Follow
Share

This a.m, I was not informed that she had an appointment earlier than when I get there. I was in shock and my knee jerk is to apologize. But I tried to finish the rest of the day and was reminded about how I cannot be trusted to get there on time? The daughter not the mother, told me how wrong this was.


I am on a 2 week trial. I don’t want to work for someone whom is going to blame me for something above my knowledge.


As a caregiver I strive like most all of you do for perfection, and am very hard on myself to begin with. I told the daughter in the beginning that I needed flexibility as I was squeezing her mother in and was not sure if I could do this regardless. I feel horrible that no one told me about the appointment, but have a very negative feeling now about moving forward. Advice?

Find Care & Housing
Makesadifference response to a reply.

"I was very honest, they apologized and said they were very disappointed in my decision but understood.

I feel very good about the decision. Thanks for all the positive support I have been given!"
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to JoAnn29
Report

Personally, as I have an aversion to being blamed for things that are not my fault, I would simply be TELLING the daughter you are not a mind reader and will not be blamed for not doing something you had no knowledge of. In the circumstances as you had not been informed and the appointment was before your start time I would suggest the daughter should have taken her mother not moaned at you for not doing it. You are there to assist mother not take flak from the daughter and if she cannot be civil about that then she can find someone else - you don't need to work in a situation like that, plenty of people would be very grateful for some assistance.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to TaylorUK
Report

Be kind but firm about your availability. Please try ti give this client's family firm days and times you are available.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Taarna
Report

Don't be hard on yourself. You can't be a mind reader or know what you don't. I'd be framing it a wee bit differently: It's obvious either your client or her daughter dropped the ball, and weren't you convenient to deflect their screw up on as a scape goat?! As someone caring for 2 elder parents, I can tell you with my two it is at times an overwhelming and exhausting task, particularly trying to take care of your own life as well. I think I might tell the dtr hey, I get it, but I will not be used to cast blame on for errors in letting me know in advance about appointments. You need to give me a weeks notice so I can plan accordingly and IF you are hiring yourself out privately, I'd make clear what my business/work hours are, and before or after that time there's a surcharge:-)
You have no business feeling horrible, and you are rightfully concerned about how the family will handle things going forward. Better to get this clarified now than have additional issues.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to gdaughter
Report

I read your past posts on the board so I will be quite honest with you. This is the third or fourth family in as many years that has let you go. There is always a family member or other caregiver in the wrong and you are always in the right. Also, you have had incidents with tardiness before.

It is hard enough being an unpaid "family" caregiver to an elder then dealing with a tardy and a caregiver who in my perception may have issues butting in or causing problems with others is stressful. I think you need to rethink your approach and mission. You are there to support the client and the families needs.

As for the planner in the computer. I have enough problems with phones and pads, I would flip out if the caregiver actually brought in a computer.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Stacy0122
Report

How did they take your decision not to continue with the job? Did you give them honest feedback?
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to lkdrymom
Report
Makeadifference Jun 18, 2021
I was very honest, they apologized and said they were very disappointed in my decision but understood.

I feel very good about the decision. Thanks for all the positive support I have been given!
(2)
Report
Makeadifference - Is there a reason you have to wait 2 weeks before you can say thanks but no thanks? Why not just leave now? You don't want them accuse you of something else. Theft perhaps, very common with dementia people, or having them saying how bad you are before they fire you.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to polarbear
Report
NeedHelpWithMom Jun 17, 2021
The OP decided to leave the position. I don’t blame her. She claims that she was unaware of her client’s appointment because no one informed her. Sounds like the family is taking our their frustrations on the caregiver. The family screwed up if they didn’t tell her about the appointment. I would drop her as a client too.

She can continue to focus on the clients who appreciate her. Hopefully, most of her clients and their families are reasonable people. There are always going to be people that caregivers encounter who will be difficult to reason with. It’s a losing battle. It’s best for her to walk away from a troublesome client instead of allowing them to make her life miserable.
(3)
Report
See 6 more replies
Sounds like a wise decision. Life is challenging enough without people looking for excuses to be ugly.

