Has anyone had anxiety over finding the "perfect" caregiver?


My mother is in about stage 5 of Alzheimers and we are keeping her in her home. My sister lives with my mom and cares for her fulltime. I help out quite a bit and have her with me when I'm not out of town, etc.. Just got back from vacation to find out my mother had a fall and broke her arm the day after I left. My sister didn't want to tell me until I got back. I know it was an innocent accident on my sister's part. We have since put up a bed rail so my mom can't get out of bed on her own. My sister also sleeps with her every night. We need more help but I struggle with finding someone who is not only a caretaker but also caregiver. Someone who will truly care for her and about her. I struggle with this so much. We had some help a while back but it just wasn't a real good fit although she was a nice person. I could really use some insight on this.

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Perfect? Heck I'm not perfect! But I do the best I can. I agree with those above, find someone your mom LIKES...and you can deal with. We had a great old county gal for dad, hired from an agency and she loved my parents like her own Grandparents.. and she still managed to let Dad get away once in awhile. But so did Mom,, and so did I.... So maybe relax a bit and accept that you way is not the only way.. and smile while you do it. If Mom is happy with them and they are an easy fit into the home...enjoy the ride
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There is no perfect caregiver especially in a home setting - no one will take care of your mom the way you do let alone cook and do laundry
That said you can find someone who will be able to help with the burden and your mom will like and trust - it may take months but again don't expect the person to fulfill all your needs - remember these jobs generally don't pay much more than min. Wage and it's hard work - I have been lucky to have a housekeeper who will help in a pinch and two or three agency caregivers - but even they have other responsibilities and don't show up or cancel at the last minute and the agency can't always re-staff - care at home is very hard to manage
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SmileAtLife, what are the issues that will make you want to find THE perfect caregiver?

My Dad has caregivers, and for me the most important part is if Dad really likes the person and is happy to see that person every day. Play it by ear. I went through about six caregivers until I found the two that are a good fit. Dad's caregivers are from an Agency, the Agency is licensed, bonded, insured, and has workman's comp. If you hire outside of any Agency, your Mom would need to get a workman's comp rider attached to her home owner's insurance.

As for falling, that is a normal part of growing older. You could have Mary Poppins, Hazel, Dr. Phil, and Martha Stewart all rolled up into one person, and Mom will still find a way to fall, it only takes a split second. Is your Mom getting physical therapy for her broken arm, as that is important not to have the muscles freeze up.

I would question the bed rail, unless it is a small type of rail that one uses to help themselves get out of bed, any bed rail used to keep someone in bed could become dangerous to that person.... elders have been known to get their legs tangled in the rail.
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There is no such thing as a perfect caregiver. Does perfect mean that this person does things exactly as you do? Different methods work for different people and those they care for. The ideal caregiver is one that will try different methods to ease the anxiety of the one they are caring for. The caregiver is not caring for you so the best thing to do is to step back, be patient, do not try to micromanage, and let the caregiver figure it out. What workd for you and sis may be helpful, but not the solution for someone that mom does not know.
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