Hello, I am new to a lovely family, and care for a 97 year old man.

He is so kind, the family is absolutely wonderful, and I actually was called by the daughter for this job a few months back, but referred it to a woman I knew that I thought would be an excellent live-in caregiver.

Well, I am on my third week, I am respected for my knowledge, and have the job down pretty good. We are getting to know each other.

The other caregiver who lives here, and that is because otherwise she would have no where else to go, has done a 180 on me. For two weeks she was really happy and this and that, and willing to help me at any time.

Then last Saturday night, I filled in for her. She was so complimentary, and I have had a wool sweater and she had been looking for one, so I said she could have it, because we do know each other, but would not consider us friends.

So I, the new girl on the block felt that there was really important information that I was not getting communicated, such as this man had a horrible cold, and when I came in on Tuesday, he seemed ok, but had someone told me, alot of things would have made more sense.

He is pretty with it, but at 97, every once in a while the filters lose track of what he is saying. (Age related Dementia).

She sent me a beautiful email thanking me, and then Saturday night, I texted her and suggest we do an online Caregiving so we would all be aware of everything.

That was the end of any and all conversations from her. She is never around, and never shows her face unless it is her 6 hours from noon to 6 or 7.

I came in today and she returned the sweater.

She previously told me she wears ear plugs to bed. (she is the overnight, and how can she hear)?

In the meantime, I have always learned to be a person that is respected and listened too. I was asked by the daughter as Caregiver A was out all day and it was my day to work to stay until Caregiver A got home.

At 9:30 she got home, and looked down, would not even look me in the eye. She did state she is "fabulous", which is a lie, because Julie the daughter stated that there is a complete mood change like a multi personality disorder going on with her and it is very disturbing.

Well, I am ok, I am focused on the client, and gosh, it makes me so sad to see this caregiver downstairs with her phone off, and I asked if I could ask her a question.

no answer

so up until today no answer and still not talking. the client said, she ignores me.

It is very tragic, and she did say she has issues with bi polar, but the daughter is very upset, because I am the missing piece to their puzzle they say.

I am not a superhero, just a caregiver trying to make a difference in this world.

Any advice. Or is there any advice that I should give the daughter, who has never done this before? (had a live in)

I know she is having issues with her daughters, and I am a grown adult and know how that can be, but obviously, this AM, when I came in she said she did not want this sweater. That is fine, but it is 180 and clearly she is communicating in a very toxic way.

How can you be a team without one of the people talking?


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Is the family aware of the restraining order? Do you know why she has a restraining order on her? Restraining orders are tough to get. You have to have proof of something, so she is guilty of something. My daughter got a restraining order on an ex boyfriend. She had to show proof of his violence.

What exactly are you suspicious of? Do you feel that the elder you are caring for is in any danger?
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You can’t make her communicate with you. I’d leave it alone. It is sad but you do not have the power to change anyone.

Best wishes to you. Sounds like you are a loving and caring caregiver. Continue to focus on that.
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You cannot be a “team” without constant open communication. But, this communication should be regarding your patient and only him. You are not working there to be friends with “Caregiver A”., give gifts to her or monitor her time off and try to engage her in conversations when she comes home. Discussions about your mutual patient should be had during the time you both are “on the clock”.

You are aware of some personal family problems of her’s (her daughters). You are also aware that she is bi-polar. Once co-workers begin sharing very personal information, boundaries are crossed. If you mentioned anything to your employer about her, perhaps inadvertently revealing something A told to you in confidence, A may have decided silence is the best policy.

It sounds like Caregiver A is there to put in her time and that’s it, which is what she is paid to do. You say she is on duty in the afternoon, but then you say she also has the night shift. Did she tell you she wears ear plugs when she is supposed to be on duty? That would be an odd thing to reveal to a new employe one barely knows.

You are the new kid on the block, the “missing puzzle piece”, wanting to change the world for caregivers, and perhaps Caregiver A is jealous and a bit overwhelmed by your enthusiasm. If your employer heaps praise on you and you mention it to A, jealousy is almost certainly a factor in her shutting down. No one, no matter the job, wants to stand around while their employer is heaping praise on another employee.

if you feel A is not doing her job and your patient’s safety and well being are impacted, you should speak only with your employer and only about the incidents that have happened. You should not discuss anything personal regarding A with your employer nor she with you. It will be up to your employer and only her to determine if something needs to be done. You should not speculate about what, if anything is going on with Caregiver A with your employer. If she suspects anything, this is between her and Caregiver A, not the three of you.
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Makeadifference Dec 2019
Thank you very much.

Yes I very much agree. But the reality is, the family does very much like me. I came on, and caregiver A was putting down the entire family, as well as told me she was arrested for going back to an assisted living that they put a restraining order on her.
Why am I saying that. I believe she is very manipulative, such as tonight, and the boundaries she believes I have crossed make no sense. I was letting her know there is a new night plan for Jim, and she said I crossed a boundary because it was not her work time. We never work at the same time.

I feel I have a legal obligation if there is something in her background that is apparently wrong.
Remember this is a woman that just loved to text me and welcome me and, then decided her boundaries and never told anyone.

She looks very ill, dark circles on her eyes. I know I will be there, as I talked to the son, he basically said I am the main caregiver, and thanks for putting up with all of this.

I feel bad, but what am I supposed to do when I am hired as a team caregiver, and I cannot text her a question regarding his health, and only let Julie the daughter know. Then the question is this. Why even have her?
She tells me how she avoids Jim, and many negative things, but you are correct. All of my communications go to the kids, and to me that feels bad. I do not have good feelings about her.

I did find out she was arrested for trespassing a restraining order at an assisted living facility. That was the anger that I saw in her tonight. Of course, she will be happy and cheerful and switch personalities for them, but poor Jim, she was telling me how disgusting it was to do a simple wash out his toothbrush, just remember, in my last 3 days, he has other hygiene issues, and she has always claimed that he (a 97 year old) is a flirt.

Far from the truth. Just a big mess, and it is so hard because I am a non chaos person, and it seems there are alot of caregivers with their own baggage. (please do not take that wrong). A caregiver should never bring their life into the house they are working for, ever.

Anyway, thanks so much for the answer. I feel just odd, because the daughter who is not as strong as the son, and the son told me that she is not as strong in you are out type of thing. I know without me, Jim would not have alot of things that he has. Again, my head is not big, I just know that clients want me to go above and beyond, and they are paying me so that is what I do.

Thanks everyone.
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