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I have been the caregiver for my client for 12 years. I work 9 hours a day, 5 days a week and other caregivers are there for the other 2.


My client lives with her son and daughter in law who pay the agency for care. The son travels for work and the daughter in law has been working from the house since April.


The last few months have been rough financially for me. When Covid started, the daughter in law gave me sanitizer, toilet paper, wipes and supplies. She said if I needed anything, just ask. I ran out of wipes and took a container and some toilet paper and now she is upset and wants me fired and out of her house. We had a meeting and she said its not about the things, it is principle. I have apologized and repayed her money for the items I took, thinking it was ok to just tell her and repay her. My client was upset.


The daughter in law is now very, very upset and wants my client out of her house because shifts are missed by other caregivers and me. She went to a lawyer who told her to serve her with eviction paper, a 30 day cancellation of the contract and not to do anything for her. She has taken this to heart. She left her alone 4 days with no care, nothing to eat and no one to change her undergarments. When I confronted her today she said she pays an agency to staff the home.


My client will be forced into a nursing home and my client does not want to go. My boss said to stay out of it because it is family dynamics not abuse. How can I protect my client because the agency wont?

Belinda, hugs to you. I think this is fallout from the Covid crisis, myself. Yes the gloves thing was a blooper, but no it did not cause this woman to tear her hair out. DON'T talk to her husband. Talk to her, in a shoulder-rub kind of way.

It might still be the best decision for your client to make a change, you know. Especially if she continues to have support from people she knows well, like you.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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My accoutant at H&R Block said I cant make more than $18,200 a year or else I lose my Social Security.

I took the wipes and sanitizer because my grandson graduated and we had a BBQ. I always intended to pay them back. I did not think she would care. Before working at home, homeschooling and her husband being gone so much to repair hurricane damage she was the nicest person I had ever met. She even let my other grand son come to work with me and would take the kids to the movies, museum, zoo or arcade. Since she has been home alone, she has changed.

Her husband is coming home Friday. Do you think I should talk to him?
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FloridaDD Sep 16, 2020
He is wrong.  Did he know you are 72.   No, you have no income limits at  your age.

The DIL is home now, and wants the house to herself. 

OMG, do you want to tear their marriage apart?   I would tell the agency that is your last day
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“I WANT to go to a nursing home!”
Said nobody, ever.
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FloridaDD Sep 16, 2020
I have to say this. after taking care of my mom for 3 years, I will NEVER do this to my DD.  If I am totally out of it, massive Oxies for me.  If I just need care, it will be a facility.  It will not be perfect, but I love my DD
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I've only just skimmed through the replies, but on the face of it your client will be much better out of this.

It was really dim of you to take the supplies without asking about them specifically. It is the principle of the thing, but it's also that there are shortages. It was never going to be okay for you to take supplies for your own purposes. Heck, I don't even use a single pair of disposable gloves or a disposable facemask that I've been issued unless it's strictly for work, I buy my own for private use.

Looking at some of the other factors: your client's son and daughter in law pay the agency fees? The DIL has been working from home for months? They've stopped paying for a therapist? These people have reached the end of their tether, in more ways than one. [though I expect the main reason for stopping the therapy is that it isn't achieving anything].

But I don't agree with the idea that your concern is motivated by self-interest. Is there any way you can continue communication with this lady once she does move out of her son's home? Are you interested in repairing your relationship with the DIL?
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BelindaM Sep 16, 2020
Yes, I am interested in repairing the relationship. As for the gloves and masks, she gave me a box of gloves in case I was ever sent to another house and the box is in my trunk not opened. She also gave me and my family two 50 packs of disposable masks and two 10 packs of N95s. She just asked I use cleaning gloves for dishes not the nitrile ones. I made a horrible mistake.

I feel bad because I think my actions forced her to change.
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What would you like to do? Take this woman home to live with YOU and have her pay you directly, quitting the agency entirely? Is that what you're getting at?
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Well I am going to be blunt here.

your client doesn’t need to be protected from her family. She needs to be protected from you, if you can’t simply support her during this time.

