One of my helpers has begun to be more critical of me to the point I have had to close my mouth more about most everything. Now what?


It's really wearing on me as the demands have increased much lately in taking care of my 97 yr. old mother. I have confronted her about her criticism. I can see she is not aware of doing this. I would like to keep
her as she IS good with mom and mom likes her, plus she is easily available.
Now what? I need some feedback. Thanks, cadams

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It's okay Cadams. Go with your guts. She's a subtle passive-aggressive person. Fools most people except the one who is in the receiving end. Everyone thinks she's so nice and helpful, but to you, it feels as if she's throwing digs at you sooooo subtly that no one realizes it - except you. My comment was aimed that there are caregivers who knows how to make 'pointers' without raising your hackles. She obviously prefers to put you down.
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the only person besides your mother that you have to satisfy is her primary doc .
i had hospice nurses trying to pick me apart too till i got fed up with it and told doc they were stressing our household . doc lit em up .
you have enough around your neck without some mussolini wannabe trying to push you around .
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Why am I feeling increasingly misunderstood here? Perhaps I am not explaining the situation well...... My understanding is that helpers are supposed to be just that......helpers.....uplifting and supportive..... When I start to feel they are more of a problem and ADDING to my load.....something is off.
I have been given 99.9% high marks for my caregiving from all drs., other helpers for the past 6 1/2 yrs. , so this negative helper stands out. She didn't start out critical, but has become more so and I think that is what has thrown me. When I spoke about her lectures about my hurting back, that was just one example. I have many. I really think the problem is more her, her low self-esteem, jealousy and competitiveness...thus her negative remarks. Even when she was picking up her check she said her feelings were hurt because I went to the other helper and asked her for instructions on putting the bed-bound panty on mom as I was having difficulty and she thought I should have asked her, as she's taken classes, etc. (The other helper is a nurse with vast experience.) Then she also said it upset her when I helped her change my mom. I told her I was doing that as a kindness more than feeling she was inadequate as quite alot was involved at the time. I pointed out that obviously I thought she was adequate as she's been here 4+ mos. So....she's "on the shelf" for now. When I think back, I can recall her remarks about others tending towards the critical as well, though she comes across as super sweet and thoughtful.......I guess the mask fell and .....cadams
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Oh Gosh this is such a tough one. Moving and handling are, at best, not easy - and that is when we are talking objects. Once we get into the realms of people then it is worse and when that person cannot fully understand what you want them to do then multiply that 10 fold. And of course - all of us have been fully trained how to move and handle our loved ones haven't we?

NO OF COURSE WE HAVENT But training requires skills that your helper probably doesn't have . Actually definitely doesn't have because you are not taking the information she is giving you in that context. It may well be that this person has been trying to let you know that your way is NOT the right way - FOR YOUR HEALTH that is. It might work wonderfully for your mum but if in the process you damage your back then you can't caregive.

Now I know I am being generous here and they may just be the carers from hell who know everything but they may well be better trained than you so observe what they do, notice if they do something in a way you wouldn't and ask the question.....I find it easier to move Mum this way but I notice you do it that way....why?

See if by taking the student approach you can encourage them to 'give' of their knowledge rather than reproach you for what you are doing. I am a learn by watching sort of person so that works for me - you may be a different type of learner so whatever works best for you.

Try it it might make all the difference and if not you have given of your best xxx
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There is a way to instruct someone how to do things without looking as critical. I've done things the wrong way. The visiting caregiver have would very nicely tell me that the way I'm doing it would hurt my back. Then they proceeded to tell how me how it's done. I usually ask them to show me. To me, I don't take offense because they don't say it in a way that makes me feel stupid. And don't nitpick on me all the time. But I think this is because when they came to shower mom, I watched and asked lots of questions. My dad just watched them. But I wanted to know why they were doing it that way. Then I tell them how I do it. And they're pretty good at explaining to me the difference.... usually my way would eventually hurt my back, etc...

Overall, the visiting caregivers don't criticize me too much where I end up feeling as if I'm stupid, don't know what I'm doing all the time, etc... They know how to be subtle, tactful. And I know how to listen, weigh the information and then do it or not.
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OMG. So let's say I see that a patient is doing something that is going to hurt them, like twisting when picking up their child - or picking them up when they can actually put the weight on their own legs and just need a little help. How can you best offer guidance without seeming critical and having them react defensively and maybe never be willing to change the technique or the approach?

Sometimes things like that become "the elephant in the room" - the thing that it would help everybody if it could change, but you are not allowed to talk about it!
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Cadams, The helpers are supposed to help, not cause you more grief. Sorry this happened. I have no doubt you have been run over. I believe you-it is not unusual or a mystery that this happens.
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Cadams, Just don't sit there and take the unwelcome lectures. That could be what has made your illness worse.
Boundaries up!
It might only take once or twice to back the caregiver down from expanding her perceived role to "caregive/boss you around". It is her personality, or personality disorder maybe.
This calls for understanding when being nice is not always nice.
Pick your own words, or style to remind her she is over-stepping.
One can use words as strong as "Stop! You are over-stepping here, just stop".
(If she then says: "Why, what did I do?", just do not explain). Repeat "Stop, we are not going there".
You said you have confronted her. I think you can handle this-because we really cannot change another person's personality.
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For the last year that my mom was in IL she had a part-time caregiver that drove me nuts - bossy and constantly over-stepping - plus she always knew more/better when it came to moms care. Problem was mom adored her - largely I suspect because she doted on and spoiled mom - let mom have her way whether it was the right choice or not. When mom moved to AL we planned to use this caregiver until mom adjusted. But the adjusting never happened and mom was needing more help that the AL was going to provide so mom had to be moved to a nursing home. Now, once a week this caregiver still comes for five hours. The cg takes mom out to lunch, gives her mani/pedis, takes her to the minor dr appointments that I don't really need to go to - and in general this gal can get my mom to do things no one else can. The cg is still bossy, still over-steps, still knows better than anyone else - still drives me crazy but even the staff at the NH admit she has a positive impact on my mom - so she stays. How does your mother like this caregiver? That could be more important than how you feel about her.
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You may be right.
But the customer, CAdams & Mom, are always right.
There are many different ways to get the information conveyed. Manners, customer service etiquette, and respect for the home owner.
The golden rule applies here: Whoever has the gold, RULES!!!
Wonder if specific incidents could be gathered and given to the agency (once she's no longer needed / welcomed by CAdams.

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