We care for my Father-in-law who lives with us. We are hiring a paid caregiver (registered CNA) to come in and help with daily tasks. He needs verbal cues to complete tasks but he generally does them willingly and with a good attitude. If he lived alone we would expect his helper to help keep his home straight and tidy on a daily basis. Not as a full maid, but to do daily small tasks like throwing away newspapers, taking out the trash, sweeping the floor periodically, maybe cleaning out the fridge on occasion. But since he lives with us those boundary lines are not as clear. If you have a hired caretaker in your home, what tasks do you ask or expect them to do?


If our client were living with his family as part of the family we would not be doing any domestic routines. We do, out of ordinary courtesy and respect, leave bathrooms, kitchens and any other shared areas as clean and tidy as we would hope to find them, and we do obvious things - such as change a bin liner or wipe a table - when they crop up within our support plan.

But the daily tidying and light housework, no. You want a cleaner/housekeeper, not a CNA.

Having said that, all things are possible to those who agree them openly beforehand as part of a contract. Write out your ideal support plan, and negotiate!
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to Countrymouse

Only task that directly involve your my love one.( to keep their area neat and clean, to keep them neat and clean, to pick up after them, to prepare them a meal, clean what was used to prepare the meal and he eat or drink from, to do his laundry, and to entertain them).
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Reply to devinely12

I have at least 5 different people each week who fill in the 70 hours per week that my wife's insurance covers. Each one of them have different abilities, strengths and willingness to do things around the home.

One woman will scrub the floors, clean and straighten the cabinets, scrub bathrooms, almost anything to keep busy.

another one is content to sit in a chair and only do what she is asked to do and usually reluctantly. Last week after I had asked her to empty my wife's catheter bag and it was still when the next aide came on, she was asked by the second aide "What, are you afraid of the catheter bag? We have plenty of cloves to use!

Most are in between these extremes. Some have the attitude that anything that they do that helps me, also helps my wife as it gives me more time to care for her.

I asked each to make a list of things that they do while on duty and combined them into a list of :
Required things to do or check each shift.
Suggested items to keep busy.
Items that will allow me more time with my wife when they are not working.

We do NOT have any live-ins so I don't know if this will help or not.
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Reply to garylee

they should be only tending to your that means YOU clean out the frig, you clean the floors, etc. To me it would mean that the caregiver gets him up, makes HIM breakfast, cleans up HIS dishes, cleans HIS clothes, anything to do with him..........UNLESS you ask them to do all the dishes which would not be fair, if the rest of the family does nothing and then she would be considered a maid. make sure you state up front what is expected and if you are asking her to be the families maid of doing everyone's laundry, etc., you may have a hard time finding someone. Sorry to sound so harsh, but unless you are retired and there everyday that person would be helping you to help the FIL......but if you are working then they are there to care for him and him only. I don't know what else to say other than make sure upfront what you want done for the FIL and nothing else. so if you come home to other dirty clothes, etc and you didn't specify that she was to handle everyone elses laundry then you will be doing that. wishing you luck.
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Reply to wolflover451
TouchMatters May 14, 2021
Please reflect on the tone of your response - very angry. People generally put up defenses immediately to protect themselves when accosted.
Have you examined your own feelings to respond this way?
Are you angry or feeling resentful?

If the recipient of care 'uses' or 'needs' area(s) or appliances, then I believe "yes," they are to clean out the refrigerator and clean the floors:
Depends on if the CNA or care provider:
* Is hired directly as an ind contractor, they can be asked to do whatever care is needed that supports the well being of the recipient.
* Is contracted/ hired through social services who pay or contribute financially to the care, they yes - clear guidelines need to be addressed with the agency involved.
* If an ind care provider, the person hiring needs to ask the CNA or care provider what they will do and take it from there.
* If an ind care provider, the dishes and refrigerator foods will be co-mingled. And, unless hired by an agency or paid by social services, are there any reasons why a caregiver cannot do these things?
I’m a caregiver, in home. The daughter and son in law of the woman I care for moved in with her when she could no longer be alone. On the weekends, they go to their home while I stay the weekend with the “client”.
I asked for clear expectations before I accepted the position. Since the three of them live there together there are different dynamics where I’m concerned. Lay it all out on paper for the care giver, just a list of what you need her (or him) to do and anything you specifically do not want her to do. Address any issues that arise immediately. Hopefully the caregiver isn’t easily offended but instead welcomes your feedback. Common sense tells me that I want to leave the home just as tidy as it was when I arrived. I don’t leave a single trace of me behind when I leave on Sunday night. But you’re dealing with personalities in choosing caregivers so it can be tricky. Say a prayer that you choose the right one and let the candidate know that you have to insist on certain things from the beginning, that it’s not personal, but you need her to know what you expect. Since the caregiver is there to care for your dad, then it’s really not appropriate to ask for chores to be done unrelated to your dad unless you are paying for that as well. But keeping things at least as tidy as you left them is a given and hopefully the caregiver will go above what’s expected without crossing boundaries. Good luck!
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Reply to IamAmy