I understand you’ve cared for her for 12 years and there is obviously a bond there but you’ve crossed lines that other responders already addressed. Your clients family hasn’t abused or neglected her. It sounds like they’ve kept her home for at least 12 years. That is a long time. You have no right to undermine their decision. Your clients needs are too great, she needs multiple caregivers and her family has been burdened with the task of managing that for years. When the caregivers don’t show up, the family has to deal with it in one way or another.

your heart is in the right place but your brain is not. If you really want to help your client then support her. Her support her as she goes through this next step in life and moves to a nursing home.
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Belinda, can you address the question about just taking items from your clients home? How do you figure that is acceptable?

You are claiming some pretty horrific things, yet you yourself are committing crimes against these people. How do you justify that?

I don't care how old you are, theft is theft and now you are trying to cause this family further heartache because you don't want to lose your job.

Your lack of integrity makes me nauseous.
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cherokeegrrl54 Sep 16, 2020
You go grrl!!! Best answer ive read yet!!!
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Listen, I think you're being somewhat manipulated by your patient. She is trying to enlist your help to change the mind of her family, and that's really not fair to you.

You say you've cared for this person for 12 years. That's a long time, and I'm sure you have developed a good relationship with her. But I imagine you've seen her health deteriorate over this time. Doubtless her family has as well. There comes a point where it is no longer safe for some people to remain in the home, much as they might want to. You might call placement "convenience"; I call it "pragmatism." But that's really neither here nor there. It is their decision to make.

You also mention eviction proceedings, which I gather are against your patient. That says to me that her son and daughter-in-law have tried to convince her that they are no longer able to care for her in their home. Whether they can't get reliable 24 hour care, or they just can't afford it, or whatever their reasons are, that's where they're at. Since it seems she refused, I'm sure son and DIL were told by their attorney that, while they can't FORCE her into a facility if she is still mentally competent. that doesn't mean she has to live with them. If they are going so far as to have her evicted to force her hand, then your boss is 100% correct that there is nothing any of you can do to change the situation.

I get that you aren't relishing the idea of trying to find a new patient to care for, for a myriad of reasons. But you seem to be looking for someone here to give you the magic words that will force your patient's family to continue with things as they are, and I really believe that ship is about to sail.

If you need your agency to help you find a place for income purposes, I would seriously consider taking your boss' advice to keep out of this decision.

Best of luck to you in whatever you decide.
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I am 72 years old, I work to supplement my small pension and Social Security. I have an income limit or I would work more. I would not want my family placing me in a home for convenience.
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FloridaDD Sep 16, 2020
And that is your or your family's decision for YOU.  You do not get to make it for others.  Your boss is right, butt out.  The DIL likely views you as taking money that should be spend on her kid's college.  The son is not even there.
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The family usually gives me a $1,000 bonus for my birthday and Christmas. It was not on my check this year. I mentioned it to my client. That is why she bought my tires. Much less than what I usually get.

My client cannot get out of her chair without a stability belt and support anymore. The daughter in law stopped paying for a therapist to come in so my client is worse. How does she get the food when she cannot walk without me behind her?

I am doing nothing wrong. I am looking out for my client.
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notgoodenough Sep 16, 2020
I'm sorry, it was very unprofessional of you to mention the lack of a bonus to your patient. Giving you that bonus is at the discretion of her family, and should never have come up in conversation with your patient.

But over and above the money - if your patient is so incredibly unsafe, and her family will not pay for additional aides, then the safest place for her is in a facility. But you need to understand, whether or not APS gets involved, neither you nor APS can force her family to keep her in their home and pay for her care. APS will either 1) close the investigation with no abuse noted or 2) have your patient removed to a facility for her safety.
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What do you want the end result to be?

If you feel there is abuse happening, then by all means, report it to APS. However, where do you plan on going from there?

If, for example, APS comes in and investigates, and finds there is no abuse happening, what then? Your boss has already told you to keep out of it. You admit the "client" (The person you are taking care of is not your agency's "client" at this point in time; in your agency's mind, the client is the one who pays the bill, which is your patient's son and wife. ) gives you money over and above your salary...and now that it seems like your job with this patient is "on the line" so to speak, suddenly you are fearful for her safety. For an outsider looking in, that doesn't put you in the best light.

