Follow
Share

My parents caregiver is a very negative person. She is constantly complaining about their faults, their memory issues and everything they do wrong. She criticizes them all day and even mock about them out loud. This person was a former maid that agreed to care for them for free, just momentary. But my parents can´t afford other caregiver for financial reasons. My father has mild dementia and my mother has cancer. My plan is to move my parents into my house to do the care myself. This negative attitude has been increasing on time. I can feel my parents are deeply resented about her but remain quiet because they depend on her for help. It is very stressing. Hopelessly there’s nothing I can do right now until I can move my parents into my house, in about 5 more weeks. Besides all, Im an only child and really have no other source of help. I feel overwhelmed most of the time. Any suggestions?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Thank you all for your helpful advice based on your experiences. I' ve been able to put in a balance the whole situation with more point of views. I understand that a maid is not the same as a caregiver, she must be going under stress, but she also knows I´m working on the solution of this problem. And yes I have considered assisted living, I think it would be the best for them. But the first part of the plan now is taking my parents into my house, and the urge is because they were living in a rented house and now the owner wants his house back. I suppose we will be sharing my house for a while, (I have prepared my husband and children for this), then my parents shall move to an AL they can afford. I hope to find the kind of caregiving they deserve. I don´t want them to feel they are a burden for someone anymore.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

As someone asked in passing - do you understand what you are signing up for with moving your parents into your home? Wanting to care for your parents does not a caregiver make. It makes you a good child with a big heart - but I caution you - arm yourself with A TON of knowledge before you take the plunge. You say you're an only child and will be doing this alone? One thing I wish would have occurred to me: A facility is staffed around the clock with three shifts of care providers with different skills...There are labor laws - they don't work 24/7...You will. What the h*ll was I thinking I could do this by myself? I've scrambled & pulled things together like a mad woman, but this is not sustainable. If your parents can't afford care, at least explore the Medicaid road - then you'll have FAR more options available to you - if not now, then at some point? I'm going to be exploring this in the coming month or two because as the sole surviving child of my mom, I have come to realize no amount of tenacity or resourcefulness is going to ease the constant strain. (Mom is 7 years into the Alz diagnosis.) I have also learned that despite all the people who tell you how great it is that you're doing this, at the end of the day, when you feel you're reaching the end of your rope, the only hand you'll get is a pat on the back (which you will come to resent) when what you desperately need is a life preserver. Formulate plan B, C, D, etc. It was probably a burned out caregiver who first said, "The road to h*ll is paved with good intentions." Yes, it can be done & what doesn't kill you may make you stronger, but most days I feel completely torn down. It's all relative.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Maybe the negativity and complaining come from bitterness, because she is not being paid? Sure it sounded like a king thing to do when she offered, but then reality set in and each issue for her to deal with becomes an irritant. It is hard enough to do this for a loved one without compensation. Have a heart to heart and let her go, with your gratitude for what she has taken on, albeit imperfectly.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I am assuming u planned on hiring the "maid" not a trained caregiver. For now get your parents ready to move in. Explain to the "maid" that you won't be able to hire her to continue care to ur parents. Call ur local Office of Aging to see if ur parents would be able to get an aide thru them. Same with Medicaid. I Mom's cancer terminal eventually. Maybe have Hospice evaluate her. You will get an aide for her. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

An acrimonious caregiver is not a good caregiver.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I have to agree some caregivers are stressed to the point of burn out. I was forced to take care of one for two weeks while they got over a prostrate operation, but the dementia came and the other was put in a wheelchair helping the other and now has dementia too. There is no pay ether and constant accusing of stealing keys, flirting with the wife of the older couple, and a thousand little things. im only doing 15 hours 6 day's a week. I keep my cool with them ok, but I have family and the other care taker who spends the night to talk to. . Sounds like she is useing you to talk to and blow off steam, maybe she is not feeling appreciated for all she is doing for no pay. Try giving her a brake with hospice, is there any arengment to compensate her, like when they sell there house and move in with you ? Or is it just a thanks, now get lost deal. This all adds stress, while I agree she should not take it out on them and should just quit it's not her response ability for there care. Only choice I can see is take over now, or get someone else, not everyone is cut out to be a caregiver.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Fire her and get another!!#
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

