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Hello all. Everyone on this list is so helpful that I thought I would ask your advice. I live with my elderly father and I work from home. We have a Home Health Attendant during my work hours and I wanted to know if anyone else is in the same situation and how you handle it. At first our home health attendant was providing 24 hour care. But the fact that I live here made it easy for her to say that she was going to discontinue providing 24 hour care and only come during my work hours. The problem is that our HHA thinks she runs the show. My family hired her I had nothing to do with the process. As I mentioned I work from home and Im required to have a quiet work environment. Our HHA is very loud. Between my father having the TV turned up at full volume and their loud conversations its almost impossible to work. Very often she will take things upon herself without asking if it is okay to do whether its buying too many things or telling my father what he is going to do for the day without even asking me.
I just wanted to know how others deal with their HHA and if you have any advice for making it all run smoothly.

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Thanks LadeeC.
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the closest thing are our 'walls' .. "give a hug" will get you there. As will clicking on a profile name. It's still public, but not to a group post.
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Is there an inbox feature on this site, meaning the ability to send private messages as opposed to an entire group ?
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hehehe .. that happens a lot
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Great advice Ladee. and I had to check to see which Ladee I was talking to. lol.
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@ Too .. and mine, right back would have been, "You can stop yelling, I'm not hard of hearing. Next time take it home, or we'll eat it, you've been warned." And walk away. Brook no argument. Seriously, it's time to take control. She's winning (and whining). Fine, if she's not going shopping, she won't get paid. Dad loves her, but she IS replaceable. Please don't take offense, but .. you need to 'grow some' iron ovaries, m'dear. Or .. you could always move out, and let the POA take all the responsibility. Choices .. they're all yours.
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Thank you all for your thoughtful responses. Its a blessing to be able to put into words what goes on every day and have such honest caring, feedback. Im not a complete wimp. There are many different dynamics going on and it is a unique situation. @ Karen, she takes my father grocery shopping. He pays for the groceries but I feel too much is purchased that goes to waste even though he buys enough for all of us in the household. When Ive mentioned that the response is: WELL IM NOT GOING TO DO THE SHOPPING ANYMORE "

@Ladee, what you said makes perfect sense. Here is the response I would get: "I COOKED IT FOR MYSELF !!! I PUT IT AWAY FOR ME ...YOU KNOW YOU DIDNT COOK IT SO NO ONE SHOULD TOUCH IT !!"
When approached with a problem the response is never: "Sorry. I wont do that again." The response is yelling, defensiveness and threats of quitting
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Can you give more details on who hires her? Because I'm not sure why you are having a hard time deciding if it is someone with full authority. If she is already having an attitude, it's time to do something. Don't wait till she gets into your nerves.

You also mentioned that she is spending too much and doesn't ask for your approval right? Who provides the money she spends, is it you or your siblings? Because the cost of hiring HHA is already a challenge, so you don't allow her to be a burden by buying too many things without your or your siblings approval. And don't allow her to dictate what you need to do, like saying she isn't going to cook and commands you to cook...remember, she was hired as HHA and she is supposed to be doing that. I can imagine the tone of her voice while telling you to cook doesn't seem to be right, it's actually a command, not a request.

You got to do something before she controls everything...there are lots of agencies that offer HHA services, that conduct background and personality check so if you feel the need to get a new HHA, then you got to start talking to your dad, and who knows, it may be easier to convince him to get a new aide to provide long term care services for him :)
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TooMuch .. if it were me, I'd tell her, simply: "If it's not labeled as yours, since this is mine and my dad's house, I'll assume it's ours. End of story."
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If you continue to live there, you accept the conditions.
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Im convinced that this woman lives to start trouble. Things have been better with my Dad but she is continuing to try to antagonize me. For instance she prepared food for herself and left it. So I asssumed it was food my father hadnt eaten so I added the next days left overs to the container. As it turns out it belonged to her. So I offered to replace it, but she still wanted to make an issue out of it later. I ignored her. Im really not up for daily battles.
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Bookluvr, when I got so fed up two weeks ago and left, my siblings rang my phone so quickly telling me to GO BACK !! Most of the time only one of my siblings will respond to my emails. In fact my oldest sibling didnt even bother to check on our father knowing that I wasnt there for a couple of days. Even though the HHAs were there I still would have checked on him. Part of me wishes the HHAs hadnt stayed with my father so that he could see what its like to go back to living by himself.
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Yeah, I used to email my siblings on updates on mom. I guess they too got tired of my "complaining" how hard it is, how tiring it is, how father was being mean to me, etc.... So when mom ended up in the hospital, and I emailed the news... no one called. Days later, my BIL found out and actually lectured me. Told me to call. Sniff! They don't call, they don't respond to my email, but now when it's serious - I'm to call? Instead, I now text them. Know what you mean! =)
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Bookluvr, well if there is one thing I have done is DOCUMENT. I have a paper trail miles long. Im sure they are tired of my emails.
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Too much started another topic about this situation which can be found here: https://www.agingcare.com/discussions/reached-my-breaking-point-and-left-164223.htm She left but is back in the situation.
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To add to Jinx, Document Everything! Do a Journal - even if it's brief. Mention that you told your siblings about HHA, etc.. I would prefer that you send an Email to all your siblings explaining the situation - father, HHA,etc. Explain that father is in love with HHA and that you fear that she may take advantage of this. On that same email, Request for some authority over HHA.

