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I am on my fifth agency in two years. I only need them for respite for two hours twice a week, and find most agencies don't have the staff to cover that. The last agency did have a caregiver they sent but she would no show every other week. Not to mention they never had a correct invoice (always was over) in the nine months I had them. It's so frustrating.

I feel it most likely comes down to pay. It isn’t right that the client gets subpar service but caregivers don’t get paid a lot. Sad for the clients and the caregivers. The agency makes the money.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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I have seen several people posting and they mention Care.com and have been pleased with the people that have been hired.
I hired through the local Community College. 2 people that were in the Nursing program and had completed their CNA Certification and were waiting for the next semester to begin. I told them I would be willing to schedule them around their class schedules. (this works if you are flexible with your own schedule) I have to say they were the 2 best caregivers I had. I also had some through an agency and never had a problem.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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after having multiple caregivers from agencies...I had really had it. Some showed up with the attitude that everything had to be run to please and suit them (usually fired by my Dad within the hour) or were late and just sat around texting friends (Fired by my Dad the same day).

I found a wonderful caregiver. Professional. She wouldn’t work for less than$18 per hour. Since I was required by the LTC insurance company to only hire licensed professionals...and Colorado will only issue a license to agencies...I had to use an agency.

so, I spoke with the owner of the agency and said that they would hire this woman and pay her $18 per hour. This was easy money in their pocket...no training, no issues with managing her, etc. otherwise, I would shop around till I found and agency that would hire her.

she worked full time as caregiver for my Dad. The insurance company paid the bill every 2 weeks.

I am really an advocate for looking to friends, social groups, church, etc. to find a caregiver. Maybe it was just my luck to find such a gem....but, it is the only thing that worked for me.
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kbuser Feb 22, 2020
I am starting to see if I can't use friends and Bible study members. The study leader is willing to help, and she has experience care giving for her husband. We're doing self pay, so I don't necessarily need to go through an agency. It is good to know I'm not the only one experiencing these issues
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I can offer my understanding. A lot of agency workers are not of the right mindset to be working independently. Their "supervisor" is also fairly unsupervised. Someone still needs to advocate on the patient's behalf and this can be time-consuming and draining! People will say "just hire home care" or "can't you get a visiting nurse?" but that does not always provide what we think it will provide and it's very costly. If insurance pays for any of it, it won't be enough in many cases.
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The agency we used for my mom was an absolute nightmare! Mom was left alone (a total invalid) for hours with no family member notified, retirement check stolen, backstabbing each other caregivers, DRAMA like you absolutely wouldn’t believe. It was awful! I don’t even know how the company managed to stay in business. We had much better luck hiring privately, people who weren’t even CNA’s. Seriously.
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My Dad was paying $35 an hour for a reputable agency. The agency sent young employees who texted their entire shift. One even stalked my brother via text trying to date him! We couldn't be there to supervise, and my parents were kind of "deer in the headlights". What a cluster@#%&!!! I am leery of agencies.
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NeedHelpWithMom Feb 22, 2020
Yeah, it really is hit or miss. I had an 18 year old once. She was good in some ways but not so good in other ways. You are right, younger people are addicted to their phones.
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Yes, this is exactly why I had to move my mom into assisted living. Managing the home care people and caring for my mom when the care givers were not there in my free time was a full time job on top of my actual full time job. The final care giver was amazing and perfect, but she could not work all the hours we needed her. Others, well, some were good, but moved on and others were absolutely horrible, did nothing, and complained about my asking them to do their job. I understand that the low pay discourages people and it is a very difficult job emotionally. For my mom not much physical effort was needed, but the repitition and confusion my mom had was draining. One of the agancies, though, had only seniors who were working to augment their social security, so the pay was okay for them. For younger workers, the wages are not enough to manage their lives. The system is broken.
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kbuser Feb 20, 2020
I totally agree, managing home care people and caring for mom is a full time job, not to mention trying to navigate the differing advice from mom's neurologist, PCP and GI doctor. Yes, the home care system is definitely broken
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Try a different agency. There are several out there that hire and control their staff better.
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Reply to SeniorsHelp
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Thanks for the enlightening answers. I had talked to one of the caregivers from the last agency and she said some of the caregivers will clock in to a client, but not actually go. They'll go shopping or something and then clock out. Most of those clients live alone and don't know the caregiver schedule and don't bother checking with the agency. I know there is a caregiver shortage here in WI and the governor created a caregiver taskforce to try to address it. I think it's only going to get worse.
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XenaJada Feb 22, 2020
This is INFURIATING!
So basically, a family member or trusted individual has to be there to make sure the caregiver shows up and does her/his job!!!!

