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Some background: My aunt (my dad's sister) hired a home companion for my parents (mostly for my dad) when my dad had a routine surgery, as well as to provide other home care. The worker is there 12 hrs a day, 7 days a week, and she does meals (my mom always did this) & light cleaning, but most of the time, she sits on the sofa doing nothing. She doesn't have a car to do errands for them (her husband drives her & picks her up). One time, my parents had to go out, and that worker was in their home all by herself for hours, and I'm not sure if that was a good idea to leave her alone in their home, since she's brand new, and my parents don't really know her yet. My parents are both able-bodied & don't need assistance with walking, bathing, eating or dressing at this time. However, because my aunt wasn't happy with how the house was not clean when she visited or that my dad looks "frail," she hired this worker full time for the rest of my parents' lives. Before she hired the companion, she never discussed this with my parents or with my siblings and me so that we could all make a decision together. My aunt had promised to call me on a certain date to tell me more info, but she blew me off. My aunt is the type who wants to be in control. My parents are not happy (they feel like they have a guest in their home) and want this companion gone after my dad no longer needs help post-surgery, but the companion thinks she's staying until my parents die. My mother is more able-bodied than I am. I talk on the phone with my parents every day, and I will be moving in sometime this year. If anything, my parents could benefit from someone coming once a week to help clean the house. Maybe they could use help with errands, but this worker doesn't do errands. Anyway, the 1st week that the companion was in their home, I called and introduced myself. I asked the worker for the name of her agency, and she told me that she forgot the name, that she left their business card at home. Shouldn't she have that info with her, in case of an emergency or at least know the agency's name by heart? My parents don't even know the name of her agency. So a week later, I called and spoke with her again. I was very polite & nice when speaking with her. I asked her what her position is (at that time I didn't know her title). She hesitated, and then said "Companion." I then asked her whether she's licensed or certified. Silence on her end for several seconds, and then she said "yes." I asked, "are you certified or licensed?" She responded with attitude in her voice, "Why are you asking me these questions?" I replied in a nice, calm tone, "Because I am my parents' daughter who is helping them, and I'm just asking simple questions." I then asked her, "What is your agency's name?" She responded with some rude tone in her voice, "I don't think I should answer to you, because you didn't employ me. Call your aunt and ask her." What do you all think: Were my questions inappropriate (I hope they weren't)? Why was she so defensive & not forthcoming with info? It's not like I was asking if she does drugs or has kids. If a contractor is working in my parents' home, he/she will gladly supply me with his/her business address, phone # & license #. When I told my parents that she refused to provide answers, they were upset & said that they want me to ask questions like this & to help them. I really don't know what to do (and with my aunt taking control). I'm heartbroken that my parents are unhappy. My parents don't want the companion in their home after my dad no longer needs post-surgery help, yet my aunt hired her to be in my parents' home until they die, which could be 10+ years from now. My aunt isn't paying for this service. And the way the companion talked back to me on the phone and refused to provide her agency's name or allowed me to ask any basic questions doesn't seem right to me. We think that the companion is under some contract...so how will my parents' get her out of their home? My parents don't recall signing any contract with an agency. My aunt did all of this without their agreement. Thank you for any help or advice.

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I just saw this thread but in the future if anything like the caregiver happens again, you can turn the caregiver into your state agency. Her spouse and friends are not allowed to know where clients live. It is a violation of HIPPA laws and that is a valid termination reason.
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Yes, that home companion is back. I'm almost afraid to post on here, because of the bad situation, and what if one of "them" reads my posts?! I cannot understand why my aunt would turn on me, except to take complete control and try to make me look terrible to get me out of my parents' lives. How sickening!!!

I feel sick about this right now, but I will try to get back on here tomorrow or the next day when I have more energy (I'm so stressed and sad), but I just wanted to reach out tonight. I have nobody here that I can trust. I cannot stand people who lie (and lie about me or my parents) to gain something. I could never do that to someone.