I would say that you dodged a bullet by this issue coming up before your contract became effective.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal
Report
Makeadifference Jun 17, 2021
Thank you for your support
(1)
Report
I find that people don't listen. Seems this daughter didn't. I agree, she owes you an apology.

As you said, its a trial period and already problems with the daughter. You are an experienced professional. So take that professionalism and have a "coming to Jesus" discussion privately with the daughter. Explain again that you have "squeezed" her Mom into your schedule. That it was agreed that 10am was your starting time. That you were not made aware that Mom had an appt as you were the week before. If you had been told you may have been able to adjust your schedule but if not, Mom would have had to find another way or canceled it and rescheduled for when u were on duty. I would tell her it does not look like you will be a good fit. And if she continues to treat aides this way, she is going to have a hard time keeping them. Yes, there are unreliable ones but ur not one of them. You were on time.

I see trouble ahead so I would not take the job.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to JoAnn29
Report
Makeadifference Jun 17, 2021
Ok thank you JoAnn29 so much for a well written and received letter.

I have made a decision overnight that this is just not going to work for me. Another red flag was that everyone they try does not work out.

I don’t have the energy or the desire to walk into a job where in their eyes I am always going to be doing this or that wrong. I say that because after I was there and the mother was there she looked at me based on their total failure to communicate and did nothing to apologize, just kept saying this cannot happen again. I am NOT A caregiver that misses appointments. I just don’t. I have been doing this now for almost 20 years and have this down pretty well. I can always learn from families that is true but I just don’t want to have to deal with a already very frustrated family (because the mother is extremely high maintenance) per the daughter.

thanks again for your welcome advice.
(3)
Report
See 2 more replies
I apologize if this has already been covered; I just skimmed through the other posts and it looks like you have some good advice and suggestions.

For scheduling, I might look to the way home care staff from agencies manage their schedules:  they leave a calendar and mark ahead of time their days and arrivals for home PT, OT, nursing, etc.   Most leave their phone number for contact if anything changes, or if they're going to be late.

If you are at all considering continuing with this family (and I'm not sure I would be), insist on this, with the daughter and mother both concurring on a printed calendar with appointments on the dates they need assistance, adequate arrival time for you (and agreed to by all), and info on the appointment.   They should also provide you with the destination address, phone, and directions (although you can choose your own if you're familiar with the area).   Any changes should be notified to you immediately.

I would approach this as advance planning, before this relationship goes any farther,  and just mention the incident you described.  It could be that they don't know how to work with care help, or that there's friction between them, or that they're just not very cooperative.  

Either way, you need to establish this now and decide if it's a workable situation.  From skimming the other posts, it seems as though it's the direction you'll take, but at least raising the issue of joint scheduling might address any lingering doubts you may have in the future.

BTW, I assume you're private pay; did you sign a contract?   If not, is there a specific reason why?    These are the kind of provisions that could be included in a contract (which would also address timely payment).
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to GardenArtist
Report
Makeadifference Jun 17, 2021
I have a contract that starts in one week.

after having a night to sleep on it, it is not worth the stress of adding this position to my calendar. I absolutely love all of the jobs I currently have, and do not need this job. I really just said yes to the trial because the daughter was begging me to take it, (as I was the first intelligent care professional that my mother felt would meet her needs).
I so appreciate all the advice from everyone and each person had a piece of information for me to take away from it.

thank you
(2)
Report
This post hit close to home.

When I worked Eldercare, I had a HUGE calendar in my clients' homes and we kept meticulous records about WHEN I would work, what times, appts., etc. We LIVED by that calendar.

I had several occasions where I showed up for work and no one was home. I would check to make sure my client wasn't home alone waiting for me (she lived with daughter & family) and if she didn't show up within 15-30 minutes and I couldn't reach her, I called it a day, left a note and got paid for 4 hrs. This was company policy. They didn't expect me to read minds! Many times my client would run out the door with her daughter to visit someone or go to brunch and neglect to tell me there had been a change in scheduling.

THAT'S totally unprofessional and I just followed company protocol on it.