The former maid now "free" caregiver has to be upset at the dynamic she's set up. Doesn't excuse her behavior, so I'd let her go. There HAS to be other avenues. Neighbors who will step in for a few hours, friends, I don't know, but anybody would be better than a negative Nellie making your parents lives miserable. I'm only 60 but oftentimes my kids will treat me like I am completely dotty and stupid, to boot. They think I "don't get it" but it is hurtful beyond belief. I don't know how much of what is being said to your parents they are internalizing. But negative behavior hurts, even if it's just the tone in which something is said.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I agree that the 'former maid' feels stressed out and trapped here, Caregiving is a horrendous, hard, stressful job (which you are certainly going to find out if you go ahead with plans to move your parents in with you). Finding some kind of free or low-cost help is going to be very difficult, and you may have a parade of people coming and going. (my mother needed more care than light housekeeping and heat-up-her-soup, we had weekend help who would call me and say they couldn't handle it, nor were they trained in health care and weren't supposed to be doing that kind of thing. You get some young woman from a church group who thinks she's going to be doing 'friendly visiting' and that's ok, but she shouldn't be asked to change diapers or administer medications!) Either you fill in for the fed-up maid or hire someone for the short term, use your parents money. And re-think moving them into your home.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

One of you challenges is cost so do as agingmyself suggests and seek out government agencies on aging and senior services. Given that you only need help for five weeks you may be able to get a cost saving solution through those sources.

Another thought, do they have a trusted friend who is in better health, or someone from their church who could come at least for some days each week?

The maid agreed to do this "momentarily", but she has been doing it long enough that she is resentful and still has five weeks to go...that is not momentarily. Caregiving is far more demanding than people anticipate. She likely has gotten into something that is more than she bargained for and now feels trapped. On top of that she is not being paid. Frankly, it is a lousy situation for everyone involved regardless of all the good intentions. If you can find someone to take over for her a couple of days a week (I.e. Friends and/or church member) she may have less stress and be better equipped to be a pleasant caregiver. If you take weekends, the maid takes Monday, Wednesday and Friday, one or two other people can take Tuesday and Thursday. It is only for five weeks, it is doable. They had the maid before this and she was willing to do this for free. She was a good fit in the past, give her some relief and she may be able to be a good fit for the next five weeks.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I know you're in a tough spot, but I would take Agingmyself's advice and find an agency that can help you, even if only for the short term. The woman sounds toxic.

Let me share an experience that, while it's not nearly as serious as yours, woke me up to just how much I needed to protect my mother: One of her caregivers was, unbeknownst to me, saying things to my mother like, "You're not helping me in my job" because my mother was not able to help much with transfers. Now that is mild compared to what you've described, Paulaverorod, but it greatly upset my mother and I think even harmed her ability to do physical therapy because she began thinking of herself as a burden, incompetent, etc. Fortunately, another caregiver caught wind of what was happening and we fired the negative caregiver, but it was a bad episode for my mom. What did seem to help, and what may help you, is to reassure your parents. "Mom, Dad, I know Ms. Toxic is a jerk. You won't have to put up with her much longer; I have (outline plans)." When we fired Ms. Negative, I repeatedly told my mom, "Mom, Ms. Negative is through here and she is never coming back. I am sorry for how she treated you." Mom felt that she was being protected and that someone was standing up for her. Seemed to help.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Fire her she's not good for your parents
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Please contact your State Area Agency on Aging. If you don't know how to find them, ask your parents' doctor. Keep looking for help with your situation. You know this woman is not very helpful. You should be able to find better care for them, but you need to seek help from someone in your community who knows what is available. And don't give up looking. You might call your County Health Department and ask where to find help or a local senior center.
If someone says they can't help you, ask them to suggest someone else to call. There are services available at low or no cost for those who don't have money.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

