then you do need to file a complaint with any agency involved and/or fire the caregiver.

If skilled facility placement is the only viable option, then don't be devastated - make it convenient to you for lots of visiting and involvement in her care, and if it is needed, it's sad but it's needed.
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This is the most disturbing post I have read & learned something new.This year, we had a wonderful set up( so I thought) for mom & we( my husband,Mom & I) were happy to continue fulfilling her wishes to be cared for & remain in her home. She had 2 loving, attentive 24 hour caregivers. Recently, I received a call from my uninvolved brother, confronting me & stating that mom told him that one of the caregivers occasionally leaves her alone( she is bedridden) sometimes while CG goes to the store/pharmacy(or when my mom requests for a special item). I am aware that CG must go to the store to buy my mom's food/pharmacy,ect & returns quickly, calling in to check on her. When I visit every week, I ask CG if she needs to run errands or respite while I stay with Mom. I know that occasionally, if CG has a Dr.'s appointment, she has her Mother(my husband's Aunt)stay with mom if CG will be gone longer. After taking VERY good care of my mother for 16 years, I will notify my other sibs that I will not place MY livelihood in jeopardy. My heart is broken, but I have no choice but to place her in a convalescent home where there is staff 24/7. No good deed goes unpunished. I am devastated
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My mother is being cared for by her friend, who is POA. My mother has lived with her friend for over 25 years. Can is friend/POA keep me from visiting my mother who is bed ridden? She claims it is her property and I can't be on it.
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Kalila, in general, no it is not safe or OK to leave someone alone who is bedridden UNLESS they are cognitively OK and can call for help. And then, it would be short periods of time, not 8 hours at a time. If Mom is OK with that, locking the house is safer than leaving it unlocked, for sure. One thought I had is that you need a key to the house...but then, what would sister's take on that be? Does she feel like you are just harrassing and critical all the time, and making a hard job harder? Some other things to consider: was Mom still competent when the POA and will were changed? If not, that may have been illegal. You'd have to go to court over it. She may otherwise be legally permitted to keep you away, indefinitely. If going to court is not an option, because Mom was fully competent, maybe what you have to do is negotiate a visiting schedule with her (versus being afraid enough to call in welfare checks, and incur even more wrath from her if concerns are not justified or founded.)

I think this country needs some eldercare family counseling services!
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My sister hasPOA and uses it to control all I try to do for Mom. I had Mom for 2 !?@ years before my sister took her for 6 months. She talked Mom into giving her POA and changing her will. Giving her everything.(That is not the problem, I do not care if she gets everything). She left Mom locked in a house while she was out running her buisiness deliveries and to have social times. I could not get in the house manytimes. Mom is 97 and bedridden. I called her down on this and check on Mom everyday and every night. That keeps my sister in check as she gets someone to watch Mom because she does not know when to expect me. Now she has banned me from seeing my Mom. Can she do this. I am the only other sibling to watch out for Mom. I am so scared now that I cannot tell if Mom is OK.
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For Hannalee - could Mom be in an aquatics group or some other activity somewhere you could go swim? It sounds like she is mobile enough for something like that. One senior center across the river from where I live has a setup something like that.
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I have alot to say about this subject, not to mention the numerous elderly that have died even in nursing home fires. I feel I call a little BS, each case is different and I have the right mind and judgement to make my own decision. Why does everyone dictate what we should do.
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Hope it works out for you and your mother. Another thing to do is to call the police and fire departments to come and help you to evaluate your mother to see if she can be left at home for a couple of hours.
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Thank you Holly, that's a great idea. With my mom, though, there's another wrinkle, which is that she varies a lot and I don't feel confident she's always alert. She can be sharp or she can be really fuzzy. I'm going to try the fire drill, and keep thinking about this.
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Dirk's suggestion will really work for me. Mom would be alone for only 15 minutes each trip. I can have the caregiver text or call me when she arrives. Great answer
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My first thought is to ask her to have a fire drill with at least one witness present. Ask her to pretend she is home alone and a fire breaks out. Watch to see how well she responds to a pretend emergency.
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I know my mother wouldn't want to hurt me, but often these days she forgets about that, she just doesn't realize what's going on. I have the same problem. She's had several hospitalizations and now is basically recovered, but walking with a walker for now. I get up with her to go to the bathroom in the night, but the physical therapist just gave us the ok yesterday for Mom to go to the bathroom on her own in the day. That alone restricted my options for leaving the house to do anything. She's not bed-bound, but I'm not 100-percent sure she would be efficient getting out in an emergency. But I've been running to the store now and then when she's alone for about an hour. I don't know whether I should ever do that. And I wish I could leave for 2 hours to go swimming during the week. I just am not sure about all that, without someone there. We would have to hire another person to be sure. I'm really afraid that's our only option. I'm only considering this now because her mind has gotten clearer after her illnesses (which are made worse from the mental point of view by bipolar disorder) and she is much stronger physically. She could certainly get out if she understood she must. But how do I know for sure?
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I am in the same situation -- my mother is completely bed-bound, 24/7, as a result of a massive stroke almost two years ago. She cannot sit up, cannot feed herself, cannot wash her face or brush her teeth -- in short, she needs 100% assistance all the time.

All during the first year, I felt so tortured about having her in a rehab/skilled nursing facility because all I wanted to do was bring her home with 24/7 assistance. In fact, she had (and still has) her own home where she was living completely independently until the stroke occurred. Imagine going from total independence -- driving her car, playing cards with her friends, attending cultural events, going to the movies, running her own life 100% -- to being 100% dependent on others for her every single need. It was (and still is) so surreal, so shocking, so horrific, so sad -- I must say, the "Serenity Prayer" was apparently written for times like this and has given me enormous comfort.

