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So, after my Dad's main caregiver (the one I preferred because she wouldn't fall for his shenanigans), was jailed, I fired her and gave the weekend help all shifts.

Imagine my dismay this morning when Daddy announced that we needed to go to the bank to get more money (we had just withdrawn $200 the yesterday). Apparently, he swindled his (not so bright) caregiver into taking him shopping, and she allowed him to spend his entire wallet stash on a new suit!!!

OK... I've fought (and lost) the battle with my father to carry much money at all. I keep his bank and credit cards at all times. Instead, I opted for a prepaid VISA that we keep $100 on, but after a SCREAMING match in the middle of the bank earlier this year, I let him just keep his $200 weekly cash withdrawal in his wallet (normally hiding $100) so that he feels some sense of control.

The other clincher is... I JUST BOUGHT HIM DRESS CLOTHES!!! Three weeks ago, against my better judgment, I bought him three dress shirts, three pairs of dress slacks, a sport jacket and some new shoes. He even SHOWED the dingy caregiver his new clothes. He didn't NEED anymore dress clothes!

So, of course, my first suggestion was to take the silly suit back, but the receipt is nowhere to be found. They bought it from a store where he NEVER shops, so it's not like a store credit will do any good, and Guess who's the bad guy.... again?

My gut says to fire the silly woman, but I NEED her. I have two jobs right now, and I really don't have time to find someone else until I put him in the Independent Living facility.

I really think I should dock her paycheck. That money was for our normal Sunday morning grocery shopping trip, and some money to keep him occupied while I attempted to take a 3 day vacation...one that I think I should cancel in light of this.

This would have NEVER happened if I was around. Clearly this "caregiver" doesn't understand dementia. All she had to do was change the subject or say NO!!! That's why he likes this caregiver. She ALWAYS gives him his way...

So... fire her? Dock her pay?

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My husband is caring for his dad, and has all the papers to carry on business. His dad was abusive and my husband was the brunt of it all. Some nights (late), his dad was so drunk, but would line the kids up on the couch and they didn't know if they would live. His mom would sneak everyone out if it got to late. Back in those days, people didn't believe abuse could happen and told her to stay with him. He finally left. His oldest son is doing his job caring for him. It is out of respect because it is his father, but not out of great love. He is honest with his money, and makes sure he gets good care. But he goes on with his life as best as he can, and takes care of issues that come up. He has him in a nursing home, which is possible for anyone. His dad knows he saved his life and is thankful. But this man's family has healed enough, but doesn't stress over him. That leaves my husband doing most of the care - but thankfully, it's not much now that the dementia is worse. We don't wish any hardship on his father, as he was in his own hell when he had his mind. His regrets kept him from sleeping and he begged for forgiveness. It wasn't until my husband put his foot down (1st time ever) and told his dad "you are under my care and you trust me to do what is right. So you will have to keep trusting me because you don't have a choice unless you want me to turn you over to the state." His abusiveness continued towards the staff and residents until he was moved into a homelike setting with 3 residents. She is fabulous, but soon, she will need to let him go. It's very hard with a past like yours. Please don't let it make you bitter and live your life wasted on someone that's not worth it. Take measures to relieve yourself, as believe me, there are plenty of places that will take him no matter what his situation. Make phone calls to Medicare/Medicaid and start living a better life! :)
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Thank you for your dedication to your aunt. A higher power takes note of all we do.
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Thank you for your kind and understanding responses life experiences and déjà again. That is why it would have been better if it were an agency. At least I could have contacted the agency.
She was neglected, I am sad to say, but in her final days she was at peace because the caregivers left, I just stopped working for a while and I stayed with her in the hospital until she died. I miss her.
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Yes, it is so maddening and frustrating when you can SEE stuff that is so wrong, but the people who are responsible ignore the obvious and you are helpless to do a thing about it! Well at least your aunt wasn't deliberately abused and hopefully she was comfortable and at peace in her final days.
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kidnumber2....wow...would be soooo were bringing in all their family members as if it were their home!!! I'm fuming just thinking about this scenario!!
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Okay GardenArtist. Apparently you selectively read my post about the timing of the CG's vacation - after 2 years (both had had many previous vacations) when their charge was dying BOTH took vacation at the same time, no coverage. She also spent many hours on the Internet with her family overseas as did her co-worker who could barely understand English. The Internet service in the home was set up for their convenience. (My Aunt never used it - did not own a computer and she was blind). They used the home as their personal playground. Had their family visit there, babysat the Grandkids there and so on. I objected to what they did, because they neglected my Aunt. But as a person who was not in close proximity and I could not be there to take my Aunt out (I am not retired) and keep her company. That is what THEY WERE PAID TO DO!! My objection also was that I had no recourse to address the situation as they were privately hired by the executor who would not listen to me. If they had been hired through an agency none of this would have happened. Private or Agency, it is a job.
Honestly, I would make no excuse for them. I work and know what labor rights are. And I also know what my job description is.
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As I read some of the comments on what's expected from a caregiver, I have to wonder if those expectations include doing what the relative or family member would consider his or her task. Caregivers have defined functions; they're not a substitute for a relative. They're entitled to vacations and to their own lives as well.