Have a nice 4th of July.
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Your aunt can't "get" POA over your parents, they would have to grant it. If they haven't signed any documents appointing your aunt then the document she is working with is fraudulent, if she somehow tricked or coerced your parents then they can simply revoke her POA and write a new one. 3 months ago I questioned how competent your parents really were to manage their own affairs, this snafu once again makes me wonder. I think it is past time you took on a greater role in managing your parent's daily lives, and limited their contact with auntie dearest.
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Another thing ... you might want to start a new thread with a new question, when you describe your current situation in more detail. Unless the home companion is still an issue?
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Mooncatzzz, hang in there, and tell us more about the situation. Have you been to visit your parents recently? What is your aunt doing with your parents' finances and household that you don't agree without? What has your aunt been saying about you to others? You might have to wait a bit for replies, as lots of people are having family gatherings today for Independence Day, but be assured that people will read what you write.
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I've never felt so alone in my life. I never thought that a relative who I trusted, who I thought we loved each other, could be so spiteful all of a sudden. My aunt had gotten power of attorney a few months ago, but she never told me about it even though I tried to talk with her. She knows that I've been very close with my parents for many years (is she threatened or fearful of this? Is she after my dad's money?). My dad & mom told me that they want me to take care of them, but somehow aunt got POA and is now controlling my parents' financial matters and their household. She is telling strangers lies about me to turn them against me and so that they will not talk to me about anything that is happening in my parents' house. Why would she be telling lies about me now all of a sudden? I am broken up about this and feel sick to my stomach & worried about my parents. I will try to write more later, but now I am exhausted and shocked, and I don't know if anyone will see this post.
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Great? I agree with one poster, the woman is an illegal. No reg aid would work 7 days a week 12 hours a day.

Before Moms memory problems get worse you need to get POAs for both of them. Medical and Financial. You can use what your Aunt did as an example why. It would be interesting to know how the woman was being paid. Even $5 an hour is $60 a day $420 for the week. Unless your Aunt has money, that's a lot. Better make sure Aunt Doesn't have excess to ur parents money. Yes, and make sure there is a will in place and updated. Sooner better than later. Elderly health problems can change overnight. I drummed it into my Mother's head not to talk to telemarketers or answer the door to strangers. Told her to tell people, my daughter handles that. She did, I was lucky.
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It may be time to pull a little fib with aunty. You can double check with the department of labor which you can call. Ask them what the maximum number of hours to work without a day off. They may answer that one day off a week is mandatory. Then tell aunty that you suspect that the companion is an illegal alien and that you will be notifying ICE if no one is providing an agency name
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I have a bit of a problem accepting that your parents are 100% with it mentally, it just isn't normal for them to be so completely overwhelmed by this; perhaps aunt is seeing problems you are not?
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Tell your dad a therapeutic lie: that in order to prove that everything is in order so the agency won't come back, he has to get the DPOA, AD and Bank account POA in order for both of them. The book Being Mortal by Atul Gwande has a news show video online to help with advance directive. Then go to a good estate planning attorney. Top priority!!
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So glad to hear you were able to get this dodgy situation shut down. Good job!
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I agree...I wouldn't think that it's professional to have "friends" fill in for her, that an agency would send a replacement for the day and pay them. I'm going to find out that agency name. Plus, my mom told me that she gave those "friends" money to pay them, so I'm thinking that maybe they asked her for money. If it were me, I wouldn't have let them into their house unless I knew that the agency had sent them.

I've mentioned to my parents that we should all talk about who will be the executor of their estate, where their important documents are stored, etc. Yet they don't (or won't) discuss this yet (my mom has no idea where the important papers are). If something happened to my dad, we would be lost. I'll bring up the topic again.

I want to help and protect my parents, because I love them and because they can be naive and too trusting of strangers. My dad has been taken advantage of by home contractors for thousands of $$$. I've tried to assist him with some of the problems, and the dept. of consumer protection even wanted to get involved for elderly coercion, but my dad refuses to take my help or complain about the contractors, and he tells me everything is okay (but everything is not okay, if he has to pay for bad work & their mistakes). Some of them didn't even have a current registration/license in our State.