Following her stroke, in the early days, she was rather alert and understood very well what had happened to her. All I wanted to do was given her tons of rehab, thinking that all the physical, occupational, and speech therapy would eventually help her regain enough function to return home (with a caregiving assistant of course). I still had the idea that "being home" would be the best thing for her, I could watch over her, take care of her, protect her, etc., etc. She had also lost her ability to speak as a result of the stroke, and I hired a wonderful music therapist who worked with her for about 8 months. With all this intensive therapy, I felt that surely it was just a matter of time before Mom would make progress toward recovery, and would regain enough function to leave the rehab/nursing facility and finally return home.

I must tell you that it's now been almost two years and my feelings have changed. I now think it would be criminal if I took her OUT of the rehab/skilled nursing facility. Why? For many reasons. But mainly because Mom has come to TRUST the caregivers who assist her and because being at the facility satisfies Mom's need for socialization. It is definitely a hassle to get to the facility so many times a week (it is located over a half hour from me, each way), but I do and therefore, the staff knows me well and I know them well. It makes a big difference. I am in very, very close touch with the staff all the time about my mom's care, and I am physically there, visiting my mom often. (And I have a full-time job AND a part-time job, and two kids living at home!).

But the last thing I want to say is that being in the rehab/nursing facility actually gives Mom many people to interact with each day.... and I now realize how much better this is for HER than for me. I don't mind making the sacrifice one bit (of driving so often to the facility) when I see the look in my mom's eyes whenever the staff comes in her room. She trusts them, appreciates them, loves them -- and sometimes, when she's really really tired and just wants to sleep, she will even gesture for me to leave, which is another clear sign to me that she feels SECURE and SAFE where she is. Imagine what a gift!!

I no longer feel guilty about not being able to care for her at home because I realize that in her condition, she cannot be left alone for even a moment and clearly there is a TEAM of people at the facility who are there specifically to handle any crisis or emergency that arises. Both Mom and I actually now have a lot of peace of mind about this.

Just thought I'd share our story if it provides any inspiration or encouragement to anyone.....
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I sometimes have to "pop out" to the pharmacy, and have no neighbors or others to stand in for me while I am away for maybe 20 to 30 minutes. I reduce the risk this might cause by sending a text or e-mail to my daughter at work. I tell her the precise time I leave and again immediately when I return. If she doesn't get my return message in proper time she will take action. I can't say whether this procedure is legal or not, but it is practical for my situation in which the patiient sleeps for about 21 hours out of the 24.
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Do you have something like an alert button for your mom? My mother isn't bedridden but she does have difficulty walking with a walker. She has a "Life Alert" button she wears around her neck 24/7 and can call for help in an instant. They have my and my brothers cell phone numbers or will send EMT's if they can't locate us. The cost is $20.00 a month in Eastern Kentucky through a local hospital.
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Do you have something like an alert button for your mom? My mother isn't bedridden but she does have difficulty walking with a walker. She has a "Life Alert" button she wears around her neck 24/7 and can call for help in an instant. They have my and my brothers cell phone numbers or will send EMT's if they can't locate us. The cost is $20.00 a month in Eastern Kentucky through a local hospital.
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When you come to think of it though, any of us that spend time alone at home like I do for example, can worry about the same thing. My husband is gone every other day as a truck driver so I'm alone on those days. I could drive myself crazy thinking of the 'what if's' while I'm alone in the house. What if I dropped dead of a heart attack? What if he came home and found me like that? What if I fell and couldn't get to the phone? What if I cut myself badly and couldn't get to the phone? Well anyway, you get my drift. My mother-in-law is in asst living, but like Carrieann said, the residents doors all always shut and she falls and never tells anyone, so even that's not foolproof. My dad lives alone now after my mom died 6months ago, and I worry about him alone too. Point is, you've gotta filter out the crazy from the not so crazy worries I guess. Otherwise a person will be paralyzed with fear most of the time.
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I don't want my children to ever completely give up their own lives for me. Before my mother's dementia she would have said the same thing. So I will do the best I can for as long as I can and THEN we will look into nursing home care for her.
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D:

Ask the caregiver if she can be there between 6:45-7:00 am. If not, you might have to start looking for another early bird and pay a little extra. Or quit your job, apply for public assistance, turn your home into a convent, scrounge for loose change all the time, become depressed & bitter, and celebrate Halloween every day of the year.

Nearby churches can be a source of strength when your own isn't enough and excellent places to start looking for or develop a support network. If they're not your cup of tea, just tell them we're all spiritual beings having a human experience.
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This makes me wonder. I would have the same concern if my Mom was living here in my house. But, my mother lives in a large Assisted Living Facility and all residents have their own apartments. The doors to most apartments are kept shut and locked by the residents, but of course the staff has a master key. The minimum care is medication help and they check them all every two hours. So, there's lots of opportunity for something to go wrong. I dunno, this is all so new to me but her Altzheimer's is progressing very quickly. It's all so heartbreaking.
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I don't blame you in the least for wanting your mom to stay in your home. However,
I hope you will always feel that you can vent with us. Even if you think you overstated your feelings, you needed to vent. I hope things work out better for you soon. Rebecca
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Thanks for your concern. My mother is better cared for in my home with one on one private pay caregiver for 9 hrs a day while I work. I am just trying to see how to manage my new hours. Also I probably overstate my "prisoner issue" but it does feel like that sometimes.... can't go away overnight, can't go to a movie at night, can't go to meetings if my husband has to work late. Still it is easier to have mom here than to have to go visit her in a nursing home. Been there and done that when she was in rehab
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