The caregiver I just learned sneaks out at night. Should I fire her?

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It's a little after 2AM. I live in a converted apt. in back of my mother's house. I hired a caregiver a little over 2 wks ago supposedly 24/7. She gets days off but it was agreed that she would be here every day from 5PM as mom gets up at odd hours (last night it was 3AM) gets dressed and is on her way out the door. Or like just now, I for some reason went in the house and she'd wet her pants and needed help. Lo and behold, no caregiver. What should I do with her?

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No such thing as 24/7 anymore, federal laws require 8 hrs of relief each night.
On the other hand someone who is prowling the streets at 2AM has a drug problem. Fire her. But forget a 24/7 employee, it's against the law.
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Did you try to talk with her to get her back on track again? Some people need to be reminded every time.
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Good response Ladylee, I was thinking that!

I cannot imagine ever, leaving my spot when I am caring for someone at night. Geesh, I don't even take a break, because there usually is a huge reason that someone needs watching at night. These are the Hospice or people that want me to stay up all night long.

Regardless, even if your client is sleeping, it is plain unacceptable. I have written to Sooz, and think she is doing ok, she I believe is looking for another care giver, and is getting (I hope) a lot of advice from people here.

We need to stick together.
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OMG? can she not be done for abuse? leaving an elderly on her own like that? this is so scary! i hope you got her from an agency? fire her a** then put posters of her all over america "do not hire this woman".
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Check everything to make sure she is not stealing. lock the house up with no warning. Meet her outside to terminate her. This sounds like Drug seeking behavior. Make sure your Mom is getting her meds and that the caregiver is not taking them.
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Look at the news from a few weeks ago where "hired" nanny decided she didnt want to watch kid anymore and thought she deserved to stay in the house. Oh what fun...That is one thing an agency is supposed to help prevent-situations like that-and I guess that is why they are allowed to charge so much, they deal with all the personalities and legalities..
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Sooz, you did the right thing. I hope you understand what I was talking about with the post. I know you are under ALOT of stress, you will be fine. I know that sounds so easy to type, but it will get better. What about the churches, or Salvation Army for Emergency Services, or Department of Social Health Services? Just trying to think of someone for immediate use.

The school or college student would work if you needed them at night, then you would find someone for the two hours in the am, and could do that for a cheaper amount.
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I just thought of another thing: If you see that this caregiver takes off again in the middle of the night, call her on her cell phone & ask her where in the he** she is. If she doesn't answer, leave a message.

You could also be like a parent waiting for their teenager to get home: Sit in the living room, in the dark, & when she walks in the door, turn the light on & ask her where she was. If she tried to give you some excuse, ask her why she didn't call you & ask if she could leave instead of just walking out & leaving your mother by herself, which is the exact reason why you hired her in the first place----so your mother wouldn't be alone at night!!!
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Be careful with this. Make sure you have the warnings formally documented & signed by you & the caregiver, clearly stating the "you've got 3 chances" part. If you outright fire her without giving warnings, you could find yourself sued by her because none of the incidences were documented. Plus---if she files for unemployment (this is, if she is working legitimately & not off the books), you have nothing to dispute the claim.

If you really want this person out, then you have to make adjustments to your own life too. The doctor's appointments may be necessary, but meetings with lawyers & bankers can be postponed. Your mother is the priority right now, don't you agree?

If you can't find another caregiver for what you're willing to pay that will stay with her 24/7, then you're going to have to put her in a long term care facility so she can be supervised & not wander during the night----you have no other choice.
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I don't know how hard you have tried to get financial help but try again. When I first started approaching social services, VA, Medicaid etc. they all told me my dad made too much money to get any kind of help. If she goes to the hospital for any reason try to get social services involved. Tell the truth about your mom's situation. I found that if I caused enough trouble they would listen. Admit you need help, don't take no for an answer.
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