It's tough...for lots of us with senior parents. We cannot always be there to protect them. The role of parent-child has been reversed. I'm one of three siblings, and the other two don't bother, so it's been stressful on me to deal with all of this alone.
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I hope it is over for you but no agency would allow someone to send their friends as a replacement

If you're inclined then have a heart to heart with parents and have them determine who they want as a POA for both financial and health issues and have papers signed before they're in a real tragedy
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I hope this situation has come to an end at last...

Thank you all so very much for your advice and help; I really appreciate it. To answer your questions: I don't think that anyone has POA. The "companion" was hired by my aunt to put cataract surgery eye drops in my dad's eyes 3x per day and to be in my parents' home for good (the eye drops were a way to get someone into their home). The companion doesn't have a key to their house, thankfully. My parents have no idea how this service is being paid for, and they don't know the companion's last name or agency name/phone#. I wish they would ask questions (I try my best to help). My parents are in their 80's, and they're mentally competent, but my mom has mild memory problems. They are too trusting of strangers.

So after reading the comments, my feelings about the companion are validated. There was no reason for her to not disclose her agency name or whether she's certified/licensed, and no reason for defensiveness and bad tone of voice with me.

She was supposed to come to work today, and most importantly to put the eye drops in my dad's eyes, but she took the day off and had her "friends" fill in to do household chores. My parents have no idea who these friends are or who they work for. Her friends did not put the cataract eye drops in my dad's eyes. This is not cool.

Tonight, my parents told my aunt to make sure that the companion doesn't come back to work, so my aunt made a call to the agency and supposedly took care of it. I don't know whether the worker was supposed to receive notice of termination, but it was my aunt who hired her without our knowledge and approval...let her deal with this. What a relief.
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If Aunt has the current POA, your parents can draw up a new document and remove her from that position. If they want to name you, fine- they should also take you to their Bank & broker w the new document and put you on their accounts as POA using the bank/broker forms. Be sure to tell the bank "fraud alert" for the Aunt and sitter.

I would tell the sitter goodbye today with parents present. They must give instructions that she not to come back. Have 2 copies of a letter ready, signed by both parents, and have the sitter sign both and you sign as a witness. If she won't sign, that's ok. You can ask for her address to send tax forms and any outstanding money owed. Keep one letter for your records, send one home with her. These are only to give a written form of "don't enter my house" to both parties. Ask the POA attorney and the CPA what to do about her pay/taxes.

Get a locksmith tonight to rekey the lock. And don't open the door to her in the morning! Parents can call a cab for her without letting her in (and they should not pay for it!). If she gets in, they should call the police for tresspassing.

If the sitter has an agency as she says, they will have her employed tomorrow.
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Mooncat, you have a lot of good answers; I'm not sure I could add much to the insight you've been given, but I do want to express my concern at your aunt's actions.

I think legally she may not even have authority to hire someone to be in your house. If you've read other posts heer on the issue of an agency vs. independent caregiver, you're aware that there are workers' comp issues if the caregiver is injured.

If this caregiver isn't through an agency and isn't covered by comp insurance, your aunt should have addressed and taken out a comp policy. Otherwise if the caregiver is injured, she might turn to you, and you're totally not covered. She could file a comp claim that could wipe you out.

That's a really serious issue; your aunt should be advised of this.

Another legal issue arises from MidKid's suggestion to just fire her. I don't know enough about employment law to know if you can fire someone you didn't hire. But you don't have to accept someone in your house if you don't want to.

If you have an attorney, it wouldn't hurt to run this question by her/him just to make sure you're handling any termination properly.

Beyond that, I'm appalled at the audacity of someone hiring someone else w/o consulting the recipients. There are obvious control issues. But it is your parent's house, and they do not have to allow the caregiver in.

I wonder why though there isn't home care scripted for by one of the doctors. It wouldn't be extensive, not more than an hour or two per service (nurse, PT, OT, aid, SW) a week, but the agencies are reimbursed by Medicare so standards do apply, as does requisite training.
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I wore a SHIRT with the name of my agency on it!! It was not a secret at all. IF asked, I told whomever it was who I was employed by. Legit in home care companies want their names out there. My client actually liked to call me her personal assistant and requested I NOT wear the "uniform". Great by me!