They're also entitled to be treated as any other employee would; that means consideration, legal rights and the benefit of protective labor laws.
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If you are the one making the judgement calls and are overseeing all aspects it is fine to hire a private caregiver I am sure. In the case of my late Aunt, the executor was absent most of the time and did not fully comprehend what was going on in the household. I was helpless to do anything because there was not a third party involved. The main caregiver had one okay reference - from someone who was there most of the time overseeing the big picture. The executor chose the CG on that basis and also took the second CG on the basis of the first CG's recommendation. Such a poor selection and many others who knew my late Aunt were appalled at this. As her neice I could do nothing. There was no third party to call. In hindsight, I could have called the department for the aging to visit - I am not sure they would have seen this problem and legally I am not sure what standing I would have had in the matter. I just tried to let my voice be heard. A private CG could work out well if the person hiring knows what the care needs of the client are. That was not the case in this scenario. It was plain to me, her friends, the doorman, the housekeeper. In the end neither CG was present (they conveniently took vacation) as my Aunt lay dying. That was ok. She was in a hosputal and I was there. Not to the executor, who was mainly concerned with the money and was blindsided by the proper handling of money. The executor was adamant about the household money. That is not the only thing a CG needs to do, I am sure every CG on this site with any experience can attest to that.
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bookluvr....yes, go for the private CG, it is less costly. and of course...like people...they are all different...some good, others stink!! goood luck!
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It really all comes down to how honest and caring the paid caregiver is. And it's very very important to get references from them and follow-up on it. I have learned a LOT from some of them here on AC. STP, Ladee and Ruth. I miss reading Ruth's posts. She has retired from caregiving and has moved on to another profession.

