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I started working for a woman on a one month respite. Then the regular caregiver quit while on vacation. She is ok to work for, and her house is getting cleaner, but she is a micromanager to the core. I have never worked for someone where I am silent in the kitchen for 30 seconds, and "what are you doing". One thing I have noticed recently is she is micromanaging to the point that if I leave a piece of paper towel out she will mention it. 4 pieces of coffee grounds that ended up in the sink. A piece of kleenex. She always says I must do it, even though I leave her house spotless, and she has many people over.


She is not with dementia, has alot of knowledge, but I feel she does not allow me to speak without demeaning me.


I feel I have been very cordial and listening to her needs.


She is appearing the more time goes no to be very controlling about the way she wants things and I understand that as it is her house.


It is to the point now, where I do like her a lot, but she will ask me about why I left the apple slice on the counter. I said, I brought it from home, and did not finish eating it.


If I am silent for 1 minute, she says what are you doing?


Yesterday, her toilets when she flushed started bubbling. (The other toilet did), and I tried and tried to get it unplugged.


She has been concerned since day one, because she lives in a 50 year old house, and has not liked me to use any sort of wipes, (I assured her up and down that I would never, and truly I would never put one down the toilet). Which I swear on a stack of bibles is to do nothing but clean all the dust when I have nothing to do after I have cared for her. She does not like this. She said, who knows you might flush one down the toilet. I told her that I would never do that, as that is a general no no for all of my clients, and I do not even bring the towelettes and or rags near the toilets.


Well the last time I deep cleaned was about 5 days ago. She had this gurgling sound yesterday and she called her plumber.


They found an actual dish rag in the pipes. I walked in today, and she said "admit it", then shoved the bill in my face. I was startled and said what? not good morning or anything, I was I guess stunned by her response.


I said oh my goodness, well at least you found the problem. I was clueless that she was saying I put the rag down the toilet. I don't use rags, and if I do they are mine and are bright yellow and microfiber. This was white.


What I am asking is this, she has shown a side that is non forgiving, and basically she does not allow me to think through anything, I have to admit wrong doing, and that feels wrong.


I am truly the first one to admit when I do something wrong, but she is always telling me how wonderful I am doing and I am her excellent housecleaner, and then privately it feels pretty bad.


I get it this is a customer service oriented business. I only work for her two hours a day, and frankly she puts 4 hours of work in 2 hours. Money is not an issue, but she will not pay more than 2 hours period.


Then I went downstairs to look at the leaks, (she asked me too), and kept yelling for me to come up. She cannot walk downstairs. and low and behold her 50 year old pipes are all wet with leaks everywhere, and she failed to tell me that.


She was completely off centered as I was wanting to ask her and tell her that gosh if I did something like that, that would be a first, and I am very very careful with her because she is always telling me when I left 4 grounds of coffee in the sink or all of the little stuff.


this is a customer service oriented job, but when is enough enough? I am the only caregiver that has cleaned and she was elated for the first two months.


I work two hours a day, & my life is too short to live with her micromanaging. Do I mention this to her, and fear getting my head bit off, or do I just look elsewhere or bear with it. I know care jobs are hard, but I have 4 very part time ones that are excellent

I worked in Elder Care and there HAS to be a level of respect between client and CG.

I was hard working and 100% honest, always., and got along well with all my clients. BUT..

I went to a meet and greet with a new client who, within the 90 minutes I spent with her A: slapped me (black eye resulted) B: threw herself on the floor and then fought me trying to get her back in her wheelchair C: soiled her adult diapers on purpose, just to see what I would do. Well--luckily, my supervisor was there with me and by the time the client has soiled herself---I said "Alice, you have just shot yourself in the foot. I CANNOT be around fecal matter. My DH is a liver transplant patient and he is immunosuppressed, so you are going to have to WAIT for another CG to come." I didn't say it spitefully, by then I knew this wasn't a good 'mix'. She sat in that mess for well over an hour b/c guess what? 2 people couldn't fit in her bathroom with the wheelchair. They had to call for a 3rd.

I walked out and never went back. I was not going to have that incredible negativity and hatred spewed at me for even an hour a day. NO ONE deserves that, and Elder Care is notoriously poor paying.
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cherokeegrrl54 Sep 29, 2019
What were the consequences to the client who hit you and gave you a black eye? You couldn’t press assault charges on her?! Especially if your supervisor was there as a witness.....truly sorry this happened to you.
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Makeadifference - so glad you decided to give her notice. Do tell us how it goes and how she takes it. I bet she'll try to blame you for quitting.
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Makeadifference Sep 29, 2019
Thanks, I will
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Even if its not Dementia there is age related decline. This woman could also be showing early signs of Dementia. Paranoia is one of the signs. Could be a lot of other reasons. Does she have family? If so, I would talk to them. Tell them that her micromanaging is over the top. That she may need to have a good physical. There are medications that maybe able to help.

