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How do you handle a caregiver that is good but she gossips and takes sides in a family dispute? I have asked her not to get involved and she says she only says what she sees, which is not what I see at all. She takes sides and does harm to the family by bad mouthing me. As long as dad is taken care of she has done nothing wrong but her manners are horrible. How do you handle this scenario?

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The person who HIRED the caregiver is the one who can FIRE the caregiver when he or she feels they are acting inappropriately.
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BurntCaregiver Mar 15, 2021
So the person receiving the care (in this case the father) doesn't get a say in it? If he likes her and she takes good care of him, then the rest of the family should get over their butt-hurt about her manners and gossiping and just be happy that they have a good caregiver for their father.
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Are you the person who hired this caregiver? If not, can you please give a specific example of what she gossips or "bad mouths" you, what "taking sides" looks like and how exactly it is harming the family? You have "loaded" your post to one side but if you truly want wise insights, then more details would be very useful. Thank you
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Reply to Geaton777
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hugs mindy!!

you wrote:
“She takes sides and does harm to the family by bad mouthing me.”

i’ve seen this exact, bizarre, inappropriate behavior, too, from a friend’s caregiver.

what i think, is that some caregivers actually enjoy creating trouble/conflict within the family! they get the ball rolling, and want to pit family members against each other (usually highlighting that she/he, the caregiver, is the hero in this situation).

it’s very bad behavior from the caregiver.

i think some caregivers enjoy the “power” they have!!

they know you are to some extent at their mercy! dependent on them!

they know, you might not be in a position to fire easily (there might not be many, good, alternative caregivers available).

in my friend’s case, there was luck:
through fate, this caregiver had to go away, and another caregiver appeared.

it’s a personality thing (your gossip caregiver), i think. some people have bad personalities, want to see/create conflict in an already-suffering/stressed-out family.

hug!!
i hope you can get a different caregiver.

bundle of joy
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MargaretMcKen Mar 15, 2021
There's a 'game' in an old psych book, and one of them is called 'Let's You and Him Fight'. The person who starts it enjoys the power and the fuss. My dreadful father was an expert in this. The trait goes bone-deep. Try and get the person out of your life. That's the only way to 'handle it'.
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She should know better then to bad mouth one family member to another.
I've worked for many families over the years and a lot of times the caregiver gets put in the middle of feuding family members because one is looking for an ally against the other and wants them to take their side. I've been in that situation many times. I never volunteered information to anyone, family or not. If some family member asks me a question, I answer it truthfully. I refuse to lie or cover for anyone. I cared for one elder with advanced dementia that lived with her husband who was still mentally competent and independent. They had three adult children. One of the daughters was an alcoholic and drug addict who the other siblings didn't want in the house unless they gave permission for her to be there (they lived out of town). Well she was homeless and stayed there at night. She often was there during the day as well. Their father used to help her out with money too. The siblings found this out when they were combing over the father's bank statements on their monthly inspection visit. They did absolutely nothing for either of their parents in any other way, but they kept the hawk's eye on how their dad was spending his own hard-earned money.
When they found out about this arrangement there was hell to pay and they expected me to pay it. I got blamed for not telling them. I told them that it wasn't part of my job to report their father's business back to them. I was hired to take care of their mom's needs and make sure the home was maintained during the hours I was paid to work and that's it. Which is exactly what I did. Then their father gave me a nice raise.
If your father likes her and he's being well cared for then I'd tell you to just ignore the gossip and intrigues. If her talking troubles you so much then have a word with her. Remind her about what her job is and that talking about you to the family is not part of it. A good and competent caregiver who works hard and also gets along with the elder they're caring for is hard to find. Don't cut off your nose to spite your face because you don't like the caregiver.
What matters is that your father does and by what you've said here, she does a good job with him. Leave well enough alone.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver
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Mindy,
Gossip goes much deeper than bad manners.
You have genuine concerns about the things you know this caregiver does.
What about the things she says to others that you do not know about?

You can and should avoid gossips, it is a toxic mess. It is also a part of the human condition, and something to avoid participating in ourselves. When someone continues, and cannot be corrected, there is no remedy.

If there is an agency, call them up and ask them to send someone else. Be sure to tell them she is a gossip. Add no recommendation for her 'good' parts, she is destructive. There is no denying she has harmed you. Try not to sugarcoat it just to be nice. Here is one situation where being nice is 'not nice'. Just tell the basic facts, no need to be mean. You've got this!

It's like saying, she is great in every area, but unfortunately cannot stop her nature, which is to be a vampire. Every so often, she sucks my father's blood at night, but what to do? She only does it occasionally, or the times I have caught her.......
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Reply to Sendhelp
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There is more than one good caregiver out there. She's unprofessional and should be terminated, especially after ignoring a warning to stay out of family issues.
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Reply to MJ1929
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An experienced trustworthy mature caregiver won’t gossip. She can’t help but see things, but she should remain professional. Have a backup to this caregiver. Hugs 🤗
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Reply to CaregiverL
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"she says she only says what she sees, which is not what I see at all."

Sometimes what we see, is not what others see. A caregiver is a mandated reporter and if she sees something not right, it is her responsibility to go to her supervisor or another family member with concerns. That may feel like gossip but may not be.
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TouchMatters Mar 13, 2021
It sounds like caregiver is getting involved with family dynamics / communications, not reporting a situation to authorities, backing up with facts.

This is what it sounds like to me although there isn't enough information to clearly understand what is going on.

