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Needing some advice, on how to create a professional contract with a caregiver in addition to confronting some unprofessionalism on an otherwise good worker.


I see often on the forum that caregivers are difficult to find, so I’m torn with what I’m experiencing.


I hired a caregiver through an agency to assist with my younger brother who is disabled. My mom experienced a rapid onset of dementia early this year and some emergency hospital/rehab stays, which made this necessary.


My 2 other brothers and I are in our 30s and I am currently 9 months pregnant. None of us are truly in the stage of life to be handling this. I am POA, and I’ve had to take the brunt of everything for the last 9 months leaving little time prepare for my baby.


One brother lives in another state ( does nothing), and the other one does the bare minimum, often leaving things unfinished for me to handle, and still leeches off of my mom financially.


With some extensive hard work on my end , My disabled brother is set to go into a group home in a few weeks, it is the best option for him since my mom is quickly on the decline.


The caregiver reached out to me In early October and said that she would be interested in helping my mom as an independent contractor , once my brother moves.


Originally, This seemed like a godsend, because I have been handling all my mom‘s needs, and needed a plan in place for when the baby comes.


On the good side, the caregiver is kind to my mom and brother, she is upbeat, seems to be handling the tasks pretty well, and Keeps the schedule fine.


She also has a lot of experience, and I noticed a lift in their mood since she started working with them.


However, over time, I’ve noticed this caregiver overstepping and crossing some boundaries with me.


She’s recently made comments on how “bored” my brother and mom are and expresses how “bad she feels for them” when I’m barely hanging on with their extreme needs, putting my whole life aside ,and getting nothing done for myself. Currently, they live in a huge house, have people cooking, cleaning, waiting on them, and don’t have to worry about a thing despite their health.


She’ll talk openly about how “messy” my mom is ( nothing knew and part of her job to clean), and talks ( in front of her ) about how she’s like a “cute little child”. This is hard because my mom was a fully functioning person in February. On top of everything I am grieving the rapid loss of my mom as I’m becoming a mom.


Yesterday, as I am picking my mom up for and errand after a stressful three hour appointment with her financial advisor, The caregiver proceeds to tell me how my younger (disabled) brother ( who I have done everything in my power to help, when no one else would) and my older brother refer to me as a “Hiltler”. Then in the same breath, she proceeded to ask me how much weight I’ve gained in my pregnancy.


???


I calmly brushed off the comments but they were infuriating.


Backstory- my relationships w/ my brothers have never been solid. They are entitled, dependent, and treated my mom like a servant until she started experiencing issues.


They tend to bite the hand that feeds them, and are unthankful. God for bid, any female stands up to them for anything, and they’re called a “b!tch”.


I already know who they are and how they feel about me. However, because of the toll this ordeal has taken on me personally, I was hurt and infuriated . I have done everything. In addition to that no one in my family even acknowledges that I’m this pregnant and I’m simply not able to keep the pace up anymore. I’m actually supposed to be quarantining right now but instead I’m tying up loose ends so my family is safe.


The caregiver is not the cause of my family dynamic, however I feel her comments are out of bounds, unwarranted, and very insensitive.


The problem is not her work, but her meddling in my already dysfunctional family.


Need advice , can’t lose her this late in my pregnancy.


Also a resource on creating a professional contract

Something I just thought of, check the contract with the agency often there is a stipulation that if you hire them away from the agency you will pay them a "finders fee". In my mom's case that was $10,000. No we did not do that.
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Tholden627 Nov 14, 2020
Good to know. I will double check that. We never signed a contract With the agency - its through Medicaid for ‘Community and homebased services” For my brother.
Very useful info regardless.
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" I’m actually supposed to be quarantining right now but instead I’m tying up loose ends so my family is safe."

This to me says it all. You are jeopardizing your own health and that of your baby.

I will suggest resigning your POA, and if you do anything further for your mother, demand payment. Let one of your brothers become the POA. Maybe the one who is out of state? My out-of-state brothers were out of state for my mother, and it worked out pretty well. (But they are trustworthy...is the brother who does nothing?)

Remember, your mother raised these boys to be the way they are. So let one of them take care of her needs. Please concentrate on yourself and your family. I don't know how much money she has, but I hope you are making sure she isn't doing anything with her money (the brother who is mooching money off her?) so that she can't become eligible for Medicaid down the road.