I understand you feel badly for your patient, who doesn't want to go into a nursing home, but I cannot stress this enough to you: THAT IS ABSOLUTELY NOT YOUR CALL TO MAKE! If this relationship between her and her daughter-in-law is as toxic as you seem to believe, and your patient is indeed in danger because she is being left alone when it is your belief that it is unsafe for her to be so, then don't you think a nursing home might be the best solution at this point? More importantly, are you willing to risk your employment over this, if it turns out that your assessment doesn't rise to the level of abuse? Living in a home where people scream and argue, while not ideal, doesn't rise to the level of abuse where a government agency is going to get involved. And say it is at such a level of abuse? What happens then? If the government steps in and takes guardianship, where do you think this lady will end up? She'll end up in a facility anyway.

As far as "getting her own food from the fridge" as evidence of abuse, heck, even my mom on hospice with CHF can get food for herself from her fridge!

You need to do some serious thinking about your next steps. Good luck
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Yes, there is more to the story. The walls are very thin so I can hear everything. The family has an 7 year old girl. The daughterinlaw and daughter had plans to go leafs collecting for a weekend in a camper. The son has 3 siblings one is across the country, the other 2 two live in the next suburb over. The one sibling was supposed to take my client. They did not show up to get her and would not answer phone call. The son works out of the city and flys back two weekends a month. The daughter in law was yelling and swearing at him and told him that 18 years of her living with them was enough and she needed to go. The money they spend on aides should be in a college fund not wasted on his mother. She told him she talked to a divorce lawyer because of it. He took his wifes side. She leaves whether my client has help or not. She said I should make cold food and put it in the refridgerater next to her. If she wants to eat, she can get her own food.

My client is upset and cries everyday and tells me how the daughter in law is manipulating her son. She is competent and has no POA or guardian. She is generous to me, gives me gas money and bought me new tires. I am trying to help her so she can stay where she is, she does not want to leave.
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Isthisrealyreal Sep 16, 2020
You are stepping so far over boundaries you could be prosecuted.

Who do you think you are that you get to decide that this "competent" person gets to mooch off her son and DIL?

I would be turning you in to the agency and the licensing bureau to ensure that you never have the chance to financially exploit a vulnerable person again.
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You are to act within the contractural confines of your contract with your hiring company. The son and DIL have clearly (it seems to me) been in charge of your client whether through POA or guardianship, and they have hired you THROUGH an agency, to which you report. If you suspect that a client is without care you must report this at once to Adult Protective Services if your own company will take no action. You are responsible to report to your hiring agency and to stay within the contract they have. Again, if an elder is endangered you are a "mandated reporter" meaning this is an emergency situation reportable first to your agency, and nect to authorities so that the Elder if not endangered. Good luck. The best place for the client now may be the nursing home where 24/7 care is provided. No, nobody wants to "go there" and it is sad that any of us do have to, but that is in the hands of the client and those appointed as POAs or guardians in her care. You as a caregiver should work only through your own agency unless you suspect that someone is in danger. Then it requires a call to 911 or to APS.
I hope I didn't miss something in your report here. I wish you good luck.
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Are these two the only family that your client has?
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I work 5 days in a row and am of 4 in a row so I can have time for myself and my grandchildren.

The daughter in law is upset because on my days off there is no care and she does not want to do it. My client said she is very mad and is lazy and disrespectful to her. She tells her that she pays an agency so she does not have to do care. My co workers will no longer go to the home because she installed cameras.
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I don't think this is any of your business, frankly. What is happening between your former client and her family is between THEM now, and their lawyer, whom they've hired to help. It also sounds like you are missing a good deal of the story here; what lawyer tells their client to leave their elderly mother in law alone for days on end with no care, no food, and no change of soiled under garments??? Not to mention, it doesn't make too much sense that the DIL is mad at the MIL b/c the care givers are missing shifts...? There's a lot more to this story than what you are hearing, methinks.

In any event, it sounds like you've either been let go or are about to be let go, so your hands are tied as a former care giver. If you haven't been let go yet, why wasn't your client cared for in 4 days? Makes no sense.

Wishing you the best of luck with finding a new position.
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Reply to lealonnie1
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You took stuff without asking even though you were told that you just had to ask?

I would be thinking about firing you as well. Paying after the fact because you got caught doesn't sit well.

How could your client be left alone for 4 days if you work 5 days a week and someone comes in the other 2? Are the aides flaking out or is the agency?

If you and other aides don't show up, what makes you think that your client shouldn't be put in a nursing home? If she can't take care of herself, well, she needs to be in a facility. What she wants doesn't factor in. Sorry.
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