After a couple of these events, the daughter realized I was NOT her private servant, to sit in the corner quietly until summoned, I was a personal assistant and had value. Then things got better.

We weren't supposed to give our clients our home phone #'s, but I did b/c the schedule could change at the drop of a hat and I'd be left with an 'empty' day that they had to pay for.

(I will add that this was 14 years ago and cell phones were just becoming a 'thing'--and I didn't have texting capability anyway!)

Don't let yourself get treated like a Cinderella. My clients were all (for some reason, I don't know why) VERY wealthy and the attitude was that I was poor and they could boss me around. I had to teach them how to treat me. I was respectful of both mother and daughter, but I needed to show them that was a 2 way street.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Midkid58
Report

These are people you do not want to work for and I hope you politely decline the job.

The problem is elders often have unrealistic expectations. I wanted my dad to hire a 'companion" , someone to check in on him, assist with small things, maybe run him on an errand. I found a great lady but I had to practically twist my father's arm to get him to hire her for one three-hour day. He could easily afford it. The problem was he assumed this woman was now 'on call' for his every need. He refused to schedule her for another day and just assumed she'd show up when he wanted her there. He didn't want to hear about her other clients. He expected she was there for him and him alone.

I could understand the mom maybe acting this way but the daughter was way out of line. Did you ever tell her your scheduled start time was 10am and you were early and that no one had told you about the appointment?
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to lkdrymom
Report
Makeadifference Jun 17, 2021
Thank you so much! I have decided to decline the position and call the trial period over.
(1)
Report
I wonder if this woman, the daughter, is going to always be this way. As we all know, some people simply can’t be pleased, no matter what we do. Also, let’s face it, some people just love to complain about everything. I refer to this type of person as an energy vampire. They will drain every ounce of energy that we have.

If this is what her core personality is like, I wouldn’t blame you for not wanting to stick around. As for me, if a person mistreats me, for any reason, such as being overly stressed out or whatever and they are sincerely sorry, I forgive and forget. We all have bad days. I deeply respect people who own their behavior. I have no respect for people who try to use me or think that I am a doormat.

We have to give respect to receive it. Respect is earned. Most people who behave as your client’s daughter did are incredibly insecure. They have to knock others down to build themselves up. It’s sad, really. Or possibly, she has been mistreated all of her life, so she is treating others as she was treated, no matter what the reason though, you don’t have to accept it. She’s responsible for her actions and hopefully she will realize that her method of communication doesn’t fly and ideally will seek therapy to learn to communicate properly. Sadly, some people never see where they are wrong. With them, it’s always the other person who is wrong.

I don’t look for trouble when building a relationship, and generally hope for the best from others. So, I am usually caught of guard if someone acts inappropriately. It’s an awkward position to be in. I am sure that you were thrown off by this incident. I suppose that we shouldn’t be surprised by anything though. It’s hard if we are kind at heart and give people the benefit of the doubt. These things teach us to be on guard for unpleasant situations.

If there are legitimate reasons to complain, the client certainly has a right to do so, but she should do it in a professional manner. There is a proper way to handle grievances. She failed to communicate reasonably, even if you were guilty. If she felt that you were wrong, she could have calmly inquired about the matter.

People in healthcare are always having to deal with emergencies. I had caregivers who were running late when caring for my mom. They were polite and called me, and I never blew a rod, screaming at them because they had legitimate reasons for being late.

You weren’t late. She screwed up and should apologize to you. If she does apologize, then you can reassess the situation to see if you will accept her as a client that you wish to serve. I feel that it’s a personal decision if you choose to bring up her behavior for discussion. You don’t owe that to her but if you wanted to tell her that you didn’t appreciate her screaming, you are within your right to do so.

Wishing you all the best in your job as a caregiver. I respect you for reaching out to this forum for feedback. It shows how much you care and take pride in your work.

