I have 8 hour shifts w/caregivers for my Mom. Mom naps a lot. My Mom has Alzheimer's (approaching middle stage). Memory issues affect her ability to prepare food. When I can't care for her (I'm the daughter), we have an agency provide caregivers in 8 hour shifts, 11am-7pm to cover meal issues. The rest of the time Mom does a few household tasks and naps a lot. Sometimes she wants help w/chores, sometimes not. She does need some help. But in an 8 hour shift, 7 days a week there is only so much cleaning a person can do. When she's awake they are active with her (we have watchful neighbors). My Mom also gets upset if they disturb her by doing things while she's asleep. I drop in unannounced a lot to check on her. We have 2-3 regular caregivers. I have found all at one time or another asleep in the same room as my Mom, while she napped. She generally sleeps soundly. Sometimes she talks about them sleeping and it bothers her. My gut reaction is anger, but I've slept while Mom napped. Should I be upset? Should I talk to them? Talk to the agency? I like the agency and caregivers. We have had consistency, no theft, no abuse, active participation to keep my Mom active. Confused, frustrated, and maybe a bit guilty. Please give me some guidance
I am a home healthcare nurse who works for an agency and I would never...NEVER... sleep while my patient is sleeping. The only time a caregiver should be allowed to sleep is on a nightshift and that's only if it's a 'resting' nightshift. Yes, I have had very boring jobs where my patient sleeps a lot, I do a lot of hospice where my patient isn't even conscious. I get very sleepy and drowsy but I bring a book with me and tough it out.
Of course there is only so much these caregivers can do before they run out of things to do but they are being paid to be there, to watch over your mom, and they should NOT be sleeping. It's just not professional.
What would bother me would be you 'dropping in', that would imply to me that after a sufficient amount of time you still didn't trust me...you also say you are very pleased with the caregivers and the agency.... if it really bothers you that much, speak to the caregiver.....do you let them know either by word or action that you are not ok with them napping? We are not mind readers and none of us will ever be able to fully reach families expectations.....because just as you are feeling taken advantage of... we, as paid caregivers, can tell you lots of stories about being taken advantage of.....
What qualifies as disturbing her? Moving around the house? Doing the dishes? Sitting in the other room, watching TV? Turning pages of a magazine while sitting there? I'm not being facetious .. some people are disturbed if the air moves.
Does she (or you) want them in the room with her, while she's napping? Is she at risk of falling if she attempts to get out of bed? Do the caregivers have regular chores, or does she want to supervise everything they're doing (ie: never leave her sight). Are they responsible for more than helping her make meals, such as incontinence care, physical, occupational, and speech therapy? How long is their lunch break? Do they consider the nap their 'break?'
You say there've been no problems, but are there trust issues? Concerns that if they're not right beside her, they'll be doing something unacceptable? The fact that you show up unannounced suggests to me that you HOPE to catch them doing something.
My initial reaction was, "oh, for pity's sake, it's an 8-hour shift .. they can't stay awake that long?" But boring is boring, to be honest. Are they sitting there reading and dozing off, or laid out on a cot, with the covers over their heads? As an employee (contracted through an agency or otherwise), I'd hope that you'd talk to me, first, and ask what's going on. Maybe mom told them it was okay, because she didn't want to be confrontive, and is hoping you'll help work it out.
In the end, if it turns out that it's an untenable situation, be prepared to lose your workers to maintain your standards .. don't let them control your mom's world, except as you and she wants the help.
I'm not trying to provide answers, here, as I don't feel like I've got a good picture. I'm just trying to prod, a bit, to see what the root issue really is.
So I think you have to look at the results. If your mom seems to be well cared for and if the caregivers don't continue to sleep while she's up and awake or around, then I think it's OK. Not ideal, but acceptable. If there are other things they could be doing and they're not doing, then ask them to do them. And like Eyerishlass says, talk to them individually before going to their management.
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