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My husband and I decided to try to get some help with bathing MIL. I have not been very successful doing it myself. The agency we called of course wants 8 to 12 hours per week in 4 hour blocks. My husband decided to have them come in the evening so we can go out. This is making me nervous. Having a stranger in my home unsupervised except for mom. Advice anyone?

Four hours????? For a bath????

Hooey. Go to a different agency.

Are you in a terribly remote location so that the aides would have to drive miles and miles to get to you or something, though?

But in any case - don't scoot out of the door the second the aide turns up! Give the relationship a little while to develop, then go out for short periods, before you leave them to cope on their own.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Arlyle Oct 18, 2019
According to agency rep who did the intake they wouldn't be able to hire someone for less than a 4 hour shift. She says they will cook for her if needed and clean her room and bathroom. Do her laundry too.
We just have to try it out and see how it goes I guess.
Thanks.
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You would of course, be present with each new caregiver until you felt as though you could trust this person, and that your mother can trust her as well.

Your mom is no longer in a position to supervise anyone. The idea about hospice is a good one, but I still wouldn't leave my loved one with a new person without a trial.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Established agencies (like Visiting Angels) are licensed, bonded and insured and do all the background checking. I strongly advise against hiring a private individual! Make sure all critical and sensitive paperwork is locked away in a file cabinet or fireproof safe during every visit. No checkbooks, bank statements, passports, credit/atm cards, drivers licenses, jewelry, etc.) Make sure there are no prescription medications accessible where someone could take a few pills without noticing. Sometimes theft is not premeditated, sometimes happens because of opportunity. We've been using Visiting Angels for years and love the service and the caregiver.
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Arlyle Oct 19, 2019
This is the same agency we have called. We are hopeful our experience goes as well as yours. Still nervous but time will tell. Also MIL may not cooperate, then not sure what we will do.
Thanks all.
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I would not leave a stranger alone in my home and especially NOT with a vulnerable senior citizen without being present to oversee behaviors a few times. No way. You need to be there to monitor before putting trust in them. Also, you should be there to answer any questions. Hope you get 1 or 2 'regulars' to work for you that you can learn to trust. I've had household items stolen (with me there!) and who knows what would happen to my LO if I left them alone without 'vetting' them a few times to see what they are about. Also, lock away all banking information (letters, statements, checks, monies, etc) and other valuables (jewelry, etc.) Don't be naive. Be thorough and cautious. Good luck~
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Reply to renoir
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Have you considered having the caregiver come to bathe your MIL while you are home and then when you feel comfortable with them, leaving your home for increasing amounts of time? This option should allow everyone to adjust. Please be clear with the caregiver about her tasks and responsibilities and verify she is bonded and insured. Don't be afraid to ask for references. Hiring through an agency may be your best bet. The local hospital or your state department of aging are good sources for hiring caregivers. Good luck!
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Reply to Peanuts56
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Ideally you would want to be home while the MIL is being bathed. Also a tip that I used when my mother was in an NH - I had her lie in the bed while I bathed her via using a tub of warm, soapy water and washed her entire body in stages so that she wouldn't get chilly. May I add that my late mother was a VERY modest woman, BUT she loved it!💞💞
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Why not call and find out if she is eligible for Hospice. You would get a CNA that would come in at least 2 times a week to bathe her. And that service is included with Hospice so you would not be paying for it.
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cetude Oct 18, 2019
The services of Hospice are limited with regards to a CNA...although there are set dates, the time can vary and you only get about a half hour of their services. Unless the person were truly actively dying I would avoid hospice at all costs.
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I wouldn’t do it. You want to be there to make sure your MIL is properly cared for and you want to be there at least until you really get to know who it is that is in your home.
also the caregiver may have questions and/or you will need to give her information and guidance on the care.
I would not have anyone in the house unsupervised until I was absolutely sure that they were competent, treated your MIL the way she and you like and is trustworthy.
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Invisible Oct 19, 2019
Agreed. Absolutely not. This is a very vulnerable adult.
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I agree with others to "shop around" other agencies with less hours of required care to suit your LO's needs.  We went with an agency that had a 2-hr minimum.  I agree that you shouldn't leave them alone from the first day...but I am assuming that MIL is living in your house and you probably won't be going out every evening, your DH just wants the option of being able to, so you will probably be there to sort of shadow their work and get a feel of who the agency sends.  Keep in mind that in rare occasions you get the same Caregiver every time...some times they send several through the week. 

If by any reason you don't feel that they are a good fit, either with you and/or DH (because it is YOUR house) or with MIL, make sure you let the Agency know.  I lost count of how many emails I sent the agency about Caregivers that just were not a match!  Most of the time I would give a feedback email the first time, but if the behavior continued or we got new things that didn't work, that was it...scratched off the list of acceptable caregivers to be scheduled.  We lucked out with a few of them that were amazing and established a great relationship with my mother.  But some people take the job of caregiving without having the proper calling for it!  Or maybe is personality match problems.  You will go through a few before you find the right match.

Your house, your rules...some aids are used to just going to the clients house, not family members, and can get things confused as to what they can or should do.  Establish a clear care plan, cameras are your friend, locked doors if you will be leaving them alone are also a good idea.  Labels are also your friend...I had to separate and label snack bins so they stopped taking my son's school snacks! 

Best of luck!  And practice deep breathing...you may need it!
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I'm dating a gentleman who owns a Comfort Keepers franchise. They send Home Helpers to give the main caregiver a break in the home. Make sure all important documents, papers, and valuables are locked away in a safe place, and this may be a good time to take pictures of and document the value of such items; take pictures of any receipts of valuable items in your home as well and keep them in a folder in a secured place (such as a locked cabinet door). If you have a safety deposit box at your bank, this would be a good time to put smaller valuable items and documents in that safety deposit box.
If you find someone you are comfortable with who is bonded and insured, it is a good idea to stick around for the first few visits to feel it it's a good fit for your loved one. Some agencies offer a "home review" where the owner or one of the office workers comes to your house to give you tips on home safety before you get started. They will review the living situation and give helpful tips about potential trip hazards, safety issues, and security issues that you might not have noticed. For instance, throw rugs, pets, and appliance cords are often mentioned. Bank statements, mail, and bills are often left out in the open as well.

Once you start feeling comfortable with the person (or a few different people) , you can leave and run errands, attend events, and catch up with friends, but I would strongly suggest surprise "pop in" visits when the caregiver is not expecting you. You might say you forgot your wallet or sunglasses, if you feel a need to give a reason for your unannounced drop-in. There is usually a four hour minimum because the worker has drive time and paperwork to fill out for every visit; those are just a couple of reasons for that minimum. Do not lend money or give valuables to any caregivers; they will only ask for more, and it leads to an uncomfortable relationship. I'm just giving you tips for prevention. An ounce of prevention is MORE than worth a pound of cure for sure!!
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