I am the caregiver to my 96 year old father and am lucky enough through his savings to be able to have sitters on and off throughout the day. This has been going on for 8 years. Before that time, my mother was ill and he was her caregiver with a sitter to help our during the day. (I moved back to the same city to help them when they were both ill).
I am now concerned that he may out live his money so have had to cut back the sitters’ hours (they understand completely). All but one has been with us for years and years. This means that my father is on his own for a few hours throughout the day between each shift. My father can walk and uses a walker. He has mild dementia but never tries to leave the home. For safety reasons, I installed 4 cameras in the house so I can watch him when he’s alone. The cameras are perfectly visible but never mentioned to the sitters that they are there (not required by law in my state) though I do know they have been noticed.
The last sitter that covers the midnight to 6am shift came to us about 4 months ago. She highly recommended by the ex-CEO of a well-respected health organization in our town. This sitter had looked after his wife during her long illness and still cleans his home.
Being Thanksgiving I stayed with my father to allow all the sitters time to be with their families and while my father was napping, I decided to review the security video and discovered that this sitter came in the other night, laid down on the couch while my father was in his recliner watching tv and apparently went to sleep (when he got up to go to the kitchen she didn’t move). She did get up and then prepare him some food and something to drink. She then cleaned everything up, told him she was going to bring him a pie after Thanksgiving (all the sitters generously bring him food including her) and proceeded to leave 20 minutes before her shift end. I watched further videos where she was busy all night dusting, running the vacuum and looking after him.
How would you handle this? I am fairly confident that if I mention to her what I’ve witnessed she’ll straighten her act up because she has told the other sitters how much she likes it here and enjoys my father (he is a very kind man). Utilizing an agency because of the added cost (would be about $6/hr more) is not an option and it is very, VERY hard to find trusted help in my area. I think she’s just trying to push the envelope. I had even thought of telling her (and the others) to ring my cell phone from the house phone when they arrive and when they leave which would be similar to them clocking in and out.