You want a maid service or house keeper I am so tired of people wanting to lump all that into a CNA or sitter And dont want to pay for that. The basics on here are correct but walking the dog, cleaning out the fridge.... Really.
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Reply to Tootieboot
TouchMatters May 14, 2021
Yes, really. If the recipient needing care has a dog, which is a huge emotional and psychological SUPPORT to the recipient (often legally), then walking the dog is a major responsibility for a care provider - as the benefits directly support the recipient.
* If the care provider is an ind contractor, they can make their own decisions of what they will and will not do. They are not forced to take a job if they do not want to do it.
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Agencies will specify what services they offer. Private pay is totally up to what you and the caregiver decides is appropriate.

Just know that with an agency what they specifically do depends on if the client lives alone or if they live in a home with other family members. They are only hired to help the client, not other family members.

I had one caregiver that offered to help me as well with other things but I always told her that I appreciated her offer but I didn’t expect her to help me.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

Imho, I had a caregiver at night for my late mother BEFORE I could arrive there. This individual's responsibilities (she happened to be not only an LPN, but also a friend, who worked pro bono for me) were to remain awake in a 12 hour shift from 9 PM to 9 AM, to monitor night time toileting, to provide water, to prepare breakfast (and leave a sandwich for lunch) and to react to a medical emergency. While much different than a day time caregiver, it was probably even more difficult as the individual had to be accustomed to STAYING AWAKE.
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Reply to Llamalover47

The main purpose of a caregiver to me was caring for mom. Chores weren’t a priority for us. The caregivers from the agency felt that we were being shortchanged if they didn’t do certain tasks.

I looked at if mom was comfortable and satisfied most of all. I think it took the caregiver awhile to get used to relaxing with mom because they were used to doing more with other clients.

Mom would tell them to join her for coffee, tea and a sandwich or her favorite snack such as cookies and ice cream.

I do feel that there was always a shortage of caregivers. The turnover seems to be high in the caregiving field. Mom had one favorite caregiver that we ended up with but overall did not complain if they rotated caregivers.

Some people don’t like a rotation of caregivers. I don’t know how that can be helped if the agency has a shortage of caregivers. I suppose that you would have to interview private pay and see if they are willing to stick around longer.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

Before I hired a service for my father, I drafted a list of all potential activities, then discussed them with the nurse who handled the intake process.    I was surprised how many they would not be willing to handle, but to be fair, most of the "rejected" tasks arose from my father's dysphagia.  They felt it was too much of a liability for them to address.

Since that was a primary concern, I had to hire a different service, which was more flexible, but not as professional.   Out of 3 people who saw Dad, only one was worthwhile.  

You might want to consider something like that - making a list and discussing it with your new caregiver to ensure you're both "on the same page" as to what's expected.

And I want to emphasize FreqFlyer's advice on liability issues.    At one point we considered hiring someone from his church, a young woman who allegedly had CNA experience.   I was in for a rude awakening when I contacted my father's  homeowner's insurance carrier.   

I was advised that any potential injury of the caregiver wasn't covered under HO insurance; we would have to purchase a business type liability policy, at about $700 a year (at that time, some few years ago.)  I was also warned that the premium would escalate annually.

I discussed the issue with a friend who owns his own business; his position was DON'T take this route.    Liability coverage could raise the cost so high that the services weren't worth it.   Better to let a company provide someone and cover any potential liabilities.
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Reply to GardenArtist

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