Thank you for being willing to do a tough job! I am very grateful to the people who ran the agency that I used for my mom. They handled any issues, which were few, very well. I am grateful to the caregivers who cared for my mom. I am extremely grateful to her hospice organization and the complete hospice team that cared for my mother. My mom died with dignity and free from pain. No one can ask for anymore than that.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
Report
Makeadifference Jun 17, 2021
Thank you

well written!
(2)
Report
Hello, Thank you for writing. It makes the rest of the caregiving community make the professional business if one caregiver is late and really does not show a care for their clients. Previous to this, I was an Executive Assistant in Banking and understand 'the client is always right" thoughts very clearly.

That is something that I do not understand one bit. I am sorry this happens to you.

I have a planner and it is in my computer and wrote down all of my must have meetings, so that moving forward, I will not be made to feel like i am forgetting anything.

The mother has Dementia and this is my second week. I know I can do the job, but do i want to? I am not sure if I do anymore, and that a is my perfect right as we had a specific "two week trial" to make sure that things would go very smooth.

Again, Thank you.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Makeadifference
Report

You mentioned that you squeezed this client into your schedule. It sounds like you have plenty of work. If this family is already failing to communicate and enjoys complaining, at the end of the 2 week trial… I would politely state this caregiving opportunity is not a good fit and wish them well. Not only do they have you on a trial… you are trying them out as well. You deserve better!!
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Sunnydayze
Report
Makeadifference Jun 17, 2021
Fabulous answer, as I listened to everyone on Agingcare.com and went back through all of my notes, and that is what I "professionally" did.

It was not going to work.

Thank you for your support.
(4)
Report
See 1 more reply
I wouldn't aim for *perfection*. I'd aim for *professional*.

I wouldn't let one appointment sour things. Treat it as a learning experience. You will get to know your clients & ways they communicate best.

Have all shift times agreed & confirmed. If requested verbaly, read it back to client to confirm. If continuing issues with this, use prompts eg ask to see the appointment cards or calender she uses to help. If client is unable to arrange, deal directly with the responsible person (in this case the daughter). Confirm requests with txt or email so you have it in writing. Ensure you have a calender (on phone) clearly showing all your appointments so no clashes.

My relative used to sometimes blame others for not remembering an appointment, or being so slow getting ready she arrived late. I used to call this out - say how I saw it (politely). Then moved on with the next part of the day.

Good luck with your role. You obviously care about doing a top job, which is fantastic! Just be good to yourself & stand up for yourself when needed too. Otherwise dealing with people can drain you.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Beatty
Report
Makeadifference Jun 17, 2021
Thank you.

Your answer was tremendously helpful!
(1)
Report
Did you arrive when you were supposed to?
Did they neglect to change your hours to reflect the need to have you a bit earlier?
If possible get a calendar and highlight the days you will be there. And write down every appointment and what time you need to arrive. Have your employer initial the schedule you can also initial it. You now have it in writing. Go ahead and put it in your phone or where ever you keep your schedule. If there is a problem you have your little calendar with the schedule that has been initialed / approved. If there is a change that has to modify it rewrite it in your calendar and have it initialed by both of you.
If you do not think that you can fulfill your obligation given your schedule let the client know as soon as possible and if you can stay until they get a replacement. If you can it would be nice to stay and train the new hire if the employer would like you to.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Grandma1954
Report
Makeadifference Jun 17, 2021
I arrived 5 minutes earlier than i was supposed to. Neither the daughter nor the mom included me in on the doctor's appointment. I am always early for appointments, so this had me in a perplexed situation.

Thank you for the last few paragraphs, that was very helpful to me, as far as staying on.

Your response gave me hope!
(1)
Report
You & your client are on opposite ends of the spectrum if you expect flexibility due to 'squeezing her mother in' to your schedule, and the client expects you to be there at her beck and call. It cannot be done both ways.

Either you and the client get on the same page or this job won't work out. And, if the job does work out, you need the mother's appointment schedule in ADVANCE so you'll know ahead of time when you'll need to arrive at the home to pick her up. Mind reading isn't on your list of skills!

Good luck!
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to lealonnie1
Report
Makeadifference Jun 17, 2021
Thank you for the very wise advice. I suppose I should not have said "squeeze" and I learn everyday as we all do.