Good point though about a caregiver being mandated. Many likely do not even know this.
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Please write her a letter and explain that you value her as a caregiver. Explain that the issues of the family are not her concern as long as her charge is safe and healthy. Ask her to refrain from negative comments or unsolicited advice regarding family matters since this is unprofessional behavior. If she is part of an agency. Let her know that you will send a copy of the letter if you do not see improvement in 2 weeks. In the next 2 weeks, consider interviewing other applicants for the job of caregiver - in case you need to replace the current one.
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What kind of things did she say about you? Is it something you would want to know about if a sibling did it? Caregiver may work for one person who needs help, but basically belongs to the family. She should report things that are iffy to her or answer questions the other family members ask.

Not really enough info to understand if this is a gossip problem or maybe just reporting what she sees going on.
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Reply to my2cents
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Who hired her?
Who is asking her to be involved in discussions?
Who supervises her?
Is it your Dad's decision to employ her? supervise her?
How do you define gossip?
If she is saying she 'says what she sees,' someone is likely asking her for her opinion.
Ask her, in front of the people that matter and need to hear, for specific situations that back-up her comments.
You might need to get the family to agree that she is not to be a part of discussions. If this could not happen due to some family members, then you likely need to focus your attention on those family members instead of the caregiver.
* Perhaps have a neutral party monitor or guide a family discussion, an outsider, who has no emotional investment in taking sides - someone who wants to get to the truth, and separate fact from fiction.
Good luck, Gena
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Reply to TouchMatters
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If you hired her, find out if she is certified or licensed, then have a talk. If HIPPA laws pertain to her, remind her that you have the ability to file a complaint. Also remind her that she can be fined up to 25,000 per incidence.
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Reply to MACinCT
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Figure out which is more important, her gossiping or good care for your Dad.

Maybe your family members ask her questions and expect her to answer and if that's the case if you are Dad's Primary Care Giver, you have the right to tell her that what goes on in your household is Private and for her to refer all questions from your family or anyone else to you to answer.

Tell her she is causing problems in the family and if she wants to continue working there, to stop talking to others about Dad's Care.

If she has any concerns to only talk to you.
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Reply to bevthegreat
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I would let her know that if she wants to keep her job she needs to stop. It might help if you can get others in the family have a sit down with her together and let her know you are all on board with loosing her if needed.
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Reply to whaleyf
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MACinCT is spot on. If she is a hired caregiver, she is violating the Federal HIPPA laws. Contact the agency for whom she works. They would have mandated training in this and if they have not, then they, too are in violation. It's nice to speak of confronting her first, but if she does it in your home, she is doing it elsewhere. It needs to stop immediately.

When I did Hospice, people in the community would ask how X was doing as they had seen my vehicle at their home. I would reply that if they were concerned, they should call the family. If I got push back about them knowing X for years and 'needed to know', I would counter with "would you like to know if I were caring for you that I was spreading your business all over town"?
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gdaughter Mar 15, 2021
exactly!
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A little more info is needed.
Is this care that is happening in your home? A family members home? A facility?
Who hired the caregiver?
And a few other important things..
Are these conversations (gossip) happening in front of your dad? Is he aware of what is said? (ALWAYS assume that a patient can hear and understand what is being said) Is he contributing to any of the discussions?
Are any of the things being said a violation of HIPAA laws? If any of the conversations deal with his health issues and if the conversation is taking place with people that are NOT listed on HIPAA forms this is a violation and can be reported.
Are any of these conversations potentially going to upset your dad?
If the care is happening in your home, if you have hired this person then sitting down and discussing these issues is part of your job as an employer and you need to establish clear ground rules. If the caregiver ignores your instructions tell her that you will terminate her.
If the care is not happening in your home, if you have not hired her you should have a discussion with the person that did.
If the care is happening in a facility reporting the incident to the supervisor might work.
If the caregiver is from an agency reporting the inappropriate conversations to her manager would also be appropriate. (if a private conversation has not worked)

I would not put up with anyone that is potentially driving a wedge between family members during a stressful time. Caregiving (even with the help of a hired caregiver) is a stressful time in a family's life and you do not need someone stirring the pot and fueling flames.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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My parents had a caregiver who was so divisive she tore our family apart. It was a nightmarish situation that ended in a courtroom. Caring for the patient is important but respecting family members is equally important. Would you want a caregiver who pitted your kids against each other? I’m sure your parent is aware of the drama. There are other caregivers out there who will do a good job and maintain the peace instead of creating drama.
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gdaughter Mar 15, 2021
Ooooh This sounds a like a Hallmark Movie!!
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Gossip can do a lot of damage to families. It can do damage to any group. I might warn her once to knock it off, then next time report her. Most likely I would report her to the agency if she works for one. She needs to learn that that is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. I have no tolerance for gossipmongers. It’s because of a lying two faced gossip that my husband and I no longer speak to some of his family. It’s going to make for an awkward funeral when MIL passes.
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Reply to Spoiledpets
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gdaughter Mar 15, 2021
OH shoot spoiled one, funerals are so overrated anyhow. And this could be one of the nicest you might ever attend!
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You fire the caregiver.
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Reply to warkap
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Way beyond the scope of her roll unless someone dares to ask her opinion. I'd tell her to shut the f up or she's going to be dismissed. HEr choice. In fact you can skip the first part and just get rid of her but of course you did say she was good and we all know how good people are hard to come by. Is she being paid through an agency? Let them take the upper hand and relieve you of the burden.
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Imho, well, she was not hired to be an arbitrator, but a caregiver.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Begin immediately to find replacement, then give her a days pay or whatever you think is appropriate and escort her out. Report to agency if she works for one. Done and done, and make sure to tell any future employees that you will not tolerate this behavior.
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