A maid and a caregiver are two different things. It is a huge task and she wasn't ready to be a caregiver. Neither was I. I have learned how to take care of mom very well. She is to the stage of a 2 year old and it is hard. Maybe she is letting off steam to you. Does she do a good job? If she does not, you must find another answer.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

If she is disrespectful to them in your presence what might be happening when you are your not around? As much as my parents test my last nerve if I hire someone & they treat them badly I would fire them and let people know on social media, social services, law enforcement. People like that should not be taking care of anyone! If it were your children you wouldn't tolerate it for a second. Unless we die this will be most of us before you know it. I know my son will NEVER allow anyone to mistreat me, thank the Lord. Good luck and God Bless
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Have you ever heard the saying: "The right tool for the job"? Experienced caregivers do not act like housekeepers. They are taught to encourage, promote well-being for the elderly and your parents would benefit greatly both physically and mentally with that positive kind of atmosphere. What do you expect from a housekeeper? The title speaks for itself.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Not many AL take Medicaid clients. ( There are some that do, but limited number) Also consider the level of care needed. AL has limited scope for medical care. Many AL very pricey!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

You are overwhelmed now just wait until you move 2 people in with you that need constant care!
I think finding Assisted Living or Memory Care that will take both would be a far better option. They will both get the care they need and you will be able to relax a bit and not be overwhelmed. Your father will need Memory Care rather than Assisted living.
You may even want to contact Hospice and see if one or both is eligible for Hospice services. That would give you some help as well if you do decide that you want them to live with you.

Things to keep in mind.
You need to have at least 1 bathroom adapted so that it is easily usable by someone in a wheelchair or using a walker. And even better if you have to get other equipment in like a Sit to Stand or Hoyer.
Grab bars in the bathrooms.
If you do not have an ADA height toilet replace the toilet they will use with a toilet that is a tall one with an elongated bowl.
No carpet in rooms where they will be. Carpet is difficult to move a walker over and or a wheelchair.
Bedroom and bathroom on a first floor.
Ramps for any stairs.
Gated yard when your Dad starts to wander.

There are probably 100 more things that you will need but you will figure those out as they come.
If you have your own family you might want to rethink having your parents move in with you...your family should be your first priority.
Oh...look for a Support Group for yourself. You are going to need one.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I am amazed that she does this for a living. If she is negative around them, she is not helping. Perhaps you'd consider someone else, who is kind and uplifting AND enjoy what they do.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This is sad. Some money is better than no money, can you take her aside and say you'd like to give her $xx per visit, whatever you can afford, but you have the following requests for things you want her to say every visit? In other words, not what you don't want her to say but what to say. Good advice above about looking for a facility they qualify for. Best of luck to you!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I understand your situation. You can't afford to pay her so until you can move your parents, you're essentially at her mercy. If you try to sit down and speak with her about it, you'll most likely cause her to leave.
I hate to say it but you'll need to stick it out. That is, as long as she's not abusing your parents because that is a concern. Hopefully they would tell you if that was happening but your father may not even realize it because of his dementia. Anyway, it's only a few more weeks and then you won't have to deal with her. If it were months, I'd be more worried. It's all very stressful to take care of aging parents and you don't need this on top of everything.
I'm assuming that you have looked into other care options - assisted living, nursing home, in-home care. Finances are usually the problem. If either of your parents are veterans, definitely look into the aide and attendance benefits. Also, if your parents qualify, you should look into Medicaid.
Hang in there.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

I don't want to inject more negativity into your situation but if you're overwhelmed most of the time now and your parents live on their own those feelings of being overwhelmed are going to greatly increase when they move into your home. Will you have someone helping you? Have you considered assisted living?

If you were to fire the negative caregiver could you find another caregiver right away for the remaining weeks? It might take you that long just to find someone new and train them.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

Fire her. she is not doing her job. Her job is to be a CAREgiver not a criticismgiver.
Helpful Answer (10)
Report

Have you considered moving your parents into Assisted Living? It sounds like they might qualify for Medicaid.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter