My mom has a new home health aide that stays overnight. Tonight she told me that the caregiver pushed her arm and hurt her wrist earlier in the week.
I tried to talk to her about the details, but the story was wrapped up in another story, about the care giver taking her for a ride, and her going to a room that seemed like a jail, which definitely didn't happen. (She has moments that admits that she is not sure if this part really happened - she is aware she had dementia). Parts of my mom's story are true (e.g.: she said that the care giver doesn't sleep as if that's a bad thing - but the care giver really does try to stay up for a good part of the night. She said the caregiver spoke contemptuously about other clients - that might have happened. The caregiver did share a story with me about her other clients, but in her version, the family had treated her poorly, and she didn't speak contemptuously of them.)
The caregiver isn't coming to stay overnight again until Sunday, so I have a little time to think about what to do.
So, how to respond? The caregiver comes from an agency who has always sent us solid folks, but she is new. I will follow up with the caregiver, but should I follow up with the agency as well? If it didn't happen, is the situation ruined and we need to find another person? (My mom says she can't remember the story, but she does remember the push). Or by tomorrow will it all reset, as many things do with folks with memory loss....knowing that it could come up again?
My mom is often suspicious, and has fantastical stories, but this is the first one about someone physically mistreating her. My mom didn't tell me this earlier in the week and we did speak several times, and the caregiver has been there since then. The family friend did tell me about a situation with the caregiver, but my mom's story to the family friend was that the caregiver was crying and was upset about her family. Nothing about pushing, or her wrist being hurt. I will follow up with them in the morning.
We are only using the caregiver for about 6 weeks, until my mom is scheduled for knee surgery - after that she will transition to rehab and then remain in their long term care faculty. So, this isn't a long term issue.
Has anyone had this happen? Even if it didn't happen to you, how would you respond?