I know from experience it is very difficult to find dependable people, even to just SIT and provide companionship for the loved one. Several years ago I was guardian for an aunt. She had dementia, was living in MC and had fallen and injured her knee. The MC told me I needed to hire someone to stay with her at night (on top of her living there, which is/was crazy too). That was a drama-filled circus, trying to find people, have them actually show up, etc. One CG was recommended to me and I hired her to fill in one night when none of the others could make it. The next day I was told by some of the staff that she never even went in my aunt's room to check on her during the night, stayed on her phone, played around and socialized all night with the other staff members (several were friends of hers). ALL she had to do was go sit in the room with my aunt to make sure she didn't get up and fall during the night. She could have played on her phone while in the room with my aunt. She could have napped. All she needed to do was be in the room with her and she could NOT EVEN DO THAT!!!! Needless to say, I let her know I would NOT be hiring her again!
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I worked for 10 dollars an hour to care for my relative recently and even less while going broke to care for another. When caregivers once resented my being there they quit. I then did their jobs of 3 people for 1.8 months. My relative made a remarkable turnaround and got better. I could not save her Mother I tried, but was barred from nursing home for complaining. But I fought for my Mother and she is still in her home. In my life I struggled but I always tried to do my best. I rarely received additional formal training but I tried to advance . I guess thats the business model everyone uses, low pay, tough jobs, weird hours. But I saw one worker make up to 35 hours a week off my relative and gone by 9am and came back at night but there were no time clocks and she could work the entire day somewhere else. In my life, the pay was always lacking but I tried to be a good worker. Eventually I went to college. Not wise to not advance yourself somehow. Home health agencies benefited from workers that refused to learn English they stayed with those agencies. Home health agencies can be reported to Medicaid AHCA buy rarely get penalized from ny experience. They can get away with many different things if you are not vigilant. They dont have time clocks. Some wont tell families their hours they should be working. You have to take a lot of precautions and constantly inventory. Sadly sometimes there could be shortages of HH aides. They want autonomy also. Their companies do not appear to be providing ongoing yearly education like required by hospitals for instance. They have varied standards of cleaning which may be improved upon but most consider it an insult to be suggested a way to improve even the patient care. If they cannot get their way with one family member they will go to another. They will pretend not to understand English and will not follow legal guidelines about medical care and speaking the primary language of the patient and they will converse with vendors, therapists, and rescue and speak other languages in front of you but you cannot understand or contribute input. My Mom has a staff of three it's gotten better, but I was taking care of someone else for 1.5 years and only go to my moms to clean once a week or less. Recently I see them a lot our communication is better. Only one works for an agency. Good luck.
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NeedHelpWithMom Feb 20, 2020
You deserved better. People can’t live on these low wages and yet they are expected to do a very tough job to the best of their ability.

It’s the same for teachers. I was a teacher. Teachers do a very important job. Do they get paid what they should? NO! So what happens? We leave and take other jobs that pay more.
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Yes, the main problem for the agencies is finding dependable and trustworthy employees willing to work for barely minimum wage for any length of time. For example, Comfort Keepers in the Denver area currently charges $27/ hour; workers take home maybe13.50/ hour. That’s barely minimum wage here. The disparity is because it costs the agency that much for insurance, overhead, and constantly training new employees. They don’t even offer benefits to caregivers. Perhaps you can now understand why it’s almost impossible to get someone to reliably come for a two hour shift. If it don’t make dollars it don’t make sense .
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Wearenextfix Feb 20, 2020
I was a temp fir nany years, no benefits offered and found there were some available. Most important finding I could get paid by unemployment in between jobs.
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I only had Council on Aging for 8 hours a month. They had a contract with a local agency. I was told that I had to agree to four hour shifts which meant a worker came every other week. I wanted a two hour shift every week but could not have that. They said workers did not want to accept a job under four hours.

A few workers weren’t good. I asked for a replacement worker. The last worker was an absolute gem! She was very, very caring and dependable.

I think part of the problem is the low pay. Yes, they should do a good job but they make very little money for a tough job and I suppose some workers lose interest in doing a good job. It is frustrating. I hope you will find a suitable worker soon. Don’t hesitate to ask for replacement workers.
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kbuser Feb 20, 2020
Thanks for the great advice. I will ask for replacement workers if this next one doesn't work out. You're right, they do get low pay for such a hard job. It doesn't seem right since the agency charges $30 an hour.
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