And like they say, you get what you pay for. Sis and I are willing to take that chance. Money's tight and we will make do with what we can afford - which is a private paid caregiver. And because we're doing the hiring, we can definitely fire her if we're not happy. So, we still have control. FYI, I have received some great references for paid caregivers who are willing to accept what we want to pay. So, I don't feel bad at all. We will see...and take our chances with a private paid caregiver. =)
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This is a very illuminating conversation for me. The concept of hiring a caregiver from a company always seemed like the company was getting the lion's share of the money, but I can see now that it is a very good way to protect everyone. My late Aunt had 2 caregivers that were privately hired. I objected to both of them. One did not speak English well enough at all (my Aunt was blind and this CG could not even converse on the phone) and the other had a load of family members coming and going in the house. Very unprofessional. I had no say in the matter and it was very distressing for me. I was sad to see this parade of poor grade individuals "taking care" of my Aunt. I am sure if they were vetted by an agency their conduct and qualifications never would have passed muster. My Aunt had plenty of money and she deserved better. The executor, who was not me, left many matters in the hands of these caregivers. They were not, in my opinion, fully capable of giving her proper care. In the end, the person responsible was the executor who did not comprehend the importance of having a person who could speak proper English (the woman was a well educated and refined Russian woman - great - but she could not communicate with anyone but her "buddy" who was the "other" caregiver.) An agency would never have allowed this type of thing to occur in the case of a blind woman of advanced age. The CG's did what they liked and smiled sweetly, presented receipts and so on. They were dreadful in my opinion. It was so sad that the executor would not listen to me on this matter.
Like I said, a private agency would have vetted the applicants and in my opinion at least one of the women would not have been hired and my Aunt would have enjoyed better care. She deserved it.
Had there been an agency involved I would have at least had recourse to call the supervisor to report what I saw as gross negligence. There were dental appointments that were completely overlooked and the women spent may hours on the Internet chatting with their families overseas rather that engaging my Aunt in conversation and activities. It was dreadful. So many things were not right, I cannot enumerate them here. Except for the receipts. They were in order.
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bookluvr...THANKS for sharing your experience! Some of these people SHOULD NOT be caregivers!!
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I'm not perfect. I learn a lot from reading here in the past 3 years. When I hired my first paid caregiver - private caregiver (not from a company), I told her straight out that I'm paying her and my dad cannot fire her. This is what I expect for her to do. Eventually, dad told her that when I come home, I'm too tired but still change his pamper. He told her that since his daughter is paying her, then she should also change his pamper - to help alleviate my work. She did. I liked her a lot but funds dried up and I had to release her.

Another caregiver, from a company, started visiting us Outside her work hours. She wormed her way into dad's confidence and was able to get him to give her $80/month. Because he has not been declared incompetent, I had to step back and watch this. Dad would get mad at me and say that it's his money and he can do whatever he wants with it. I agree that it is his money. I finally put my foot down, after intense family pressures, when this cg has decided to take bedridden dad out to do errands on his wheelchair, in her car. Even when I and my oldest sis said No. She didn't care. Because we don't have POA and dad is still competent. We are very, very fortunate that she is a caregiver from a company. This allowed me to contact my social worker, who in turn sent it to the coordinator and HR. This cg was immediately taken off caregiving with patients. I am just soooo glad that she was from a company and Not a private cg!

So, I see both sides of this issues about the cg taking your father to the store and him spending His Money. I, my dad's daughter, was torn about this for months while he gave his $$$ to his favorite cg.

We are about to hire another paid cg. After reading the latest posts, I realize that fave niece and fave sis are right. They are all wary of hiring a private cg after what happened with the last cg. You all's latest posts - is exactly what my sis/niece were telling me. That I will need to sit down and really think about what she can and cannot do for dad - during working hours and off hours. How to react when dad tries to persuade her to do something, etc.... I have about 2 weeks to come up with a plan. I'm glad that I decided to check what's the latest on this discussion!
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And thank you to all the family members who replied and understand we have a hard job and wear many hats and have many people involved. Thank you for understanding.
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This has turned into an interesting discussion, sans tinyblu. Was happy to see other paid caregivers expressing their own situations and experiences.... I recently had had a rough day with my charge.... and before the day was over, I was almost in tears, because I have so many people telling me what to do.... I told the husband this and said everyone needs to get on the same page. I can not deal with all this, AND take care of your wife...nothing has changed, so yes, I will quit, giving ample notice, and hopefully find something besides caregiving for work. And a side note here, if you hire an experienced caregiver and expect them to follow your instructions to the letter without finding out how they might handle a situation, then you are going to go thru many caregivers, then blame us for being lousy caregivers, untrustworthy.... ect... If I did things 'exactly' like the family, then I am a babysitter, not a caregiver.... and I won't compromise my integrity and work ethic for a few lousy bucks.... so thank you to all the paid caregivers who responded to this thread..... I don't feel so alone....
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Regardless of any instructions to the hired caregiver or agreements about how the money is to be handled, the one thing that the CG MUST do when she is on duty is save and turn over to you ALL records of money transactions, including store receipts. Did the CG give you the receipt for the new suit and you subsequently misplaced it? Then obviously the problem with not being able to return the suit lies in your lap. However, if the CG was not able to produce the receipt, then she is at fault for not following through with a very basic responsibility. Otherwise, how would you know if the suit actually cost $300 and she pocketed $100? I am not implying that this is what happened in your case, but pointing out an obvious reason for keeping a paper trail of every time money changes hands.

