Mom thinks carer is a friend, so won't let her help in household chores or clean. Any ideas? - AgingCare.com

Mom thinks carer is a friend, so won't let her help in household chores or clean. Any ideas?

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For about 4 months I've had a couple of carers help my mom during the day. They visit which is great and mom appreciates, but I could really use their help in getting mom's house in order. ie, do some overall cleaning, help set the kitchen back up so its usable (we had to take everything out due to mice, then also to take cookinh possibilities out of the picture). Even going out to but a hot water kettle to make tea there would be one less thing i have to do. I feel like they are there, but I'm still doing so much to manage the household. Mom thinks its the neighbor comes to pay a visit, so doesn't want to bother them, or doesnt understand why the neighbor would do that. Trying to figure out how the carer can help mom at end of day w bedtime routine ao im not so atretched. Mom says she's fine and can go to bed by herself. Any ideas?

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One of my clients thinks I am her guest and believes she should do what I want to do. This is how I deal with it.
first I chat with her for 15 minutes or so. Then I say that her son asked me to do wash the dishes, make her lunch, etc. Then I ask her permission to do these tasks. She always says yes because she loves her son so much.
After I do my light housekeeping tasks, we go to Starbucks for 30 mins. Then I make lunch, clean-up and leave.
I use her son as the reason that I am doing work.
It easy to overlook what makes them happy or makes them tick in the rush to get something accomplished.
In this case, you need to be direct with the caregivers or write out their responsibilities. Make a new checklist for each day and then see what they did do and did not do. If you do this, you will have a record of their performance. However make sure your expectations are relatistic. Good luck
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When I initially hired companions (privately) to help my Mom I did spend the first day with them, showed them areound and what I wanted done. I left about an hour before they did. But I told my Mom that they wanted to work with seniors but needed experience and reference letters to do that. We could help ('my friend') by showing them how to do things and letting them do it. It worked for me but there wasn't a lot of heavy duty stuff to do.Hope this helps.
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You are paying these people, right? Are they hired through an agency?
They are supposed to know how to deal with that kind of thing, it is what they do for a living after all.
I would have a talk with them and detail exactly what it is you hired them to do, emphasizing that its not OK for them to sit down and have tea and a chat when they are supposed to be doing chores to help you.
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I have a similar problem with the helpers that come to help us since I shattered my shoulder 8 months ago. If you don't make a list, then they don't do anything, or as you have experienced, just have a social call!!
Make a daily list of what tasks you want done on that particu blar day or evening and go through the list with the helper. You will find that the helpers abide by those lists - no fuss nor hard feelings.

If your Mom wants to go to bed by herself. (Going to bed in her day clothes etc), just let her do it. It won't harm her and will save you from the stress of doing it all yourself.

When the helper arrives, each day "introduce" them to your Mom. "Mom, this is.... who is coming to help us with the cleaning and cooking so You and I can have a bit of a rest." This way, she'll know it's neither a friend nor a neighbor.
Then never mind about the cup of tea. You can always make one for you and your Mom when they've gone after finishing the tasks on your list.
All the best!
Charlotte
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Madjos, my mom did not want strangers in the house either. I would never tell her that this person was hired to help. First mom would reject the idea because she thinks she does not need help. Then if she found out they were paid she would have blown a gasket. She is in a memory care facility now, if she knew how much money was spent for that she would probably have a stroke or heart attack.

My suggestion is for you and the caregiver to tell mom CG wants to help YOU by doing some light cleaning, laundry, cooking and whatever else. Some reason like CG lost her mom and enjoyed helping her and misses it so. That worked with my mom.

Be careful on how much you ask CG to do. In my area they will do LIGHT cleaning. This does not include disinfecting cupboards, dishes and whatever else may now be contaminated. This is a big and difficult and time consuming job that I would have professionals do. If CG would do it would you be satisfied with the job done? If CG is good with mom be careful how you threat them. If pushed too hard you will find yourself looking for CG again which I am sure you do not want to do.

After all isn't the CG's job to first care for mom? She can get mom involved in helping to clean cook and do laundry type things. But, that is where a CG responsibilities end.
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In our family we have had companions for over 4 years at this point. When we were new to it we were more controlling in terms of wanting to direct a lot of details of the day. For us, wisdom learned from experience has taught that stepping back and only controlling what you absolutely have to works best for everyone. It lets them work out the relationship. I hire a separate cleaning lady who in one hour weekly focuses on that type of housework rather than getting the companion to be everything to Mom's needs. Oh and YES, they sleep in their day clothes for 3-4 days at a time...thats par for the course (another surprise I learned through experience).
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This service is your paying responsibility, but perhaps if the caregiver is willing, have them wear a uniform with a badge so your mother realizes they are "official" caregivers.
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My mother looked at the aides we previously provided (before she moved to AL in August of this year) as "friends coming to visit" as well. They would often play cards with her during their 4 hour stays, which was fine as she was at least interacting with someone else. As some of the other posters here have suggested, I made sure that if laundry, light housekeeping or shopping needed to be done, the grocery list and money was there for them and I would text to remind about linen changes, etc. As they are hired help, you have to set the stage for what will be taken care of in addition to the companion aspect of the visits. Good luck!
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The CG's that I've hired actually have "socialization" on their list of available tasks. I think maybe that is becoming more and more the norm. I think you have to be clear, in a very polite way, that you don't want or need her/him to be social - unless, of course you don't mind the social side of things.

Mom has a lady on Saturday's for 2 hours to aid in bathing, dressing, bed making, etc. She has started complaining that after she is bathed and dressed the CG then wants to sit on the couch next to her and visit while mom would rather read the newspaper. At this point, I stepped in and called the agency and let them know that I need her to continue her daily tasks of trash and stripping and changing the bed sheets - activities that I do not wish my mother involved with. It took me forever to get her to turn loose of the activity for fear someone would not put the top sheet on just so-so or take the trash to the correct dumpster - so I definitely don't want to have to start over at square one! LOL

Anyway, just be aware that some agencies actually have "socialization" as a paid task, so you might just make sure they don't think this is what they are there for!
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This is a great topic, and I love all the answers. I've been a home caregiver for 20 years - earlier years I was an effective nurse's aide, so that at least gave me tasks to check on and see as my role. Recently, I'm with a "companion" company, and they switch my location often enough, or I change, as I'm older now - but I can't figure out what housekeeping tasks need doing in someone else's house - truth is, I struggle juggling my own home priorities, keeping things clean, but lost under paperwork, clutter. I found it best when one major chore was assigned for each day of the week - along with some maintenance ones like empty the wastebaskets. So if it was Tues, the vacuuming would be done before I left. I understand how to reassure patients, and I agree, just say this is my job to finish this task before I go, so the elder is agreeing. But it's hard when you come in as a caregiver, into something that is a different routine and house - you don't know where the facecloths are kept, what's the system to separate used and fresh, meantime you're also trying to accommodate the elder - and be a companion - it's best if you can ask any agency to assign no more than 2 caregivers during a work week, on consecutive days if possible - then all have a chance to work out familiar routines - coming in cold is like showing up to be a substitute teacher - the kids can run you ragged, before you figure out what's going on! Finding cooking utensils - cleanings stuff - so assign one or two key chores in a day, and then just smaller maintenance ones.
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