Should my Caregivers raid my fridge, watch my TV, and be on a cell phone during their visit?

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Dad has dementia and this is what he's been reporting.. What to do..?! I'm new to this..!

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Remember, too, that employees are entitled to a meal break and other breaks during the day. Generally caregivers cannot leave the premises and it seems reasonable to me that they could use their cell phones during their shift. It would only be a problem in my mind if the total time on the phone greatly exceeded the break time they would get if they were in a more conventional job, or, of course, if they neglected to patient. The PCA I used brought her own lunch, but I also said she was welcome to share whatever she was making for my husband. Occasionally she did, if it was something she wanted to try.

As for duties, mine liked to be busy, and I would sometimes give her projects. "I know this isn't exactly in your job description, but if you are bored and you'd like to, you could neaten up the linen closet." Obviously this was only when my husband was napping. She helped him do his physical therapy exercises. She went for walks with him when the weather was nice. She played card games and did jigsaw puzzles with him. She watched videos or television with him. She helped him take a bath. She got him up and helped him dress and shave in the morning.

More important than the exact tasks is clear communication about them. You should both know what to expect. First and foremost is the ensure that the patient is safe. Beyond that you can work out together what should take place each day.

Having help in caring for a loved one is essential. I hope that you can come to a good mutual understanding with the hired caregiver. If not, consider finding another one.
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As far as duties go, I guess it depends what your dad's needs are. Meal preps, cleaning the bathroom he uses, washing his laundry, taking him for a walk if possible. Does he need assistance bathing? Does he like to play cards? How did you find these caregivers and did you ask for references? I think you should write out some of the things you want done, if there is no plan of action that is probably why she was talking on the phone. Ask her if she is bringing her lunch when she comes and find out what she is preparing for your dad's meals. I think if she brings her own lunch, wouldn't it be ok if she made herself a cup of tea? Is she there e very day?
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These responses have been very helpful..! I have a camera in the living room, but not always easy to check-in and see what's going on.. I am going to start leaving only small amounts of food in the fridge to see if that helps.. Dad has had dementia for about 5 years, and after a 150+ day stay in the hospital and care facility, he is at a different level..

In respect to duties, what should I have the caregiver do during the day..? Dad does not seem to be engaged in anything, and I don't know what duties to assign.. Any help; I am new to this.. :-)
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I work as a home healthcare nurse and using a cell phone during a shift should be prohibited. Have I snuck out for a second or two to take a call that was important? Yes. We all come across things that have to be taken care of. But just being on the cell because she's bored should be against the rules.

Eating the food in the fridge! Hell no! I bring my own meal if I'm on a shift longer than 6 hours.

As for the tv, it depends upon the situation. I've had patients who are unable to speak and walk and I have brought a book to read while they nap and I've been told by family members that some of their nurses watch tv during down times and that seems to be ok with them. Every job is different.

If your loved one isn't sleeping or otherwise engaged (if someone comes to visit them for instance) the caregiver shouldn't be on her phone and should NEVER help herself to the fridge.
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Was there a list of their duties in writing? Are all of these duties done by the time you get home? Other than your father telling you this, are there signs that the work isn't being done? If they are there only for a few hours then they should not be eating your food. If they are live-in- then that is a different story. I wonder if your dad is telling you this because he wants them gone?! A caregiver does not have to be up on her feet every second she is there, part of caregiving is spending time with the client, if he is watching t.v. than perhaps the caregiver was with him. Caregivers are not cleaning ladies.
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Welcome to AC.com Bunny, you will find lots of support on this site. If what your Dad says is true, such behavior is unacceptable, and you would be within your rights to fire them, or at least lay down the law they are there to work, not lounge around. However, with Dad's dementia, you cannot be sure he is telling the actual truth. At present, you can't prove the TV watching and cell phone usage, but has food been missing from your fridge? My Mom is in a NH facility and tells me the nurses don't give her her meds more than once a day (it's actually 4x/day), or she never got her breakfast, and they don't do a thing for her. The problem is she can't remember what happened 5 minutes ago. I've gotten to know the nurses pretty well and everything is above board at the NH. I don't know how far along your Dad's dementia is or how reliable his stories are. Obviously your Dad is entitled to the same level of care you would provide when you are home, and you are paying for it. So for your Dad's best interests and your peace of mind, I would suggest installing an unobtrusive nanny cam so you can see just what is really going on when you are not there. I would not tell Dad I was doing this either because you probably cannot rely on him to keep it secret, and that would defeat the whole purpose if the caregivers found out about it. Interestingly, I just read something in the news today, about a couple who found it necessary to spy on their babysitter while they were at work, because every time she arrived at the house, the dog would get very aggressive toward her and protective of the baby. So they put an (I-phone?) under the sofa, so they could hear what was going on during the day. Sure enough, they recorded the babysitter cursing at and slapping the baby around, and heard the baby crying and in pain. The baby sitter is now behind bars at the ripe old age of 21. Elder care entails a lot of managerial responsibilities on our part, as well as hands on care. It's a big job as you will learn as you go along. Hope you will keep us posted on this situation, and come back to share your experiences with us, as we learn from eachother all the time.
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Get a nanny cam, but you will probably find out that Dad is not always telling the truth.
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Are they from a nursing agency? If they are, contact the agency to see if they have rules or expectations for what the caregiver can and cannot do as far as cell phones. They should not be eating your dad's food. As far as watching his TV, what is your dad doing? Is he sleeping, watching the TV with them, or does he want to watch something else?. How close do you live? Can you drop by, or have another family member drop by on a regular basis (unscheduled and unannounced would be good). I would also check to see if there is a written contract between your dad and the caregiver(s) and the agency If the caregiver is not from agency, could you write one up for them to sign? Good luck!
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