Big step - outside caregiver coming next week for 3 hours. Tips on making her feel welcome?

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This is completely new territory for us: social services have arranged for a caregiver to come in for up to five hours per week to give me respite breaks. I'd like her to feel welcome and valued; my mother is apprehensive, too, and I plan to take this very gently so that we all start off on the right foot. All suggestions welcome?

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just be respectful..
go over all the details
let her know her limits politely
let her your what she has access to have or use while she is in your home..
smile and be firm and polite.

sharon
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Boni, try to find an independent caregiver...... you are right, the agency gets the money, and with such low pay for the caregiver, many times they only end up being what we call 'warm bodies', just someone there, not necessarily what you want in a caregiver....the bottom line is, with an independent, you get what you pay for... make sure they have references.... do a background check if you can.... I try to give my charges as much info as I can, and have no problem answering their questions..... so hope you find someone..... there are some great paid caregivers out there..... that charges a descent amount, and will be everything you need them to be.... prayers you are sent someone who fits your needs and your wallet...
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Making her welcome is an excellent idea. I suggest that you do not treat her/him as their tasks are to do housekeeping because that is not their role except to clean up after the person they are caring for. If you need a housekeeper...that is a separate person who is a housekeeper. Keep us posted and take care!!
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I like what PamZ says. Give them info about mom's likes and dislikes, background on number of children, grandchildren, etc. Medical conditions that might affect her behavior (like for my mom, I'd talk about her short-term memory problems and that she might make the same comment or ask the same question over and over again). And certainly emergency medical info should be available nearby, along with a list of medications, and emergency contact info numbers.
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i typed up a letter for the CV that told her things about my Dad, so we didn't have to talk in front of him, like his work history, some travels,things he likes to do and be called and what might come up, What he eats for lunch...She seemed to like that, and I felt like she was able to interact with him from the first.Kind of like they "knew" each other already It really helped us all.
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I work in home healthcare and many patients and their families feel as if I'm a guest who needs to be entertained. I think that's a natural feeling and if need be I laugh and remind them that this is my job.

I agree with letting her know what is expected of her. If you anticipate times during the shift when there's little to do encourage her to bring a book or some knitting or something.

And I know you will be but be nice and respectful. Like someone above me mentioned you can't imagine the very difficult patients (and families) we've had to work for. I had a couple hire my company and it was a 4-hour shift. Supposedly the wife had just gotten home from having surgery. All this couple wanted was someone to clean their house. No interaction with the wife whatsoever, just clean the house. I didn't even get a chance to take the wife's vitals or anything. Once her husband introduced me to her she asked me to shut her door!

Just be normal and friendly and respectful and you'll have a committed and hardworking caregiver in return.
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Thank you all! BoniChak, I'm sure you're right about very little of that money filtering through to the person who does the work… it's that kind of world, I'm afraid. And now I understand: when the manager was here yesterday, I asked if it would be okay for day one if we all had lunch together, just to get acquainted; she gave me a slightly funny look, paused, then said: "yes, and then perhaps another time you'll let HER get your mother's lunch…" Now I see.

1. She is here to work, and will feel undermined if there's nothing to do.
2. She is here to keep my mother safe and comfortable, not as a guest we need to amuse.
3. Let my mother speak for herself; don't be desperate for them to be best buddies straight away.
4. Once they're ok, leave them to it and don't keep turning up like a paranoid bad penny.

I think that's about all I'll be able to manage for Tuesday! Fingers crossed, thanks again.
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that is so sweet of you to care about making her feel welcome.
when caregiving was my paid job, any little crumb of appreciation was mostly unexpected.

i served a small and very poor area, one patient in particular seemed to take the chance to play southern belle and treat my like a lowly maid. i took orders from her gracefully, as long as they didn't interfere with my actual job;)

in the end, she ended up with no help at all, because on one of my sick days my black friend sat in, and the woman was not happy about the skin colour.

just wow. the agency dropped her, i always wondered what happened to her next. she was 95,
and her arrogance and obnoxious ignorance were probably things she didnt have enough cognitive ability left to comprehend.

but, i didn't check back on her either, because she really was torture to be around.

calling the caregiver by name helps a lot! i always offered my moms physical therapist a glass of fresh orange juice when she arrived. (her company was working her to death and i knew she needed it!) most days she had put at least a hundred miles driving in, usually more.

the company i worked for had a prohibition against accepting such things) however, there is also a policy that you can't turn your client down if they truly want to give you a glass of water or something.
(confused yet?).

i feel that most caregivers get into this line of work because, well they CARE. of course they need their paycheck, but just showing honest appreciation, and an invitation to open communication goes a long way.

with a question such as yours, i get the feeling it will be just fine. you sound really sweet and considerate.

oh, one more thing... when anna, our lovely PT first started coming, i just informed her i would be in the kitchen, and also let her know out of simple disclosure that if she needed anything she could just call my name and i could hear it through the camera i had in moms room.

so, as i have mentioned on other threads, not all caregivers are equal. i have heard some pretty horrid stories actually. having a camera on your loved one is one of the best ways to make sure everything is a-ok even if you are in the next room.

it is funny, a double edged sword so to speak that the cared FOR ones feel like they need to entertain the caregiver. Because in our training, we are encouraged to just "spend time" with the cared for one. Asking questions about their family or grandchildren, and looking through photo albums was actually ln the list of examples. OH DEAR.

Well, these complications are heartwarming. No one could ultimately be harmed because they were trying to make the person that was trying to make them happy, happy. LOL.
Say THAT five times fast, heehee.
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CM,
I have one coming tomorrow. I'm not worried about her feeling welcome she definitely is! My biggest concern is mom wanting her to leave and getting stressed out when she doesn't. She once tried to physically throw a caregiver out of the house while threatening to call 911 to report a burglary. That day I called the police department to explain moms dementia so they know what to expect whether respond anyway. I am going to watch this thread will probably learn something.
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I just finally called an agency that someone gave me the number to, and its $22 per hour with a 6 hour minimum. $25 under 6 hrs. unbelievable. I am sure the agency gets most of that. sigh.
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