I don't want to see you down the road as one of the martyrs who is taking care of Mama 24/7/365, and harming your own family.
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gladimhere Nov 13, 2020
Tying up loose ends when to be in quarantine is jeopardizing the health of the family, including that unborn baby.
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I think that it is harder to maintain that professional detachment when you have the kind of arrangement where the hired caregiver becomes a more singularly relied upon de facto member of the family, the more she is involved in the family dynamics the more enmeshed she becomes. I think that the best way to staving off her overly entitled feelings of belonging would be to bring in other caregivers in order to decrease your reliance on her, this would also serve to remind her that she is a (replaceable) employee and not a family confidant.
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Tholden627 Nov 13, 2020
That is a very good point. Thank you
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She is good with the people she cares for. That is important. However, she is OVERSTEPPING with YOU in a HUGE way, and that isn't OK.
You need to sit her down at once. You need to show her what you wrote here or show her a list of what is here, and you need to tell her that she is suffering from a loss of boundaries. That what she is doing is NOT OK and must NOT continue PERIOD. Say this in a kind man but say it strong and clear.
A) the Hitler comment. Absolutely inappropriate. It is driving a wedge. IF it was said she needed to tell them that it is inappropriate to say in her presence, and then she needs NOT to repeat it to you. She is being divisive in a struggling family.
B) You Mom is an elder worthy of at the LEAST the respect not to be referred to as a little child in the presence of her daughter.
C) She is not your friend. Discussion of your pregnancy is not on her plate. Weight or anything ELSE about it.
I could go on, but you got it. NOW I will suggest to you that you may have come to treat her with more familiarity than she can handle. This may have caused her to think she is more a "family member" here. She isn't. She works there and apparently does a FINE job and you already said how much you value that job.
Like you, I am torn. Frankly I am angry on your behalf. But I would want the excellent and loving care she can give.
Talk to her and make sure she understands it. Start to take a VERY PROFESSIONAL (only) manner with her. Apparently anything else muddies the waters for her.
I wish you good luck.How sad you are having to choose between an excellent worker who doesn't respect her position and an unknown whose care you cannot bank on at this trying time.
I couldn't wish you more luck.
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Tholden627 Nov 14, 2020
True, I definitely see her as someone who gets comfortable really quickly.
She told me TMI around her own life too. I try to keep our conversations on track, in a polite way, And politely trying to brush off some of the odd “Trouble making” comments. I felt they’re increasingly getting out of wine so I am searching for advice about it. I felt they’re increasingly getting out of line so I am searching for advice about it her recent comments of made me realize she needs it spelled out, or put as an actual rule.
“Muddying” The waters is a really good way to put it, and it makes sense that someone may not know how to be one or the other.
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I think the veiled criticisms of your mom and brother's care "I feel bad for them. They are so bored." and the treating your mom like a child are not boundary issues. They are issues that indicate she needs more training as a caregiver. A good caregiver would feel responsibility for the activities of their charges and think of things for them to do. A well trained caregiver would know not to treat the client like a child.

But the repeating what your brothers say about you is a definite red line. I had a cousin that just loved to stir the pot. "Your sister says no one in the family really likes your husband." The second time she did that I stopped what I was doing and dialed my phone and said "Sister, cousin says you said this. Well, I don't know why she would make that up, do you? Would you like to speak with her? No? Ok I'll tell her." Then I told her my sister said she lied.

Her face! hahah. She never did it again- at least not to me. (and I didn't call the sister she was ratting out. I have a lot of sisters! haha)

I'd tell her in a cold voice that you never want to hear her repeat gossip from your family again. But you don't need the stress of looking for a new caregiver right now. I hope everything works out for you and calms down soon.

Congratulations on the baby!
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Fire her. I had a good care taker who started to control the information flow. I confronted her and fired her. I ma now doing interviews to find a new person.
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Regardless of all that's going on with the caregiver and your family interpersonally, if she came to you from an agency, she will have signed an agreement with the agency that she cannot later work for any of her clients privately whom she previously worked for through the agency. I'm not very experienced with the details, but I expect the time period involved would be at least 6 months from the time she left the agency. So it appears she is violating her agreement with the agency by suggesting she work for you privately. You should extricate yourself from her immediately; you don't want to participate in her contractural violation--and you may want to use the same agency in the future! Also, in general, if you hire someone privately, you're responsible for Social Security, income tax withholding, workers' comp, and unemployment insurance for the worker unless the person works a relatively small number of hours for your parent/you. So don't ever hire someone privately who claims it will be less expensive for you without taking these expenses into account. I understand that the primary reasons for considering hiring this person were not financial, but since you may be looking for someone again soon, I thought I should warn you. Good luck and hugs!