I was a former Executive Assistant to the President of a Bank, and I did a lot of assuming which all turned out perfect in that career, but communication is essential.

Your comments were taken very positively. Thanks again.
(2)
Report
You are okay, the daughter is not okay.
Leave before you get another blow to your suffering self-esteem.

Try not to schedule yourself so much that you have to squeeze a client in.
Save that time for when your other clients need to call you for added help.

I see problems with this statement: " I told the daughter in the beginning that I needed flexibility as I was squeezing her mother in and was not sure if I could do this regardless."
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Sendhelp
Report
Makeadifference Jun 17, 2021
Thank you, thank you and thank you.

Yes "squeezing in" was not a proper set of words.

I appreciate your valuable comments with the last paragraph.

Always learning,
(1)
Report
You mean, the mother bent your ear all day about how unreliable you were, and the daughter later reassured you that the missed (missed? or was she just late for it?) appointment was not your fault and that her mother ought not to have blamed you for it?

Striving for perfection can't include being a mind-reader or a clairvoyant. If nobody told you about the appointment, not to mention that whoever made the appointment is a bit of a plank seeing as you couldn't possibly have got there in time to escort her, then by no stretch of the imagination is this any reflection on your "reliability."

Who did make the appointment, actually, and when? - it might explain a lot, and give you pointers about how to head off anything like this in future.

And what are your client's care needs? Any mental or cognitive issues in there?

I've just come from a bed call; when I arrived at nine p.m. the client confidently told me that she wouldn't be needing any support tonight because she was going to Bath (the city, not the bathroom fitting) with her daughters and staying there for two days. A slight misunderstanding, it turned out; and after an hour and a half I left her safely tucked up in bed with her magazine and her glasses - and having taken her Donepezil, which was what gave me a clue.

The point is that the challenges are one of the most satisfying parts of social care work. Your client was dispersing blame, for whatever reason, and you probably won't altogether hear the end of it for some time yet; but that doesn't mean you should take the ludicrously unfair criticism to heart. It IS ludicrous. Try telling her when you arrive that you've packed your crystal ball today so nothing will faze you - find whatever way you like that helps you see the lighter, funny side. You will be proud of yourself if you can get past this.

P.S. If it's the *daughter* who accused you of unreliability, there's nothing funny about it. Ask her politely but in straight terms how you are to be on time for an appointment which begins before your scheduled hours and which you have not been told about. Make it clear that you expect an apology.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Countrymouse
Report
Makeadifference Jun 17, 2021
Dear Countrymouse:

The daughter had me on the phone as I was pulling up to their driveway at 9:55am. She told me how irresponsible that was, and her mother is an "old lady" (73), I did say she is not an "old lady" and all the while that she was berating me, the mother decided to drive herself. I was unaware that the mother could drive.
Alot is not being told to me, and I have realized during this trial period that there is an incredible amount of chaos, where chaos does not need to be.
I did not respond to the daughter, as she was so loud and verbal, that I thought I would receive an apology today sometime. Never have expectations, you will always be disappointed.
I have also realized that the job, which is very familiar to me with my previous Executive Assistant positions, is not a problem. I believe it is the personalities. They have been looking since January, and I was the first person that was able to interview professionally, and the mother liked me very much. This two week trial is for that reason. It has to be a mutually enjoyable job for both.

It felt ludicrous. I was to show up at 10:00 am and was there at 9:55am. The mother decided to drive herself, and really it was not that big of an issue. They made me feel like a slug, but after years of care giving, I do not take anything personal. People are just like bugs, all different kinds, with many different types of personalities.

I feel they are going to be a Daughter and Mother team to point out my every error, and honestly, I have way too much to do in life to put up with that.

I will write a very kind note, that during the "trial" and especially yesterday's non communication to me, that it deserved an apology.

Countrymouse: I am so happy that you are still online helping people. The answers and questions you gave me were very constructive and have given me a platform to decide "what do I want to do" during this 2 week trial.

It is good to see your name.

