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I came to this forum because in the last year, my grandmother has gone from living on her own, to requiring 24/7 attention. She doesn't need much, just someone to make sure she tests her blood, eats properly and regularly, and doesn't stay up all night or fall asleep in her chair.


My grandmother has been like a second mother to me and has never given me anything but love and affection. I can never pay her back, and can't live with her not getting the care she deserves. I decided in the beginning to stay there half the week continuously and have been doing that every week for 6 months without any pay. I would never accept money from her, and one of my biggest motivations is that private care is so damn expensive. I don't see how she could spend that kind of money and have it last. I want her to live 10 years, not one.


Furthermore, in bringing in private care which we have on sat+sun, there seems to be so much uncertainty as to who is there with her. Sometimes the regulars get sick or go out of town, in which case someone completely new that we have never met covers the shift. I feel so paranoid that someone is going to take advantage of her. Unfortunately, I am very untrusting of situations like that where as my grandmother is much more trusting(and doesn't have much of a choice).


It's extra hard for me because I'm there more than anyone else including the other family member (primary caregiver who opts for compensation), and everyone else gets paid. I'd really like for the money to be enough motivation for people to not take advantage of her, and possibly pilfer. One of her rings recently turned up missing which is unusual. I don't know what to do and feel completely powerless.

Thanks for all of the responses. I bought a heavy duty safe. I feel much better about the situation now. Because i've been on edge for months, I encouraged my aunt to fly to the west coast from back east in order to go over my grandmothers valuables. Really glad she did, because now she has a complete inventory of the items(with pictures and descriptions). It was a total pain, but peace of mind is priceless. I am the only one who has the keys, and my aunt in New york with the list, so it is pretty transparent with family members(not that there is any mistrust between us).

I get suspicious when the preferred method of cleaning is using the duster, while leaving the floors unchecked. I'm like the only one who cleans the floors and I'm 31(and don't get paid). Dusting seems to be a potential way to avoid suspicion in getting "a lay for the land". My grandmother is my heart, and I will ruin someones' life(financially) if I find that someone is taking advantage of her at any point.

I also plan on being available and fitting into the schedule as work allows. It might not always be easy or seem like a good time, but I understand the time with her is very valuable and the alternative is terrible(not being around and regretting it later). My grandmothers' quality of life is a major priority to me. I don't want to see her go to assisted living or a nursing home EVER. And will do anything and everything I can to make that so. I see her finances as a stopwatch that only stops for the time i'm there with her. End of rant. :)
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I would never trust some body at face valve. In fact, I bought a small but heavy-duty safe that is water and fire proof, plus it is so heavy that you can't just pick it up and walk out to do with it. These safes you can usually fine on sale. I had my mother give me her give me her one of a kind ring that my dad had made for her. My dad also has a safe in the house. I lock up everything even though there are no caregivers coming into the house at this point.

I trust no one until they prove otherwise. Reading Dr. Phil's book 'Life Code' has helped a lot, even though I was never one to trust people much; however, his book has taught me some red flags to look for right from the beginning so I won't waste my time in finding out the hard way.
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Troubledwaters Feb 26, 2019
I'm very wary and would tend to agree with you. Currently, all her valuables are locked away, but not in a safe. Every single item has been inventoried, due to my extreme discomfort with the situation. I convinced my aunt to fly from the east coast to deal with it. I have gone through everything in that apartment with her, and know exactly what's there. If things keep disappearing, I'll get cameras. Still looking for a gold ring that's been missing for 3 weeks now that my grandmother has had her entire life.
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Agree with the suggestion below; hide the valuables and install cameras.

Choose “reputable” agencies that screen their staff. You’ll never know everything about everybody....it’s a leap of faith.

Get to know those the agency sends and don’t be afraid to request someone else from the agency if you don’t feel comfortable with someone.

As someone stated below as well...if your grandma is leaving the burner on the stove that’s a safety issue for her and she may need 24/7 supervision.
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You can't assume that people are trustworthy. Remove valuables and install cameras.

Just because someone doesn't have a record and clears a background check could mean they just haven't been caught.

We have a highly publicized case of a 29 year old woman giving birth in a SNF, DNA proves it was a caregiver that raped and impregnated this woman that drowned at the age of 3 and was revived.

It is better to error on the side of to cautious and to much security then kick yourself later.
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Troubledwaters Feb 24, 2019
That's a shame. It's hard to believe somebody could abuse somebody else like that.
I agree with precaution. I know that financial stressors can motivate otherwise good people to justify taking things from people. I have experienced this first hand with a close friend a very long time ago.
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The way I found a trustworthy caregiver was through the agency who does screening & background checks ....& then saw she was good & patient...extremely patient...& I hired her private. I have a couple of backups but it’s mostly her & me.
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I haven't dealt with a private caregiver because my Mom is in assisted living but I do have Friends that work for Visiting Angels another with Home Instead which both are licensed and insured and a Social Worker comes to the home to evaluate the clients needs they have said nothing but good things about those firms. Also if your Grandmother's Husband served in a war she is entitled to Aid and Attendance benefits my Mom currently gets $1209 a month
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worriedinCali Feb 24, 2019
Aid and attendance is income based. She may not be eligible for it.
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I guess all of what you are saying is why I felt that care in a facility was better than staying at home with caregivers that might or might not show up..
In a facility, there are many eyes on the situation. There is medical care (RNs, NPs and an MD on call) available, not simply medically untrained caregivers.

Maybe someone can come along and give you a better answer, but a good facility would be my choice in this situation.
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Troubledwaters Feb 24, 2019
I guess I really want her to be able to live in her own home, especially since she has family around...
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You don't. But you hire care from a reputable agency that screens their employees. Then there can always be those that will take advantage

Lock up valuables. Don't leave any credit cards or statements in the house

Does she really need 24/7 care?
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Troubledwaters Feb 24, 2019
I don't think so, just during the crucial times I would say, like waking up and going to bed. She flooded the kitchen a few times, and smoked up the apartment leaving the burner on, but didn't notice before other people in the building did. I think it's more of an agreement for harm-prevention between the landlord/manager and the family to have 24/7 care.
Can you ever revert back from a shift like that? It's not like she needs somebody to take care of her basic needs... She has become more aware that she can't keep making the same mistakes if she wants to be independent.
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