Why? You are Leaving Paper Trails for any future event that something goes wrong. You will have documented via your emails of your concerns. This is very important. Mention what you described here to your siblings by Email. Document, document, document!
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I still want to punch her out, and your siblings, too.

If this is one of the things you can't change, then you need to protect your sanity by accepting it. It is not right or just, but it is. Try to ignore everything she does. Picture her in Heaven trying to explain her behavior to Jesus. If she gives you orders, agree that you will do it, and then don't do it. If she rearranges things, then please yourself - either rearrange them to your preference every day, or just let them stay as she puts them, but don't get upset.

If she is ever unkind to your children, become the Incredible Hulk. Tell her there is NOTHING you will not do to protect your children. Tell her that as a mother, she must know how dangerous it is to threaten a woman's children. Tell her you are confident that she will never mistreat your children again, because you don't like to think about how angry you would get and what you might do.

Practice a facial expression that is a polite mask. Never let her see that you have been touched by anything she does. Practice a sentence like, "No, I'm not going to do that.." Deliver it calmly and repeatedly when needed.

You don't need to try to make her respect you. You only need to respect yourself. Act like a lady, and like the bigger person. She is making herself look very bad. Maybe you can't win the battle, so don't fight it. Win the war by being a good person and staying serene within.

Honest, I want to come over and punch her out!
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You are all amazing ! Perhaps I can explain my hesitance. My father loves this woman. Its really the only thing he looks forward to every day besides arguing. I do not pay her. So anything I say is taken as complaining. In our family, its the ones with the money and prestige that matter most. I have addressed her behavior in recent weeks. Whenever I address it, she gets all upset and says : "Well then you do it !!" The next step will be for her to announce she is quitting. She knows my father likes her and doesnt value my opinion. In fact Im convinced that they gossip about me and my children. Why else would she feel the need to act like she is in charge ?

As for my siblings, nothing is really a big deal to them because they dont live here. So the things that bother me, they shrug off. Thats why I ask you all because maybe Im making a big deal out of nothing. If she were my employee it would be a different story !! If she came from an agency, trust me I would report her behavior. My family doesnt want to ruffle any feathers with her. So we are stuck, catering to her demands.
Its funny you mention using my money for the household expenses. I dont. I should clarify when I said pay the bills I mean send the checks for Dad, pay the bills online etc. He thinks hes doing me a favor by not charging rent.

I do buy food because thats another problem with the HHA. She started hiding certain items from me and my children. She claimed my father told her to do it but I dont think so.

I am certainly planning my escape. Each day.
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I had earlier wrote a long post in response. Then I saw Jinx already beat me to it. Toomuch - nothing will change if you don't speak up. I know it's difficult because I have that problem with my oldest sis and anyone who is older or have authority.

I stopped complaining about sis because I get all these advice on how to handle the situation. And I don't do it. I even tried therapy to help me. And I still couldn't do it. I was too traumatized to do it - even the therapist realized it. So, like someone told me, if I cannot DO anything about sis, then I should stop complaining. So, I stopped complaining about sis here. I've learned to just suck it up, bury it back inside me, and just live with it. Sad, but true.

So, until you speak up to your sibling and ask that they respect you for being there caring for your father by giving you the authority to Discipline the HHA, you will always be Just another Unpaid Caregiver in the Paid Caregivers' eyes. Truly, your hands are tied as long as your siblings don't give you the authority to do this. By the way, please don't use your money to help with the house expenses. You are there 24/7, doing your share of caregiving, etc.. In reality, they should also be paying you. It would be a good idea to start saving up so that the day comes when you get fed up, you can just pack up and leave.
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Toomuch4me - I thought you were out of there!

You don't need to ask. You know the answer. Her behavior is unacceptable. You have asked the paid caregivers here, and they tell you the same thing.

If your siblings will not support you in telling her who is in charge, and you don't have the iron ovaries to let her know what's what, you can either continue to suffer or you can leave.

Are you the kind of person who could confront her? I know it's not easy to do, but her behavior is eating away at your self-respect and your sanity. If you can't get out right now, I think you need to lay down the law with her and your siblings.

Would you write up a list of the most unprofessional things she does, then describe how she should do things? Write it up and post it here for advice and editing suggestions. We can help you decide what is a small specific reasonable list. Then email it to your sibling/POA and tell him/her that you expect them to support you.

Tell her that she is the employee, and that you are the daughter, the "First Lady" of the house. Tell her that acting respectfully to family members is expected of all professional caregivers. Present the list to her. Tell her that you expect her to align her behavior with the list. Tell her that the POA agrees with the list. Tell her that she is not to upset your father by discussing it with him. Tell her if she does not like these conditions, that she is free to seek employment elsewhere.