I agree, if this is getting to you, its time for you to quit.
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Enough is enough right NOW! Glad to hear you've given notice. This is an untenable situation where the client will NEVER be satisfied, no matter what you do. You'll always be the one to blame, thanks to a finely tuned OCD personality gone berserk!
Best of luck in your next job.
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Makeadifference Sep 29, 2019
THanks.
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MakeaDifference, I'm glad you've made a good decision and will be moving on.

If you want to talk about gardens, there's a thread here at:

https://www.agingcare.com/discussions/gardening-as-therapy-187150.htm

Have you posted photos on any gardening sites (photos can't be accommodated here)?   I'd love to see some.

And best wishes for resolving and moving on from the current situation with the overbearing woman.
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I think there can always be questions on how much the owner/employer and caregiver/worker need to meet and/or cross the boundaries of who does and is responsible for what., and how much "supervision" and direction are appropriate.

In my experience, it's definitely a learning experience, with both sides potentially having to make accommodations and adjustments.

It does seem as though this woman is crossing the line though, literally monitoring you on a real time basis and not giving you credit for being responsible.  And she sounds a bit overly aggressive, perhaps becoming more scrutinizing b/c she's been able to get away with it, leading to an imbalance of power in the relationship.

I've read your profile; you certainly have a lot of experience, so I think you can venture to take a stand and have a sit-down, come-to-terms understanding with her.   

W/o having anything specific except a suspicion, I'm wondering if she's taking her frustrations out on you b/c she's (a) unable to do things for herself and/or (b) having to rely on someone else, to act like Cinderella's Stepmother with you, or (c) just domineering. 

I wouldn't tolerate the criticism, nitpicking, and "looking over your shoulder."  Assuming that you're working on your own and not with an agency, I would very gently have sit down conversation with her initially, give it a trial period, and if she continues, give notice.

The sit down conversation should address your background, reliability, and discomfort when monitored constantly, as well as being blamed for incidents not otherwise explainable, particularly plumbing ones. 

(And, BTW, those 50-year old pipes with numerous leaks gave me chills.   Those leaks are GOING to get worse, sooner or later.   A plumber needs to be called, ASAP.   I don't even want to think about what would happen if one of them bursts.

And it's NOT w/I your responsibility to do anything other than advise her that a plumber needs to be called.)

I would ask her specifically WHY she feels this level of "supervision" to be necessary, and also, to the point, whether or not she feels she can trust you.  If she becomes hostile and defensive, give it a rest, summarizing how you feel.    Give her time to consider the matter, and analyze the situation on your next visit.

If she's more conciliatory, you've gotten through to her.  If not, I'd consider terminating employment.   You never really know what she may accuse you of, sooner or later.    Cut your potential liability (in her mind) now. 

But I also would leave her with a notice, in writing, about the need to address the pipes.  And, I'd sneak in a few photos of the pipes if I could, for my own records, just in case.  And date them.    And document this in your own records. 

I wish you luck on this; it's a delicate situation, but you'll feel better if you take it into your hands and try for a resolution, now.
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Makeadifference Sep 29, 2019
GardenArtist:
You should see my Garden, it was beautiful until the rains.

Yes you are correct. I am thinking that her accident was 2 years ago, and all the woman does is micromanage everyone and anyone that comes into her house.

She is frustrated because her life ended as she knew it when she had a horrible fall and broke her neck.

I have the compassion to understand that there are good days and bad days.

However I did get photo's of the wrapped pipes, and later she admitted they had been leaking for months.

The plumbing company said the rag was mildewed.

I am a reasonable very flexible person, but the one thing. I cannot stand for 30 seconds without her (what are you doing).

Come to think of it. I do not ever even us the restroom.

It is like she is going to lose money or something.

thanks for your advice. I am moving on,
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Just look elsewhere. Because at the end of the day, you work for her. Not the other way around.
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Reply to worriedinCali
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Maybe sit down with her and give her your notice. If she really does not have dementia, which I question with her behavior but of course I can not diagnose her, perhaps nicely give a few reasons that you are having trouble with. Sounds pretty much intolerable to me.
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Reply to againx100
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You call yourself a caregiver but what you've written describes a cleaner, do you actually provide any care? What exactly is your role there for 2 hours daily?

The paranoia concerns me, her memory might be fine but that doesn't mean she isn't slipping cognitively. Somebody did put a rag down the toilet, it follows that if it wasn't you then it must have been her so something odd is going on when she is left to her own devices. BUT, I don't think that is your problem to solve, especially if you were hired by her and not a member of her family.
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Makeadifference Sep 29, 2019
Yes, I am a caregiver for 20 minutes, then the rest of the time, she creates a list that is so long, that no one in their right mind could finish.

I have decided to give her 2 weeks, and tell her why.

It was good at the beginning, but I literally do clean the rest of the time, that is a big issue with private care, at times, very little care, alot of the things they cannot do which is cleaning.

Thanks
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