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My dad was released from the hospital 10 days ago. Before his release I secured a couple caregivers thru an agency so he could have an easier time at home. One was an LPN, the other is her daughter. He lives with mom who is creeping into mid stage Alzheimer's I have a wonderful CG who comes in for mom a couple times a week. The two CG's I hired for dad were only supposed to help out for a while until we could see how fully dad would recover from systolic heart failure and pulmonary emboli.

Dad just fired the LPN, claiming he didn't need her. The non LPN CG professed to be a fabulous, healthy personal chef which appealed to us because of dad's new no sodium diet. This CG, however, has made herself indispensable to dad, doing everything from cleaning out the garage to refilling bird feeders. Sounds great, doesn't it.

Unfortunately, here is the problem. My dad is overly trusting. He's well off. He's not incompetent, just vulnerable. This gal has worked her bum off to get close to my father, to be his right arm. She argues with me about medical concerns even though I am my folks' medical POA, and that worries me. She has told my father that she's not comfortable dealing with me so now she wont talk with me. Dad feels better but it's difficult to keep his BP, fluid levels and weight stable; he's not out of the woods. The CG tells dad that she can make him all better through diet and just having her around to do everything. Red flag much? I still handle all of my parents' medical concerns and ensure they take their meds each day.

Here's the problem. Dad knows I don't care for her; he's become very defensive of her. My siblings aren't any help because they haven't been my parents' protectors and unfortunately don't see dad as being vulnerable. Dad is planning on hiring her away from the agency at the first of the year, bringing her to Palm Desert with him and mom in February, etc. It's going too far, too fast. I'm assured by the agency that she's been through a criminal background check, but unless I see it, as well as reference checks, etc., I do not consider her properly vetted. As it is, she dresses like a slob in shorts, unshaven legs, scraggly hair, condescends to my parents, has bragged of all the restaurants she's owned and done her fair share of local name dropping... most, if not all, of the people were friends of my parents and are now dead. There are just a lot of red flags for me. Last, I cannot find her anywhere on the internet. I cannot verify any restaurants, property, prior addresses in any states she's lived in. I'm a pretty decent investigator, too.

Has anyone had experience with a caregiver about whom you've just had a feeling, one who instantly ingratiates herself, becomes indispensable; has full use of the vehicles, as much cash as she needs for grocery shopping, etc.? I already realize the MANY mistakes I've made in this hire and I've learned what to do and not do next but I have to fix this problem NOW, before it goes any further. If I can bring dad some bona fide examples of people similar to him who have been taken advantage of, it may help my argument.

Thank you so much.

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If any of the "dropped names" are still alive, or the restaurants are still in business.. call them for references! This would make me nervous. My dad still thinks people flirt with him.. one Christmas it was my Niece , and my nephews girlfriend. They were being pleasant.. but he was convinced they were wanting him... Of course I have a MIL who used to try to pass my daughter off as her own.... when she was in her 60's and my daughter was a baby!!
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I would only use W2'ed care providers, they should be picked by you and if there is no good fit, ask Agency to replace. Should go smooth is they want to keep you as a client.
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ask her to do a finger print back ground check threw Adult and family services and tell her you will pay for it ,they finger print and do all states. I have been a independent caregiver for 32 years and that really sound creepy to me. I wouldn't hire her. I believe in keeping family involved but I also believe in finding a guardian if the family isn't involved it makes it safe for me and my client. I would be doing as you check receipts to grocery list and make sure all change is handed back. do a dmv search on her also . you insurance company can do that for you to make sure she is covered driving there cars incase of an accident. and even if she is hired threw a company as an independent caregiver they are responsible for her they hired her. do some checking and get a lawyer if need be. make sure it is a guardian ad litem lawyer .. I wish you the best of luck it can get sticky when they become dependent on the caregiver..
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Does she have a car? Get the license plate #. Get her cell phone# get her email. Take her picture. check Facebook, Myspace. Be friendly, be social, get close. Agree with her even if it kills you. Do your own check on intelius and pay for the complete check. If your parents have a cordless phone, check incoming and outgoing numbers. Reverse check them.
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Thanks, Babalou. I've already done that. They rep her as an independent contractor which gets us into a bit of legal haggling over who's ultimately responsible for a background investigation. That said, I'm told her references were checked and a national (not local) criminal search run. That's about worthless for a host of reasons. I'm just having a difficult time knowing how anyone handled getting rid of a caregiver their parent(s) rely on (and pay for). I don't want to wait for something to happen!
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I would have a talk with the agency about the background check they ran and ask to see her references. Put them on notice of your suspicions and a sure them that if she takes advantage of your parents financially, they'll be dealing with your dad's attorney. This would be a real good time to get financial POA if you don't already have it.
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