All the best
(3)
Report
See 1 more reply
Text or email her the night before an appointment (but not late at night) to confirm what is on your calendar matches hers. This way if there's any issues or changes they have their opportunity to communicated it to you. Do everything in writing. It's the only way to show you're not the one screwing up. If they call you then send them a "confirmation" email or text summarizing what was discussed in the email and asking them to acknowledge the accuracy of what was agreed upon. If they find this annoying or too much work, that's their problem. They'll get the picture and you'll have proof. I do this all the time with my caregivers.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Geaton777
Report
Makeadifference Jun 17, 2021
I chose to terminate the client and have never felt like I made the best decision like I did here!
The mother wanted one thing, the daughter wanted another. Never an apology to me but I never have expectations otherwise I am always disappointed! Just feel very good that I will not be continuing in that position.
Thank you to everyone for rallying behind me to be honest, give your own unique opinions and thoughts. It was really helpful in me making the decision for me.
I feel like I was very professional and just said that I had to decline their offer of employment. I wished them well. Have not heard a word from them.

Thanks again
(3)
Report
See 2 more replies
I probably take it too far in the other direction from what Stacy recommended but I like what she suggested about taking in the planner and finding out about the appointments that are scheduled.
What I do is provide a desk calendar that we leave out all the time. This is for the caregiver to post in writing specific tasks or activities we are tracking. It’s both a reminder of what needs doing and a confirmation it’s been done.
On the portion that shows the two pages for the entire month at a glance, I also post important things like appointments. This way it is easy to take in things like this appointment in the context of the week. Things that I want to remember the date and time on like change the ac filter, etc. are also on the month at a glance, groomer, things going on In the household to keep the caregiver in the know even if not her responsibility.
To me, it’s my responsibility to show what needs to be done even though we will have discussed it. There are so many details. It’s the caregivers responsibility to do the task and then check that it has been accomplished. But I admit, I would be super impressed if a caregiver came in and took the initiative to ask about upcoming appointments and any related details, like are these scheduled every month or quarter. It sounds like this client has a lot of appointments.
I’m really sorry you had a tough day and there was an upset. I think I would mark it up to a misunderstanding for this time but if you aren’t treated with respect then I would look for a better fit. Your bio indicates that you are very experienced. I’m thinking the daughter may be dealing with a few issues.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to 97yroldmom
Report
Stacy0122 Jun 16, 2021
I am speaking from getting burned. I am very far personally in the other direction also with lists and spreadsheet. I had posted right after I became upset with the caregiver over the use of a diaper genie. I have diapers with Mr. Yuck on the kitchen trash and a sign, NO DEPENDS but for some unknown reason CG does not quite grasp it. I guess telling her 2X a day, 5 days a week since Feb 2020 has me a little annoyed. The new girl, she got kicked out used her own initive and I appreciated it greatly.
(2)
Report
See 2 more replies
This would bother me as well. Not only were you not told, but the appointment was scheduled for a time that you would not have been there anyway? There's no way you would have agreed to that. They clearly didn't tell you.

I agree it could have been a one time mistake, but it bothers me that you were reminded of it over and over for the balance of the day and that suggests to me that these people maybe aren't good at saying "I'm sorry. Maybe I did not tell you. How can we make sure this does not happen again?"

Moving forward, these high maintenance types need constant comparing of notes/schedules so that they don't get to blame you for something they will KNOW they had multiple opportunities to have told you. I have to do this comparing of notes with my DH and it has helped tremendously. His entire family is this way - they will put the blame anywhere and everywhere regarding what was stated or not stated. Repeat the expectations as needed - even after you believe you have it straight in your head. Review, review, review. Don't give them an inch or they will pull this on you again and again and it will never be their fault.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Mysteryshopper
Report
Makeadifference Jun 17, 2021
Thank you for your comments.

Extremely helpful to me.
(2)
Report
The caregiver at my house p!sses me off daily. She is late and lacks any sense what so ever. She does the same mistakes over and over.

As the person on the other side. People make mistakes and hopefully it is a one time deal. Show inititive, take in a planner or whatever, sit with the daughter and write down all future appointments. It is little actions that will prove your worth.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Stacy0122
Report

Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter