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I asked if there was a fee. I was told no but I could donate to COA, not to the caregiver because they are not volunteering but are paid by COA. She said they will, bathe mom, sit with mom and do light housekeeping in her room. What exactly is light housekeeping?


Should I stay and observe the first time or get out of the house? I want to leave. I never get away.


I do everything and mainly want sitting with mom. What has been everyone’s experience with sitters? Do any of you ask for light housekeeping from them? Please share. Thanks.


They start tomorrow for four hours. Yay!

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Well, from the caregiver's/aides perspective her primary job is to get the job of cleaning etc done. So she technically can't sit down and chat with mom for the time she is there though certainly small talk along the way or at the start or conclusion would be anticipated. In other words, to get her job done, she HAS to ignore mom. If you want a companion for mom, then that's what you need to arrange for...and ask for. Maybe a volunteer program can offer someone. Your mom on the other hand may have no interest in socializing, as you have pointed out. Some people don't want to. We wouldn't want what we don't want pushed down our throats, so why should they? It's her lifestyle, unhealthy or not. Don't mix your own desires with hers. I think one of the most important things as we all age is that we want to have control over our lives. Aging inevitably brings losses, so being able to say I want to be left alone is a choice. And by forcing our ideas on someone, we burn our own energies and make them unhappy.
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NeedHelpWithMom Apr 22, 2019
Yeah, it really is an individual thing. Sometimes my mom naps for a couple of hours and wouldn’t want to chat.
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Sounds like you're across the Pond, but here one of my FIL's helpers does "light housekeeping" and she does his laundry (he has a washer/dryer in the apartment), dusts, will put on fresh sheets onto his bed if necessary, serves him lunch and washes the dishes after, stuff like that.

We did not stay and observe any of FIL's helpers. We allowed them to establish their own relationship. I would return 30 minutes or so before the 4 hours is over and ask the helper how it went and if s/he has any suggestions for or concerns about your dad.
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NeedHelpWithMom Apr 17, 2019
Thanks NY,

Sounds good to me.
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I was able to get nurse caregivers for my Mom after hospitalization. My Mom also doesn’t socialize too well. She prefers not to have someone around at all since she likes to sleep and doesn’t trust anyone. I did not stay around or meet with any of the nurses, but I asked them to call me with an update after their shift. I treated this as a test to see if I could transition my Mom to 4 hour caregiver support once the nurse visits ended. Mom controlled the process even with the brief nurse visits (15 mins) and decided she didn’t want any help. 😒 I think she just doesn’t want anyone around, so I’ve accepted it for now. Good luck with your caregiver. My Grandmother had a great caregiver that would pick her up Wendy’s and KFC, run errands, clean, cook, and help her with bathing, etc. My Gram enjoyed her company, often speaking of her like she was a close family member. If you end up with a good caregiver that will truly be a blessing for you! ☺️
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NeedHelpWithMom Apr 17, 2019
Thanks, appreciate the feedback.
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After interviewing and accepting a company I would prepare a small folder of things that need to be done. I am referring to feeding, monitor the taking of meds and the times. Emergency numbers and who to call first should the need arise.
ETC. Mainly just a guide that meets your needs and the companies allowance for care.
I agree your LO needs to see people once in a while. But so do you. Get out when you can but don't let the companion company try to control you.
The ones I hired for Luz were very good. After a while it became that we got the same person each time. And they became friends. Luz was non-verbal so she just listened and watched TV but, I felt good and Luz did not seem troubled.
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NeedHelpWithMom Apr 19, 2019
Thanks Old Sailor,

This info helps. Appreciate it.
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When my dad had 8 hours a month - "light housekeeping"  was light dusting and vacuuming, serving an already prepared meal and washing the dishes. Otherwise - helping dad bathe and seeing that the clothes were in the laundry basket. Mostly keeping track of dad so he had company and was not alone.
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NeedHelpWithMom Apr 17, 2019
Thanks, guess my concern is that she may ignore mom. My mom has depended on me for so long. Would not go to senior center for activities, therefore no socialization. I can’t see how that is emotionally healthy but she never socialized a great deal before. I did socialize so I suffered. Not as much of a change for her in that regard. I feel she needs to see other faces from time to time. Any thoughts?
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A good caregiver will know how to deal with your mom.

Calm down or mom will pick that up and potentially get upset feeling your anxiety.

Don't micromanage, let them find their groove and you go enjoy the time.
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NeedHelpWithMom Apr 18, 2019
Thanks,

Just concerned that it will be a good fit. Caregiver called and already wants to change schedule. Grrrrr. I told her no. We’ll see how it goes.
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First time I would stay for a while.
I hope you get a chance to talk to the caregiver first and tell her/ or him, a bit about your Mom and what you expect.
Introduce them to each other.
Maybe even sit down with a cup of coffee or tea then say ..."Mom, Sally is going to stay here while I run to the store" This is if you feel comfortable and your mom feels comfortable.
A few things to discuss with the caregiver:
In general how "good" is your mom with showers or bathing? If she is resistant I would make sure the caregiver knows that from the start.
What time of day is she at her best?
What are her favorite things to do, her favorite foods, shows, games?
Caregivers once they get to know someone can work wonders. BUT some people just don't "click" with others and if you think your mom is uncomfortable, you are uncomfortable or you do not think the caregiver they sent is the one to care for your mom ask for someone else. We all have personalities and some clash with others and it is not rude to ask for someone else. It is like the "Dating Game" and it might take more than 1 caregiver to find one that fits.
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NeedHelpWithMom Apr 22, 2019
Thanks Grandma. Yes, running a few errands would be nice. I get tired of waiting to have to go to the grocery after hubby gets home.
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I am a an employee of home care agency- the most important part of my job is to be a companion first and then do the necessary tasks. I have learned the importance of chatting with both the client and family members since it helps me understand what the client needs and wants! After taking care of my hubby for 12 years I felt I needed to help others. And it has been good for me to have others to be with- caregiving for 4 hours is easy and 4 hours gives the caregiver a time to refresh!
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NeedHelpWithMom Apr 22, 2019
I like your advice. My mom needs another companion other than me. I think that is important too.
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Congratulations, NeedsHelp, with getting some respite care for mother.

I would stay at least 20 minutes the first visit so that you can form a relationship with the caregiver. Over the many years that we took care of our parents we supplemented with many professional caregivers. Some of them were like people going through a revolving door, and others were with us for years. It is just the nature of the job. It was always so interesting getting to know them and the story of their lives. Share some facts or stories about you and your mother also. It is a leap of faith to trust a vulnerable adult with a stranger. We had to trust that the agency had properly vetted the worker, but instinctively, I felt that they would get better care if the professional caregivers saw their clients as well-rounded people who were more than just their problems and infirmities.

As others have advised, print out a list of what you expect to get done, as well as socializing with mother. The socializing would be hard to document, but you have at least written it down as part of your expectations.

Is the 4 hour block of time written in stone or can that be changed? I would tend to opt for two hours, so you could have respite to look forward to every week. If done efficiently, everything, including socializing could be done in a 2 hour time frame. I have seen it happen! After you get to know the caregiver, on subsequent visits, be ready to skeedaddle out the door! Preplan your jaunts, even if you just go to a coffee shop to sit alone. And whatever you do, be back on time out of fairness to the caregiver. I hope this respite time is enjoyable and a blessing for both you and your mother.
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gdaughter Apr 22, 2019
Regrettably too many if not most agencies have increased the minimum amount of time to 4 hours, so staff can see 2 people a day instead of 4. It makes it far more expensive for families and those needing help and I do not think it is a good idea, but we are at their mercy.
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I should busy yourself about the house (get your head down for a nap, take a bath, potter in the garden) but be accessible and look in on them once or twice, just for the first time or two.

Light housekeeping would include, e.g. clearing away after a meal, washing up a cup or two, wiping down a table, hoovering a rug. But not cleaning the bathroom, mopping floors, washing windows. You should find the room as you would expect to have left it, sort of thing.
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gdaughter Apr 22, 2019
In our program light housekeeping DOES include cleaning the bathroom, mopping floors and windows as far as can be reached without a ladder...as well as vacuuming, dusting and other tasks
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