Sweetie, you know you are in an abusive situation. I get so angry for you. I wish I could be there to chew them out. We keep telling you that she has no right to act that way. PLEASE start writing your contract for her to follow. PLEASE keep plotting your escape. Or else accept that she is going to go right on treating you like dirt. She won't stop unless you leave or stop her yourself. If you aren't going to take action, do your best to ignore her and her actions, so you won't make yourself even more unhappy.
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I am a little confused about the 24 hour deal - the HHA was hired for 24 hour shifts, but changed to 8 hours? Does that mean that you are covering the other 16 hours in exchange for housing? If that is the case, you ought to have some say so in the caregiver arrangement.

If the POA - your out of town sibling - won't let you fire this woman, and you are living there as a work benefit, it's time to make new living arrangements for yourself. Have you communicated these problems to the POA? If the POA understood that free overnight help was about to quit, they might allow you to fire the daytime HHA. And firing is what needs to be done.

In addition, the POA needs to understand that if you were not there, the HHA would be taking advantage of the situation/your father even more than she is now. You are welcome to say to the POA that you feel like your hands are tied since there was never any explicit instruction about the 8 hour shift business and the HHA has told you that you are not her boss.

I imagine this HHA is just as bossy and ill mannered as the twit who only lasted 2 mos at mthr's memory care home. That idiot told me that there was no way she would ever have a flu shot, that they could not fire her for that, and she was not hurting anyone but herself (yet Mthr will probably die if she gets flu). I reported her words to management - she had been so snotty to me before that was the last straw for me - and she was gone the next week. I wish you the same!
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Im back with questions. I ask questions because I do not want to look at the role of a HHA in the wrong light. Our HHA seems to see herself as the head of the household. . For instance when she comes in, she takes it upon herself to rearrange things (the cabinets, what is in the refrigerator) granted Im not the most organized, but I dont think anyone should take it upon themselves to move anything in someone esle's home regardless of whether or not they dont like how its arranged. Maybe Im missing something. She and the weekend HHA (who happens to be her friend) seem to think it is their home. In fact the weekend HHA will tell the weekday HHA what to buy, where to put things. HUH ?? I want to know how to address it without causing chaos. I could see if Dad was living alone, but Im here. They certainly know Im here when it comes to them wanting to leave early or when something is needed from the store, but when it comes to respecting the set up of the house, they act as if they are in charge. Not only that but they are very nosey..discussing what goes on in our home...and that makes me very uncomfortable.
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Major nag here. Have you spoken to your siblings about firing her? She's a disrespectful jerk. Don't waste time thinking about why she acts like that. PLEASE speak to your siblings about firing her!
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Thanks as always Jinx. Im so fed up with this whole situation. Im amazed at how anyone could think because they work in a person's home they can act in an unprofessional manner. I could never walk into my office talking loudly on my phone. Have the courtesy and respect to complete your conversation before you walk in.
I work from home, but I act as if Im in the office. I take my job seriously. Cant say the same for other people. This woman thinks shes doing us a favor by coming here and that she can do whatever she wants because her "boss" my sibling lives out of town. She better hope my father never has to go into the hospital for an extended stay, because that would be my opportunity to cut ties with her.
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Wow! Leaving her child with you. Doing her laundry in your house! Did she ask your permission?

DevotedtoDad's 30 day notice is a good idea, but I'm afraid of this woman. I don't want her to be in your house knowing that she is probably going to be fired. I think you should find a replacement, let her know she is fired, and give two weeks salary in place of notice, and GET HER OUT!!!

I know you're planning to move out. I don't know what your siblings feel about firing her. If you aren't going to be gone in the next two weeks, then please get her fired so you can hire someone responsible so that when you do move out, he will be settled in with a new caregiver.

I have no right to push and bully you into taking action, but I WANT to! I want you to be in a happier situation. Now or very very soon.
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Today I realized how much our HHA takes advantage. She hired her friends to work in her place on the weekends, well one of them didnt work out so she is now working on weekends too. I guess she feels she is doing us a favor by working on weekends so she has decided its "her time" by coming in and doing her laundry, bringing her child (leaving him with me while she runs and errand with my father) Enough is enough...
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The reason I say to let the gardening go, is that it gives her exercise, and a small amount of space. But it can't be an escape to avoid doing her job. I took care of a lady on 48 hour shifts. The tiny bedroom I was expected to sit in made me get fat, bored and resentful.
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Type up a statement of a "Job Review." Make a bullet-point list. It will avoid sounding like an emotional rant. I think taking the gardening out of the list. But she must be on-time, and spend an appropriate amount of time with your dad. Also, create a daily list and time sheet to have her enter an initial and time each item was done. Put her on a 30 day probationary period, with a requirement to turn in time sheet daily. That way, you can watch for consistency. Make her sign the agreement. If she refuses to comply, fire her.
Many businesses use this tactic. Be brave! You ARE the boss in this situation. on the spot.
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You are very right Jeanne. Great advice
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My response above was meant for toomuch4me. I should have mentioned that in the post.
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