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I'm a 24 hr live in for a 93 year old lady who has been incapacitated by a stroke for over 10 years. My dad is her poa and medical proxy since she has no family. My dad is very effective and cares about her more than most family members care about each other. She's not really hard to care for per se but the issue is that I'm paid by the state but my dad can't be paid for her care because it's a conflict of interest due to poa. I'm having to work almost every day because my dad also lives here (it's a big house and requires daily maintenance) and we can't hire an extra person because of his dog. It's a long story but he's gone most of the day either working or dealing with his wife's dialysis and her other medical care. They are just married in the legal sense blah blah. Anyway, he's burnt out running for her and sometimes if I say I need a break, he will do breakfast or something but sometimes, he gets moody and says I get paid well and he wishes he could have a break. I try to explain that money isn't everything to me and that his issue is a personal choice. He chose to not get divorced and keep running himself ragged for his wife. However, I have an employment issue and I'm sorry you can't get paid but I didn't sign up for working every day or feeling like I should be so grateful if he lets me sleep in 2 days a month. There is no real solution because he can't move with the wife because the apartment doesn't take dogs, I tried to encourage him to find a dog friendly apartment before he renewed her lease but nope. It's not financially possible for him to pay for 2 apartments. I'm not going to quit and leave a good job. I guess there's no answer to my problem but it felt good to express it. It's just annoying because he's unable to separate my employee needs from being my dad. We don't fight over it because he just doesn't get it, he just thinks that the paycheck is the main objective of my existence but I would rather have a little less money and more fun. Sorry so long. Thanks for reading!

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Hey Hannah - how's it going? If you could find someone who didn't mind the dog - would the dog mind the person? Is he really likely to bite? On a side note - I've had seven different dogs over the past thirty years including a black Labrador and a golden retriever and my pit bull was by far the best behaved, smartest dog of the lot. Flynn was so sweet that when my cat had kittens in his dog house - when mama cat would leave the house - Flynn would go in and lie down with the kittens; he would even put up with them trying to nurse from him! Maybe it's a matter of searching for the right fit - between a relief caregiver and the dog?
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If money is not an issue, why not hire someone to care for her while you have some time to yourself?
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That's true, it's the cdpap program in New York so my dad hires his own staff. I'll have to try to think of someone he knows and is good with the dog. He really should have just got a dog friendly apartment with his wife but he doesn't want to live with her and I don't blame him! I guess I'm just overly cautious since the state pays my salary and it's the patient's home. Once you have the state involved, I feel like you have to be on point. The cdpap program is pretty hands off but let's say that the relief got a bite requiring medical care while they were on the clock, it would have to be reported and social services could say that dog has to go. That would be a disaster!
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Well. Nothing for it. You'll just have to add 'must understand dogs properly' to the person specification when you recruit.

After all, plenty of HCA's will find that their clients' pets are very much on the job description. I realise that this pet isn't your client's, but he's still part of the household and all he needs is someone who's not going to do anything idiotic.
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He would whine the whole time and probably drive her crazy. Plus the way the house is laid out would make it impossible for both the dog to have outside access and the aide to have kitchen access. The house has a bunch of doorways without doors, if that makes sense, it's big but there's no way to close off a decent sized area except for a bedroom. Baby gates wouldn't work because we tried that when I got a new dog to try to keep them apart until they were cool towards each other. The only thing that would work is an actual 6 ft chain link fence gate but it's a bit extreme.
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Ah.

I have a Staffie, and I'd be cautious about who I left him with too. Sweetest natured and best tempered dog in the world, but he 'shakes hands' with able bodied adults and some of them can get quite freaked out about it - if they've no common sense, that is. I've had him nearly four years and I can't get him out of the sincerely held belief that this is just good manners.

Crating dogs is horrible. I'm glad you wouldn't consider that.

It's not possible to separate him from the lady's and the caregiver's rooms?
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@churchmouse I wouldn't say he's ferocious but he has been known to fear bite when he was younger (nothing serious but still...) it just wouldn't be safe to leave him alone with a stranger or to crate him for hours. He's actually pretty low key but he's a pit bull and if he senses their fear he gets agitated. When people who aren't afraid, he's fine. It's just not worth the risk especially since it's someone else's house and I'm paid by the state. It would be devastating for them to say that dog has to go.
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Hannah, is this a particularly ferocious dog or something? Why does just the dog's presence stop another person coming in to give you respite cover?
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Hannah, sometimes just talking things out here ( even when some of us misunderstand) can be therapeutic and clarifying. Hope you are seeing things clearly now.
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Yes, that's the main problem but I feel a lot better having expressed it here.
Technically, the dog could be boarded but it's not going to happen so .... :(
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I think the main problem seems to be that you need regularly scheduled "me time". Is there any way to bring in outside caregivers one day a week? And since you are paid through an agency they must have replacements available so that you can take a vacation occasionally. I understand that you haven't had a good experience with outsiders before, and that there is push back from your dad, but going on without a break can eventually lead to resentment and burnout.
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Hannah, I'm glad that talking this out is making you feel better. You are doing a good thing for your patient. I'm curious about the dogs; you can't bring in a respite worker because of them? Can they be boarded for a day or two so that you could bring someone in?
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Thanks! I was actually more surprised by how the hospital treated her, if she wouldn't eat the second they tried to feed her they wrote that she wouldn't eat. Can you believe that they didn't feed her for 8 days? I didn't know that until she got home and within 15 minutes she was eating. Even her dr treats her bad and has been pushing for hospice since 2013 saying death is imminent, she finally got on it last September and she's still hanging around with no deterioration. While I know she has little quality of life, something makes her wake up everyday. I think it's so easy to dismiss nonverbal patients and she has no family so she's even more vulnerable to being overlooked. I understand your fears but I think as long as they know that you're not going for that bs, it won't happen. ❤️
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Poor woman. I'm glad you're getting positive praise from the visiting healthcare workers. My son is nonverbal and having people take advantage of that is one of my big nightmares. So, not wanting to get all weird but - "thank you" for looking after this vulnerable lady.
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I'm not pissed that my dad wants to be there for his ex. I don't care. The point is that he shouldn't use personal choices he made to make me feel bad about needing a day off. If he wants to kill himself with her, ok but don't push your moodiness on me if I'm acting as an employee. And working everyday wasn't the initial requirement, but if you could read, I can't hire relief because of the dog. Please don't reply anymore, you're seriously ridiculous. Idk how/if I can block you.
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@rainmom thanks, finally back on track! That got weird!
You're right, the job was only supposed to be 6 months and it's going on 4 years! I've saved a lot of money and saw Hamilton a lot!
It is a relatively easy job and well paying job that won't last forever. All the visiting nurses and social workers love me and can't believe how good she looks, eats, drinks, never had a bedsore, etc so I know I'm doing a good thing, the whole reason why my dad needed me is because the previous workers were neglectful or doing the bare minimum or smoking weed, etc bc she can't talk so they treated it like party time. They weren't abusive but they definitely didn't respect the position.
Anyway, you're on point with the blurred lines and family and my dad being moody and burnt out, too. He's usually nice but the moodiness is the unprofessional part that is upsetting. I guess I should give him some slack due to the heat. I think half the country is ready to blow up! Lol
Thanks so much, I just needed to "talk" and I'm isolated and it's hard to talk to my bff because it boils down to "you can stay home and make 2x more than me when I have to drive an hour and deal with idiots". I get her point but what people don't understand is that money doesn't mean everything to me. I'd be ok making a little less and living more but they focus on the money too much. I'm totally thankful for it but there's value in other things, too. Thanks again! Xo
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Hannah - I'm not sure where anyone else was headed with their comments but here's what I was thinking - I would tend to tell someone on the younger side - which I consider you - to try to wait it out. Then that segways to what would happen to future job oppertunity based on the waiting it out period of time. I can only imagine how much this woman values you and has come to depend on you. Dad on the other hand is probably taking you a bit for granted being his daughter and all. You mentioned that this lady is a mom figure to your dad so I think that employer/employee lines are getting blurred all over the place - she is family to him, you are family to him, therefore she is family to you and regular employment guidelines are out the window. But back to sticking it out - the lady is 93 and has been an invalid for ten years. Not to sound insensitive but how much longer do you think this job can last? If not too long, for keeping the family peace, can you approach your dad in baby steps? Tell him your getting really tired and need one morning a week with a late start - what day works for him? And go from there. I'm sure that he is both taking you for granted AND thankful he has you for this but needs to know you are not indentured. However, if this job looks to possibly going on for a number of years - I suggest requesting a meeting/phone conversation with whomever is behind the payroll checks, have your list prepared - and start asking about all the benefits that were suspose to go along with this position.
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The lady is incapacitated, non verbal, severely contracted, can't walk, barely moves her body, can't do anything for herself, dementia, etc. she is basically a baby in so much as I can understand her needs by the sounds she makes.how is she going to get me a life insurance policy? Not to mention that I get paid through the state which means she's outlived her money. I'm an employee and earn 75k a year caring for her. I'm not some money grubber looking for a big payday off an insurance policy from a lady who is broke and incompetent. That's gross. And where did I say I'm tired of the job? I clearly said that I'm not quitting a good job. I said I was not into working everyday. Big difference.
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She's not my stepmom, the lady I care for is a woman who was a mother type figure to my dad. I never mentioned caring for my dad's wife. Why would I need a life insurance policy? I own a paid off home in the Midwest that I'm renting out and have a healthy amount in savings and investments.
Why would I have a problem getting another job in my degree field? I have contacts and an impeccable record, I'm not sure how this topic went from being overworked to asking about life insurance on my patient and my future employment ability. Bizarre.
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So, when your stepmom passes, what skills will you have to re-enter the non-caregiving work force? You need to think about this in terms of the next 25 years of tour employment.
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@rainmom I'm in my early 40s, I have degrees in English and history and was previously working at a publishing house. TBH, with the ot, I'm making more money than jobs with my degrees. I'm not complaining about the job, I'm just not into working every day and being isolated. I'm very far away from my family and friends. I only have my dad here and I've been doing this job since arriving so I don't have any local friends and family. I do have friends in NYC who I see every 3 months or so and I obviously have Facebook and the phone but it's not the same as seeing my friends and family.
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That's not how the agency who is my "financial intermediary" works. I do get paid for 13 hours a day, I am supposed to sleep 8 hours a day with at least 5 of them being together and I'm allowed 3 hours of outside/personal time. I do get time and a half after 40 hours but it kind of screwed me because the government changed the law so employers have to pay the OT based on the regular wage instead of minimum wage so the agency lowered my regular wage by $2/hr so I have to work 7 days to make the same as before, my 40 hr wage is nothing. It's a weird situation because I'm employed through the cdpap program and this is the only agency that doesn't cap hours which is a good thing because of the above situation. However, other than emailing them my time sheet and getting a yearly ppd, I have no contact with them unless they mess up my check. But I know what you mean because when I was first reading about the program it mentioned paid time off, double time for holidays, pension, 401k, etc. maybe the NYC agencies have that stuff? I guess I should be happy that I have a good job and quit complaining. I just wish he would have moved out and I could have gotten a part time aide. Thanks for your reply! :)
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- and, if you weren't working this job, what might you be doing instead?
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Hannah - do you mind me asking, how old are you?
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Hannah, in NY you have the right to minimum wage and
•The right to overtime pay at time-and-a-half after 40 hours of work in a week, or 44 hours for workers who live in their employer’s home;
•A day of rest (24 hours) every seven days, or overtime pay if they agree to work on that day;
•Three paid days of rest each year after one year of work for the same employer;
That's the NY Domestic Workers Bill of Rights.
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