My step-dad bought his privately hired caregiver a used car, (because she has to take him to doctors out of town every few months and her vehicle was failing) and gave her $5,000. We have discussed this. I have spoken to her and she yelled at me saying that it was his idea, and the money is going towards her little girls education. At first he was going to be 10,000! Now, every time he discusses what he wants her to do, she blames it on me.
We now have a few other people coming in and she is not coming in 7 days a week. It started out to be just weekends, then went to 5 days a week, then she was dropping in every day. She started taking him to her church, he said he liked the breakfasts, she brings her daughters over.
We live in a small community, and access to caregivers is expensive and limited.
It all comes down to what he wants. He is 91, and mentally sound. I know he gets lonely and he likes her company.
My question is, should I report her, or just let her know that she will be fired if she accepts any more gifts?
My last straw was my Dad's last caregiver. I hired her to get Dad's breakfast in the morning, drive him to Adult Day Care, pick him up, make sure he had a nutritious dinner and keep him company until I got home around 9 PM. I had her to do a few overnights as well.
Imagine my surprise when one day I decided to go into work late and check on Dad's apartment before heading to work. I thought it was odd to see her car outside his apartment and I was completely prepared to blast her for not getting Dad to Adult Day Care as agreed.
It turns out she had indeed dropped Dad off at Adult Day Care only to swindle him out of his house keys and RETURN TO HIS APARTMENT!!! I opened his door to find her lounging on the sofa in her underwear AND helping herself to Dad's groceries! I later discovered that she was asking Dad to pay for additional gas (I gave her a $50 gas card monthly) and would order take home plates for herself and her hubby she would take Dad out to eat (the receipt showed two meals which I didn't question. Dad would only have coffee and pie)!!!
...AND this woman was studying to be a PHARMACIST!!!!!! Oh if I could have reported her.
It's disgusting that people take advantage of the elderly like this. I hope the OP did fire that awful person and found better alternatives.
Caring for an elder with cognitive problems can be very rewarding and also risky. Whether you are getting a fair wage or not!
There are amazingly wonderful independent caregivers out there. There are golddiggers, too.
Since this particular post is 2 years old, you may not get responses from the original posters, but it is a timeless topic, and worth bringing to the top again.
Somehow my brother scared the caregiver into paying for the car (eventually and after much effort). We have no idea how much money she got from him before we found out.
And just to be clear - my brother and I were not worried about an inheritance. We were worried that he was going to give it away and there would be none left for their care.
Lilliput had great advice. Investigate all of his financial information and try to figure out what is going on before it is too late.
I know that my level of comfort with (them) her is outside of the range of what might be safe in some situations, but it has, in fact, worked out just fine. I'm not there on my own time, I don't take anything from them (and wouldn't if offered), and find myself being mostly family, but very respectful of family. Most of the time I simply leave the room if the family comes to sit and visit. Often I'm called back by either her or one of the kids. It's nice. Still - I "know my place"! I also remind them often that in my world and my business, I'm an executive and doctors and investment people ask ME for advice! Ha ha. Gotta have the pride in there SOMEWHERE as you wash the bathroom floor! :-)
Take care - I look forward to hearing the "rest of the story"!
Anyway, he actually did not have a seizure all day yesterday, and is more rested than I have seen him in a long time.
This caregiver did not steal any of the money he had in cash, did not physically abuse him, and helped him through many bad moments.......Her life has been different than mine and I do believe she has some kind of disconnect, as she believe she is a Christian and that she did nothing wrong..............this is what makes the whole thing so insidious, like walking down a nice country lane and dropping in to a hole!
I want to thank everyone for their stories, encouragement and advice. I will keep you posted.
So we didn't know how to help her and basically couldn't. The nieghbors and people in town were in touch and assisted her alot!!! A town full of honest good hearted people "for real". I didn't find out how much they all did for her until she got to the point of full blown helplessness and she finally accepted help. Then I started sorting out the disfunction piece by peice. Then I found out she still owned the car it was in a driveway a few blocks away her plates remained on the car. I didn't know what really happened but she said some guys stole it. Then she said she gave it away to some lady for changing her locks (she kept losing her key). So Before I realized there are still people that care for real. My sister and I thought the worst after many trys to contact the people who had the car. We finally spoke to a woman about the car and by this time I was really thinking someone was taking advantage of Mom. She said that Mom had given her the car. I thought she was lying still. Anyway it turned out she was a "handywoman" she did help Mom in fact they met because she saw Mom dragging a bag full of ? up a big hill in a snow storm and she drove Mom home. That time on they were friends. She help me fix things in Mom house free of charge too. Family didn't help and she did. She turned out to be one of the nicest people I ever met. I felt so bad for what I originally thought about her. I am not saying everyone is this angelic. I do believe that it's hard to trust but those who can be trusted go the extra mile due to the many untrustable. Just wanted to share.
There are occasions where a gift from a client is okay. For instance, in my Agency, there was a young college-aged caregiver who had cared for the same couple for a long time. When she was leaving to further her education, the couple gifted her with a laptop. This was with the knowledge and approval of both the agency and the children of the clients. VERY different story from what you describe.
I'm wondering if outright firing of her would hurt your father. Just a thought. She needs to be threatened, at the very least, with legal action and with firing. What if you established the rule that she is only to be there while on the clock, and is to run any "gifts" by you prior to acceptance? Am I being too soft?
this decision. Big hugs again!!
The icing on the cake: as we were waiting for ambulance service to come help us, she asked if she could have the water color painting of him, that my sister had given him....as he was saying yes, I told her no, that it was for family!
P.S. The doctor told me to call the ambulance service to transport him the 1 mile to the Bishop Care center. they told me it would be $500, but they would come out to the house and put him in the car at no charge....Thank you Symons Ambulance!
Life is not black and white. I admit that, in the beginning, it was easy to let someone else be there for my step-dad while I was navigating my way through the mental health system for my husband. I work full-time, with no other family in the area. In wanting to get rid if the beast, I have spent a great deal of time trying to find someone else. This came when he was beginning to need even more help, and finally I have spent the last week, staying with him at night, helping him through progressively longer seizures.
This man and my mother got married when they were 80 years old. They had 4-5 good years, then he took care of her through her Alzheimer's. He never put her in a home, and she died at home, 81/2 years after they were married. I was hoping even yesterday, that he would die at home. We sat and sang and cried and finally I made the call.
I work with the public, and I tell as many people I can about this woman. All the agencies in town now know her.........and I have his bank accounts in hand.
who has inserted hints and such to the point he is agreeing with what she wants, not what he wants or needs. My dad was in his fifties, healthy, held a full-time job, seemed to manage his life well. My brother lived 4 hours away, I lived 2 hours away. We never realized he was being taken advantage of by a co-worker. Dad was lonely after Mom died (he used this word often). His co-worker asked to stay in Dad's lower level of the house til he could find a rental. Long story short, 4 years later - co-worker, his new wife, her 5 kids, and other assorted relatives were there. Dad was not receiving any financial assistance (rent, utilities, groceries, etc) from these people (we found out later). Dad had a massive heart attack at 57. During his hospitalization, I moved into his house. I discovered that that he was in serious financial trouble from supporting these people including their pets. The second day in the hospital Dad requested we get a lawyer so that these people could have a portion of his estate should he die - he promised them. Yipes! We got a lawyer to protect my Dad. My brother and I were naive, Dad kept assuring us that the people were helpful, paid rent etc. Dad was a overwhelmed but didn't want to worry us and I am sure embarrassed. I regret I listened to what I wanted to hear, not what I needed to hear. Dad died peacefully a few weeks later. My brother and I managed to evict the people but not before they destroyed the interior of the house. Please remove this person from your Dad's life. You may even need to contact a lawyer or the police to see if she has done this financial blackmail before. Being lonely leaves one vunerable to all sorts of scams. Please help your Dad - I wish I had stepped up for my Dad.
Restraining order? Absolutely. But people like her often find ways around them. Still, it's a great idea.
ALL SHE'S GOT:
You're right. Apples & oranges. If confronted, that caregiver will undoubtedly say the $5K gift and the car were his idea; and that he insisted. The fact of the matter is that most women communicate by giving subtle suggestions instead of being literal, and many men will either fall for the Damsel in Distress in a heartbeat or consider how best to help -- especially when there's a secondary gain. Even when they know there's a possibility they might be taken for a fool.
"Give a man a fish, he'll eat for day. Teach him how to fish, he'll eat for a lifetime." The best way to help others is to give them the tools to help themselves. I don't care if it's a man or a woman; straight, gay, bi, confused, in the closet, or behind the closet.
Most women I know find me intriguing or intimidating. Perhaps because I'm the only male out of 14 children, and I understand the female psyche better than the average Joe. Perhaps because I'm looking for a self-reliant, self-respecting woman who wants me but doesn't need me; and only hangs around because she loves me.
Although it sounds like I'm looking for a custom-fit in an off-the-rack world, there are many out there. Yet no one, no matter how lonely or mature, deserves to be manipulated, used, or abused in any way. And I have no tolerance for these golddiggers -- which are quite common in my Southeast Bronx neighborhood and usually target the physically/psychologically frail elderly to the point they often feel grateful that some Spring chicken finds them "attractive" and wants to spend some time with them the week when the SSI/SSD checks arrive.
My "Trick Alarm" goes up when females 20-30 years younger than I approach me at the Parkchester Fountain while I'm reading and relaxing. "Casing the joint," they ask if I'm single, what kind of work do I do, and if I have a car. I immediately flip the script with something like "I just came back from Upstate (NY prison) after catching three bodies, and I'm looking for a place to hang out for a while. ... Can I get your #?" In a nutshell, they realize I'm not to be played with and the conversation ends abruptly. Maybe when I hit 90 my tune will be completely different, but for now I'd rather hang on to my self-respect and keep my eyes peeled for these shiftless predators who prefer to get the milk and the cow for free.
Good night my ladies.