We are wanting just the 4 of us at the table, not caregiver as it is family time. We offered her off from 2-9 pm to go back to city and be with friends. She was hurt saying they all had plans. We have concerns with her anyway which we spoke with her about last night. The main one is her flirtatious behavior with my husband. My mother, her charge, wad the first one to notice it and she is bothered by it. My husband who is pretty naive to this does see it. The worst part is whenever I walk into the room she abruptly goes into another room like she feels guilty. I feel disrespected in my home. My husband mentioned this to her and naturally she denied that. She said she isnt "as close" to me because I am direct. My personality is direct and. not easy-going like my husbands. Most people would appreciate a direct personality as they know where they stand. I have always been nice to her. She takes offense when I tell her to do something differently with my mother. I've told her, as has my husband, we are following the doctors orders or rehabs instructions. The list goes on. My mother is 85, I am 56, my husband 52 and the caregiver is 40. She dresses in tight yoga pants, off the shoulder sweaters and leg warmers. My husband is very good looking. I trust my husband with all of this. Oh, and last night she told me that "any young woman who came into your home would flirt with your husband because he is a very good looking man".

Ufortunately she is the best we have had-we have had liars, people stealing, one getting naked in the shower with my mother, none previously who would cook (everything was fried in gallons of olive oil), one that said, when looking at our dogs she ATE dogs.

So obviously there are a lot of issues here but what I want to know now is it rude to just want the family at the Thanksgiving table?

Sorry for the soap opera but I wanted to supply a background.

Thank you for any suggestions.


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Well, I feel differently. I learned a really wonderful lesson, from my attorney, of all people. I was in a very difficult situation with my mom's significant other. Mom was living with me and dying. He was living in her house, and I wanted to sell it.

Bear with me. My story's almost over. I was going to evict him from the house. (He was/is an 87-year-old jerk.) When I talked to the lawyer about him and told him what I wanted to do, my attorney said, "Maggie, that's not who you are. That's who you're letting this guy turn you into. Don't do that."

It's the first thing I thought of when I read your post. Don't become a person who would insist someone spend Thanksgiving alone. Hell, I'd invite a complete STRANGER to our Thanksgiving table.

Offer her the day off with pay, beginning the night before. If she doesn't want to go to see her family with that incentive, then she really is alone. Right now, she's mom's caregiver. She deserves your family's consideration.

Replace her after Christmas. In the meantime, be the giving generous person I know you are, and do the gracious thing. I cannot IMAGINE you would ever regret it.
Helpful Answer (21)

I agree with Maggie except for the getting rid of her after Christmas part. Finding good help is difficult. You've invested hours of training in this person. Changes need to be made and it's not in personnel but rather in how you manage her.

First I would issue her a uniform. There are affordable scrubs in catalogs and at Walmart. Tell her that you will reimburse her up to $50 and she needs to start wearing the uniform by the end of the year. That's a clear message that things will change starting in the New Year.

Next, the training. She is taking care of your mother; therefore, it's your way or the highway. Learn to say "I need you to do it this way" and follow-up so she knows that you want to make sure she understands how you want something done.

Let her know that you are the one who will be giving her a reference should she choose to move on. That reference can either be that she was professional or that she was difficult to train. Either way you want to make some changes and it's only fair that she be informed of what changes she needs to work on. This needs to come from you and not your husband. When she does talk to your husband he needs to learn to say "Because my wife wants it done this way" or "Ask my wife for how she wants you to do it." You don't say who pays her but it should be you.

This is a power situation. She is testing the waters. Her inappropriate behavior is seeing what she can get away with. She is hired help. There's others out there and if all fails and she won't conform then it's time to part ways. I'm just thinking about how much time and energy you've already invested into getting what you want out of this person who, for all her faults, isn't a liar, thief, or pervert. I wish you lots of luck and I hope you'll tell us how it turns out.
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This is an interesting one. It's been a few years since I've worked outside the home. But prior to that I was a district manager in retail for over 10 years. After that 10 years as HR director for a nonprofit that ran programs for children/young adults with Autism. Then two years as HR manager for a chain of group homes for adults with disabilities. I've taught dozens and dozens of seminars on customer service, how to train the trainer, techniques for giving feedback/ corrective action etc. The biggest mistake I made early on in my career was trying to be a friend - the cool, well liked boss. It's is always better/easier to start out firm and loosen up if preformance allows vs being the "friend" and then trying to tighten the reins. In your case the horse my be out of the barn already. Also - I recognise having someone work in your home, privy to a level of intimate family dynamics puts a tiny spin on things. So my suggestion - include her at thanksgiving. This may generate a goodwill that will put her in a more receptive mood for a next day talk. Don't mention the talk at thanksgiving. Don't drink alcohol - be gracious but in control of the day. On Friday - do not put it off - make a time for just the two of you to talk uninterrupted, maybe while mom naps or hubby can watch mom. Go to a private spot. Start with "Jane, I wanted to talk with you this morning because..." Don't dump on her everything she does that bothers you - pick the one or two most important. Focus on the behavior/action. Attack the problem not the person. Be as specific as possible - this is key. Be prepared with a couple specific examples. Write things on index cards in case you forget or get flustered. She will probably interupt at this time to explain her side. Stop her if she interrupts, telling her you are going to finish what you are saying and then she'll have her turn. Go on to what standard you expect her to hold and why. The why does not have to be over detailed but more than "because I said so". Avoid vague and inflammatory language. I would not say "flirt" give a specific example "when you tell my husband his butt looks cute in those jeans it makes me uncomfortable. I need you to be focusing all your attention on mother to ensure she is safe and engaged". Give her a chance to talk now. Do not let her go on forever or make excuses. After she has finished, acknowledge her statements but bring it back to your expected standard "I'm hearing you say when mom naps you get bored and are just being friendly however I need you to be focused on moms safety and that mom is engaged. What can you do to make that happen?" If she has a few ideas, acknowledged one or two and show support. If she has nothing be prepared with one. Then restate the action plan, show support and then - this is critical - set a follow up date. It shows that subject is important enough to you to monitor and discuss later. If something inappropriate happens before the follow up date address it as soon as possible. Have the same conversation again but at the point where you are stating the desired standard follow with the consequence if her behavior does not improve. If you have been letting things go on for a while you may have an uphill battle I'm afraid. Her telling you your hubby is attractive tells me there has already been some inappropriate language going on and that she feels safe in talking that way. Also - if it were me I'd talk with hubby and ask him to steer clear while you are addressing this issue. Sorry that this has been so long and dull - it's better with an easel and flip-charts!
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Creating a good working environment is crucial to having a happy employee. I have run my own business for a number of years, but recall the days when I was the employee. I am direct too, but you have to be fair and not talk down to people. Showing respect and professionalism is the key to me. I have no problem explaining to an employee the way I want something done and saying this is how I want it done. I know you have your way, but let's do it like this and it would be make me happy. If we need to, we can explore other options down the road. I appreciate your attention to doing it this way. Then when you catch her doing it your way, offer praise.

I have no qualms with however you decide to spend your holiday. To me, that's a personal decision and you are not obligated to include an employee. I don't think I would expect that type of invitation from an employer, but I have never worked in the healthcare field.

What concerns me the most is the the statement she made to you about your husband being so good looking that any woman in your home would flirt with him. THAT comment would do it for me. Regardless of her abilities, that comment alone demonstrates an unprofessional attitude that I could not get past. I'd have to make other arrangements. When people tell me who they are, I listen.
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Get rid of her, and report her behavior. This is all unacceptable, no matter how good care she takes of him.
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Is she actually providing the best of care for your mother? If not she is out the door Thanksgiving or not. You have given her the time off with pay. tell her you expect her to be outside the home during this time. you can even give her a voucher for a meal at a nearby restaurant.
This one needs to go, she is a danger to your marriage. Men are very easy to seduce even if they don't look for trouble, no bra and half a shirt are hard to resist by even the most secure family man. I know been there done that or should i say have it done to me. Suggestive remarks are the tip of the iceberg. "My husband would never do that" yes he would.
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I am a paid caregiver. The last place on earth I want to be on Thanksgiving is setting at the table with those that I see everyday....
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The not driving may be part of the thanksgiving issue as I doubt her friends want to drive forty minutes to come get her then back to their home and then forty minutes back and forth again to drop her at your place. So she's probably looking at being alone. I know I would feel incredibly awkward sitting down to thanksgiving dinner knowing she was just upstairs sitting alone in her room. But that's just me.
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I would add a caution to Windyridges suggestion to start with a positive. This is what is known as a "but sandwich". For example "Jane you do a wonderful job making sure mom doesn't fall BUT your personal comments to my husband make me uncomfortable." The problem with this is two-fold in that the compliment is lessened by the following corrective action conversation and the seriousness of the corrective action is lessened by the compliment. A mixed message, if you will. The place for the complement is at the end of the conversation and best done by expressing confidence in the action plan. "Jane, I know you truly care about moms well being and I know you will do your best to correct this situation. "
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I like Rainmoms textbook HR example. I spend over a decade as a union rep working with HR folks in industry. I would only add, don't make it all negative. Start the conversation with what she is doing well, and we appeciate your work, but there are some concerns etc.
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