This all sounds very sketchy. I agree with CM. Just fire the woman. Give her notice, pay her off, whatever, and then change the locks.
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If your parents feel that this woman's services are not needed; or if they are unhappy with having someone in their home literally half the time; they can give her fair notice and ask her to leave. Since this also means, of course, that they will then stop paying her I'm sure she'll take the hint. What is the problem?
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Perhaps the ‘sitter’ is ‘illegal’.
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You and the parents want the caregiver out. If the parents are competent and it sounds as if they are they can just tell her not to come back and change the locks as suggested.
If they are paying her, one evening when she leaves hand her an envelope in lieu of 2 weeks notice containing pay for 2 weeks.
Let the parents hire a cleaner for as many hours or days they will be needed and do a background check. They could try one of the agencies that advertise extensively as they say they do all the background checking for you.
This woman is bad news and probably aunty is too, so get her out Yesterday is not too soon. I am sure she likes the job she is hardly doing anything. I have a cleaner who comes in for 3 hours every two weeks and that is enough for 2 people.
It's their home they choose who comes in. Call the police if needed
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I agree with the above comments. In addition I’d urge your parents to set up a meeting with your aunt, with you present, so that everyone’s reasonings can be heard. In the end, though, unless your parents are mentally incompetent, they have the final say in what is happening. Also, who is controlling the checkbook? Please be careful that your parents aren’t being scammed by the caregiver and the aunt.
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Moon,
You are perfectly within your right to ask the companion about her credentials and the name of her agency. It's my firm belief that she is independent and doesn't have an agency which is why she's so cagey when you ask her about that. Same with her credentials. Any true professional will give their credentials. Even if she's not a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) a professional will be honest. Not many home care people are credentialed but that doesn't mean they can't do the job. Also, her attitude with you bothers me. I worked in hospice for many years and I was around family members on a regular basis. The care with which I gave their dying loved one extended to the family as far as I was concerned. I was there to help them as well if they needed it. I would never, ever take a tone or cop an attitude with anyone I was working for/with.

The car thing: the nursing agency I worked for required its employees to own vehicles for the purpose of being able to drive our patients to the doctor appointments or to the store or wherever else they wanted to go. I had to prove I had car insurance every 3 months. Not many of my patients went anywhere as they were on hospice but it was the agency's policy.

About the shifts: 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. No reputable nursing agency would schedule its employees for such vigorous shifts. An agency would work out a "live-in" schedule instead. I've never heard of anyone in healthcare working this kind of shift and I was in healthcare for 20 years.

Which brings me to your parents feeling as if there is a guest in their house. Of course they feel that way! This person is there all the time!!

This home health companion is not truthful and I don't know where your aunt found her but in home health workers are desperate for full-time work. Patient's die on a pretty regular basis and the workers are out a job until something else comes along. I'm sure this gal wants to cling to this job but speaking to you, the daughter, the way she did is unacceptable. And she doesn't need to be left alone in the home either. If your parents are her patients she should go where they go.

And I agree with the others who said that whoever is paying this person is the one who can fire her. If your parents are paying for her services and they are uncomfortable with her perhaps your parents can depend on you to terminate her employment but get her phone number from your aunt so the worker isn't left standing on the doorstep, out of a job, with no transportation. Just fire her over the phone.

This is all very bizarre.
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What sort of routine surgery? Did dad's doc want him to have rehab?
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Can the poster add some additional info? How old are Mom and Dad? And I agree that if you decide to get her out of the house, change all of the locks, bank accounts etc. I always suggest removal and rerouting of all financial info prior to having anyone in the house. Get there quickly and resolve this
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Who is the POA? Are parents competent? I would stay out of the middle of this as it is something mom and dad need to work out with your aunt and the companion.
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What about a letter to her stating that they no longer need her services? Then change the locks when her husband picks her up and don't let her back in?
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How is she being paid, if aunt isn't paying - are your parents writing her a check?
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Who has POA for Mother? For Dad?

Mother and Dad, not Aunt, can determine who can be in their home, when.

Help them discharge this person. If the companion says they can't fire her because the Aunt hired here, point out they can most certaily determine who is in their house. Since the aunt hired her, she can take her employment up with the aunt, but she will not be allowed back into the house.
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