Addendum: the lawyer with whom you were talking was concerned about your having a contract with the caregiver. That's not what I was referring to. It's the caregiver's having agreed with the agency not to work for anyone she worked for while with the agency for a lengthy period of time after she leaves the agency. Another writer brought up an additional point with which I was not familiar: the agency could possibly charge *you* for hiring the caregiver privately!
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Babs16 Nov 15, 2020
To build on what caroli1 said: There can be financial and legal ramifications to hiring that caregiver before her non-compete is up. She signed a contract as well when she was hired on by the agency and can be help liable as well. Usually a buy out can happen but that is typically upwards of $5,000 plus legal fees. I would also recommend asking what insurance any private caregivers have prior to employment.
With the new transition it is technically a new position as she will no longer be caring for your brother so new responsibilities and boundaries can be established. I’d introduce new contract w/ all legal entities present.
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Being a caretaker my self , my heart goes out to you . I am not sure the biggest problem is the caretaker. When reading your responses I see a wonderful daughter that is spread so thin that she needs help. You are doing the work of multiple people AND just about to give birth. The caretaker might just want nasty brother not to talk to her, thinking that if you know about it , you might be able to stop him. Your life will change dramatically when the baby is born . Hormones will go crazy . You will get no sleep for months . The stress is enormous. Maybe you could find a caretakers group , mine meets on line these days. Can you put a lid on your moms bank account so she can’t give nasty brother any more money? She will need the $ if she needs a facility in the future. I am not sure I would do anything about the caretaker right now. You said she takes good care of mom . Maybe if she starts on about what nasty says , just shut her down. Maybe just a “consider the source “ response. ..? You know mom is safe for now. Try to bring the energy back to the coming of the baby. One day at a time . First things first. You are tired but you also have the power and the strength, I hope you know that. Everything does NOT have to be taken care of today except yourself and the baby. Good luck and warm thoughts.
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Sarah3 Nov 16, 2020
I agree, the caregiver sounds like she’s doing a really good job but I don’t recommend the op discourage anything but open transparent communication of how things are going. Why should the caregiver feel like she has to stifle concerns she has, the op should want to hear the concerns. Being pregnant I think it’s too much at this point as you feel and that someone should be in charge who is able to handle hearing how things are. No caregiver babysitter nanny etc should feel hesitant to share how things really are going so as not to upset the contact person.
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Just want to say I’m extremely grateful for so much of the helpful advice that I’ve been getting from everybody. I’m so new at this, it’s taking me so many months of research and digging through paperwork to make sure I do the right thing for her and my brother. This was also mixed with the emergencies that kept occurring and my mom becoming nonverbal.
I see some people who’ve been doing this for 15 years, 24/7 caregivers who know so much and perhaps had similar experiences.
I don’t have any older relatives and being in my 30s, none of my friends are in this stage. I’ve had to rely on endless phone calls, and research. This site makes me feel like I have a bunch of wise aunts and uncles to talk to .
Thank you to all those who take the time to truly answer questions, give advice on how they’ve handled situations like this in the past, and point out important things that I may be overlooking.
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cherokeegrrl54 Nov 16, 2020
You are exactly correct in what you say about the very caring people on this forum. Please try to take good care of you.....and best wishes for your little one soon to arrive! Liz
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You might want to ask the caregiver if she's aware that insulting and stressing out a pregnant woman can harm her baby. And insulting and stressing out your boss can harm your paycheck. It would only be worth keeping her if she lowered your stress and stayed out of your family dynamic completely, but she's chosen a side and it's not the right --or even the smart--one. Even if she knew absolutely nothing about any member of the family, she should have known better than to insult the woman who holds all the power. You don't want an idiot looking after your mother.
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Sarah3 Nov 16, 2020
What in your opinion sounds as if the caregiver deliberately “insulted” the op??
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