As far as expecting the CG to handle your father's stubborn behavior and outbursts better than you can, I agree with everyone who said that is expecting too much! Dealing with severe emotional problems or acting out may require the next level of elder care in a credentialed facility with medical staff. It should not be left in the hands of one woman whose primary duty (unless the contract indicates otherwise) is to make sure that your dad is kept safe and reasonably clean while offering emotional support, not therapy!
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What? He has multiple wives?That is polygamy! I agree with everyone else that it's not the caregiver's fault. HE spent the $!!!!
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Fire her!!! Anybody with half a brain does not take an elder shopping and spend that kind of money without at least talking it over with you 1st. You cannot dock her pay. Hire a company like Home Instead until you can find someone cheaper. I put an ad in the local paper and had more than 100 calls, you'd best do it soon or the problems will grow! Follow your gut instinct!
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If the money is in his wallet, it is for him to spend. You can't hold the caregiver responsible - consider that when he showed her the new things you had just bought him, it validated his request for shopping for a suit. If she had only seen T-shirts, sweat pants and less than $50.00 in his wallet, she might have called you or questioned it. Professional caregivers come from all walks of life, so I can't judge this person, or you for that matter. I can however say from my experience the biggest job (unpaid and willingly done) I have on top of everything else in my life is to try to forsee potential problems & manage whomever I hire to care for my family member with dementia. That means detailed instructions and a prepaid cell phone handed to the caregiver to specifically call with any and all questions. I usually do most of the work myself, - but when I hire someone I make certain they understand the limits and that I have them there to genuinely like and connect with my parent whether it is an outing or TV at home.
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Firing a caregiver for dealing with what sounds like a VERY difficult client...I'd think twice. So they bought a new suit? Big deal! The caregiver was probably pulled all over the place trying to care for your dad. We get exhausted trying to meet any and all demands. Dock her pay? You HAVE the thing they bought!! Just TALK to her (she'll probably quit)....one thing I could NOT abide when I was in Elder Care was criticism from the family, when it was not justified. My client would often take money out of the bank (large sums) and give it to the one son who was always struggling. She'd give me a little wink and nod like I was supposed to keep a $1000 w/d secret when her other son had her bank account online and watched it like a hawk. Many times I did have to explain where that $1000 went...and then let the family deal with it. Take a deep breath and think this thru. Sounds like you are lucky anyone will deal with your dad.
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I see. You went to the bank with your Dad, gave him the money yourself and blame CG for letting him spend it. Clearly it is not wise to let him have this amount of discretionary income. If you are going on a food shopping trip on Sunday, why give Dad all the money in advance when he could blow it all?
I wish you luck. If the CG is not given an allowance for grocery shopping, why are you so pissed off at her for allowing your Dad to spend all the money?
She sees you go grocery shopping with him. Perhaps she does not comprehend that she is supposed to prevent a man with dementia from blowing the budget on clothes. Why give him the money in the first place? I think you should take your vacation and keep a tighter reign on the purse strings. If the CG cannot handle your fitful Dad, at least there will be money for groceries.
Like I said, it must be next to impossible to handle your angry Dad.
Do not dock her pay. That is wrong. Very wrong.
Good luck Tinyblu!
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I have very little experience with this, but I would definitely not dock the pay of the caregiver for taking your father shopping. In the worst case I would find another caregiver. Also, if it is so impossible for the CG to control the budget, I would have the groceries ordered and delivered. I would have all the essentials for the household (toiletries and so on) ordered and delivered. That way there is no money left for clothes shopping. Simple as that. If he needs clothes and it is in the budget, he should have them. If it is not a necessity and it breaks the budget, why give it to him as discretionary allowance? It is like giving a child money to buy candy instead of getting the essentials necessary for the household.
