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I am caregiver to my disabled mother and am having a big problem with the home care workers attitude and work ethic.


They don’t care, really I don’t think they are even really paying attention.


However, they think they are AMAZING caregivers.


I feel I am at their mercy because I need someone to be with mom because I can’t be there all the time.


They call out last minute. For example, my mom has a terrible abscess/infection on her gums and is in pain, can barely eat. Caregiver is supposed to take her to oral surgeon consult tomorrow. She just called out because she said her cousin died in a drunk driver car crash. Ok. Last Tuesday she called out because she was in a car accident. In the same message she said she has to take off Thursday as well because her mom has an eye doctor appointment. What?


Also, when she was here today she didn’t take the trash out or fill mom’s water etc. They just breeze in and out at their leisure.


I am trying to be calm and patient, but I feel like I am being taken for a ride with these people. The other caregiver who was told in the interview that driving to doctor appointments /errand was a big part of the job and assured me it would be no problem at all. Now complains constantly to my mom whenever she needs to go somewhere, but she doesn’t directly say no. She’ll say, ‘oh how far away is it, oh that’s so far, are you sure you really need to go there today? Maybe the other caregiver can take you, gas is so expensive’ and it goes on and on with these kind of complaints about the wheelchair hurts her arms/back etc etc.


This isn’t just a few bad apples either, I have noticed this for years now where I am really starting to believe these caregivers only want to sit on the sofa/text and watch TV all day.


They will say anything in the interview and it means absolutely nothing. Last week when I reminded her that she agreed that driving wouldn’t be an issue in the interview and that she said she liked going out and didn’t want to be cooped up in the house etc she looked so surprised I remembered that. Also, she gets mileage reimbursement and paid holidays/sick days as well as extra hours. I told her I try my best to compensate her for the work etc.


Doesn’t even day thank-you, ever.


I am trying to finish my degree and was really counting on these two for this semester. They committed several times in June, July and August that they would be here for the fall semester(aug 25-dec 14)


Now they are both quitting?! I have my own perspective is that neither of them actually need to work. Their husbands or parents are fully taking care of them so being a caregiver is like an extra cash for them and they treat it like a retail job at the mall. Have absolutely no idea how much their behavior/games puts our household in chaos. I am tired of this and I’m tired of people telling me to keep looking until I find the ‘one’. Like their is some magical unicorn caregiver out there who is going take the job seriously. For awhile I thought it was me and blamed myself that maybe I said something/did something that turned them off etc. but no they are really happy as long as you don’t ask them to actually do anything or bring attention to something that want done. For example, I came home one day last week and all mom had eaten was a yogurt. I asked her if the caregiver tried to give her lunch/meals and she said no, but the caregiver brought her own lunch from home and fed herself.


We used to use an agency and the first day one girl came I asked her why she wanted to be a caregiver, she said ‘because it’s easy’


There is so much more, I’m sorry this became a vent/rant. I’m sorry for the bad grammar too.


I am just so discouraged and sad that I have yet again start the hire/interview process when I have zero confidence that I can rely on anyone. How do you cope with not being able to rely on the people your paying to help you?!

Trust me I believe everything you say, so please don't be offended by my thoughts on this. It seems to me that you have had so many bad experiences now with carers, it has infected your attitude so it's got to the point you unfortunately paint everyone with the same negative brush and you have lost hope. You basically now feel that all carers carers are lacking (and you're probably close to right - but i want to let you know that there are still some very good dedicated ones out there). Maybe some of these carers you have employed even resign because their relationship with you is not a happy one? I know it is so difficult when the statistics bare out that most of them probably are lacking - but you could possibly be cutting off your nose to spite your face because you have developed this attitude that makes it difficult for you to trust - and I'm sure the carers pick up on that. I really think you need to have a fresh attitude when you interivew (easier said than done), if you can, and don't tell them about your negative experiences with carers in the past. Lower your expectations too - so you won't be disappointed. It's good to be more realistic. Hopefully an angel will arrive soon! They are out there.
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Indigo108 Sep 17, 2019
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Part of why I’m so hurt about this situation is that I actually wasn’t bitter or pre-judging. After the past bad experiences I went into the hiring process this time with a new plan. I really sat and looked at what worked and what didn’t about the past and created a new care plan for mom with specifics etc. I felt clear communication had to be extra important this time, no confusion about responsibilities. I really put a lot of time over the summer into communicating with these caregivers and got along well with them. I trusted them and felt relieved that we had finally found some ‘good’ ones and made sure I acknowledged all their positive behavior etc.
I have really been thinking if I or mom did something to put them off, but really I think it was the job itself. Everyone was happy bumming around the summer. Over the summer things were more flexible, but once the school year started timing was more important and they didn’t want to be held accountable for anything.
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My mom had caregivers in her home for 3 years, 24\7 365 days a year. There are bad apples for sure & there will always be issues, even with a professional company.

Find people that DESPERATELY need to work. Then make sure you pay them more than they’d make anywhere else. The ladies that took care of my mom were not CNA’s, but almost all had experience taking care of sick/handicapped/dying family members. They were paid more than if working in a nursing home, and we let them decide among themselves their schedule. They liked that flexibility. If one calls out at the last minute, offer another worker a “bonus” if she can come in on her off day.
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Indigo108 Sep 17, 2019
Thanks for your suggestion. So far I haven’t really met anyone desperate, most in my area have a very casual attitude no matter what the experience level.
I think a little of my frustration comes from the fact that they are paid above what normal agency’s pay, plus I do give paid sick days/vacation days which agency’s don’t do. Often have let them leave early, but paid them for whole shift. Always remember their birthday and if I’m at the market and see a sale on some snack they like I always bring something for them.
Recently I spoke to a friend who works at an opticians office and she gets paid less than moms caregivers and doesn’t even get paid days off. So I feel I really am trying to go above and beyond to show how much I value their help and they don’t even really acknowledge it all.
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I've had better luck privately hiring older care givers and using a payroll service to pay them. Women in their 50s and 60s who have raised (or mostly raised) their families and are now looking forward to or enjoying grandchildren. Women who don't really need the money but like making some extra money. Women who have some uncommitted time and like feeling they are helping someone. I ask ministers, a retired nurses association, school nurses, etc. to help me find women to ask if they would be interested in working 4-12 hours a week as a caregiver to my mobility challenged 87 year old mother. Women with this profile have a good work ethic and time management skills. They do not commit to working a shift when they already have other appointments. I am up front that I want 3 care givers I can call on so that if someone is sick or cannot cover a particular day because they have other commitments then I can call on the other ladies. I ask how many hours (min and max) a week do you want to work and what times would you like to work? One lady is very good but didn't want to work evening hours regularly. Once her husband found out I have all the sports channels available on my streaming services and he was welcome to accompany his wife on her shifts, he decided it would be okay for her to stay with Mom during the kid's Friday night and Saturday afternoon football games.

It does take some time to make a schedule a week ahead and call each lady to confirm shifts. It doesn't take much time to go online payroll site and enter their hours each week so they get paid. I have a liability insurance policy just in case they get injured in my home. It's worth it to me over using an agency because (a) they are MUCH more dependable, (b) better level of care, (c) someone Mom knows is showing up to provide care, and (d) less stress for me over the problems experienced with an agency. Women who have raised a family don't complain about assisting Mom when a wet incontinence panty needs changing; they understood what they were getting into when they saw the list of duties. Often when one lady needs to change a shift, she talks with the others and just tells me about a shift swap.
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GrannieAnnie Sep 21, 2019
Thanks - some really good ideas.  Hopefully I won't need them for me or husband, but you never know.
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A good agency will have backup when the caregivers "call out". I would switch agencies. I think it is not just care workers who seem to have a bad work ethic, but then I am aging; so that is likely my problem. I have reached the "Things aren't like they were in MY day" stage.
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cherokeegrrl54 Sep 17, 2019
Im about to turn 65 in a couple of months and i see it the same way....things ARE NOT like they were in my day either!! Some days i just dont know what this world is coming to.....
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I don't seem to have a solution to the problem. However, I couldn't agree with you more. We live in a large city (Phoenix) and I have the same problem. Paying $25 - $36 an hour (hve used both private individuals and agencies) and getting very little for it. I feel they are getting paid well and I treat them really well. I could go on and on with much detail, but won't as it isn't solving the problem. I'm frustrated and venting.
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happierdays Sep 19, 2019
The agency probably gets most of the money...and the caregivers very little.
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Tell the employing agency what the problems are.  Have the problems written on a list and provide the agency with that list.  Put down dates of what YOU have discovered, or had to do, or reschedule, etc., and unless there is a change, you will seek another agency.  THAT will cause the change.  YOU are paying the agency for help that you are not getting, or it is irregular at best.  YOU are the employer of the agency.  Unhappy people result in the loss of agency money.  If you are happy, the agency is happy, and the caregiver is happy because they are getting...a PAYCHECK.  ALWAYS follow the money!!
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disgustedtoo Sep 19, 2019
OP didn't hire through an agency.
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Oh my goodness! Your experience sounds exactly like what my family and I experienced while trying to care for my mom, and are still experience with my disabled sister. It really is exactly as you say. You start out thinking you’ve finally found a reliable person(s) and within a couple of visits it’s all over. It makes you realize how little our society cares for one another - particularly the weaker members. I’m so sorry you’re experiencing this - and I know that’s not helpful, trust me! Where are you located?
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gdaughter Sep 19, 2019
What is going on out there! We're all so similar in our experiences. Originally I had said to people that it's almost like there is an underground text book on how to do the job to be sure you are not asked again! I wish I would have taken pictures of how the bed was made. It's amazing...
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My problem has been with male caregivers for my husband, who quickly do their duties (only the least of what needs to be done) and then are sitting on the couch using their cell phones for half the time they are here. I now have a female caregiver who is the nurturing type with a great personality. I’m waiting for something to go wrong because she is too good to be true. Keep looking there is an angel out there for your mother. Good Luck and may God be with you.
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For the last 7 years my Home Health Aids (HHA) or my Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) have come thru one agency. When one of caregivers can't come in they tell the agency and the agency finds a replacement. Go thru a reliable agency. Explain your problem. Have them replace caregivers that don't do what is expected. Make sure whoever you bring on board knows what is expected. Since you sign the checks, you call the shots, not only to the caregiver but to the agency.
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I went thru 43 caregivers before I got 3 angels. It was a grueling process but it was worth it. I was finally able to be at peace knowing mom was "not in harms way". I'm not an only child but I may as well be. Three siblings who do absolute minimum. Not even speaking to them now. I AM DONE, when Mom crosses over...I will cut all ties and move on with my life. Living for me as best as I can since I am not a young woman. But, I committed to Mom and I will fulfill that commitment. With that being said, I am not you. You are a young woman and you are entitled to a full life. Perhaps, you may want to discuss this with your mom. IT NOT JUST ABOUT HER.
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gdaughter Sep 19, 2019
OMG. 43! It's like Murphy Brown's secretaries!
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