You most certainly should not penalize the caregiver for failure to manage the household expenses. Just handle the expenses yourself or replace her. Dock her pay? That is ridiculous. It is not as if she has stolen from you. She took your father shopping. At worst she cannot handle the situation and you should simply replace her.
It sounds like you are angry at your Dad and the CG. Perhaps the CG is not competent to handle the situation, which is quite possible. My friend has a mother with dementia. She is a handful and has gone through many caregivers.
I am sure it is a handful to take care of your angry old Dad.
Also, why is CG going to the bank with your Dad?
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Lifeexperiences . . I have always been hired based on recommendations of those I've worked for. Is there some reason that you choose to not answer the question asked about your own actual caregiving experience?
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Dear MauiSky1....you could never work for anyone if you don't follow the person who is PAYING you instructions! What the patient wants is NOT always in their or the family's BEST interest!!
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And mahalo to you too, MauiSkye1! Your posts are welcome, well written, insightful and very helpful. I hope you post more often.
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As a caregiver my responsibility is to insure the safety of my client and do all possible to allow the client to live life as they desire, not kowtow or cater to the family. As a caregiver, I spent more time with the client (8 to 24 hours a day) than family members (1 to 2 at most) so felt responsible to share from my 15 years of experience to assist client and family in making best decisions. Since tinyblu has not responded to any of suggestions offered, I think it's time for caregiver to move on and serve where her expertise is welcomed. Do your life experiences include having actually been a caregiver?
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MauiSkye1...I think you are clueless! The caregiver is there to help the family care for their father ... and I'm sure clear instructions are given! If she caters to the father and not the family member that hired her...she should be FIRED!
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To put it bluntly lifeexperiences, you are clueless, dear! Number one rule of perpetuating a dysfunctional family is to blame each other and stay in denial. As a caregiver I know that these issues exist in almost every family and eventually the caregiver is pulled into the drama if she does not establish boundaries. I once worked for someone who had gone through 13 caregivers in less than 8 months. I was hired as a 'live-in' and stayed for 3 months while family found a replacement (not easy) and I found other housing. Compassionate by nature, caregivers tend to put up with more than the small compensation that is offered.
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D...you have to get rid of her!
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Mahalo nui loa! (Thank you big time!) to all you strong, beautiful and compassionate women for standing up for us caregivers, as well as sharing heartfelt wisdom with tinyble. I was once almost fired for allowing a client couple to 'stay up late' to watch the final playoffs of Atlanta Braves that they had been following all season. My manager set strict rules about them being in bed by 7:00 p.m. and had no tolerance for anyone not playing by her rules. She also came 'unglued' when I called during my shift ask about a change in the hospice clients meds that CG manager had failed to record in the daily notes. Being the eyes and ears for family of loved ones is not an easy task, so all that can be done to assist CG is welcomed and appreciated. I have seem many families have to deal with long buried issues of abuse to their children, so empathize with tinyblu, but do agree that burden of resolving this belongs in therapy for abused. This cannot be cured by demanding that CG follow wishes of tinyblu, so hope that she is able to find help. If not, the issues will follow her way past her father's passing and she deserves to be free of them. As a child who was abused emotionally, I understand the very well and truly appreciate tinyblu's anger. The counseling that helped me understand and forgive my abusers was invaluable. I now know that the abuse was unintentional. Mahalo to tinyblu for venting, but please do take the advice of all who posted answers!
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