Okay, I’m in a bit of a situation. I probably shouldn’t be posting this, but I’m honestly stuck. I have no where else to turn for help. This’ll be long, please hear me out. So I’m 22, going to school, and living at home still. I work for a company in my hometown that helps disabled and/or elderly people live as independently as possible. We’re similar to aides. Anyways, this woman I go to, we’ll call her Kathy, is 64, she has diabetes, depression/anxiety,she’s had problems with her shoulders before, and years ago, had surgery on both her ankles/feet, and I mean, YEARS ago. I’ve been going to Kathy for 3 years now and she lives with her husband, son and grandson. When I started going to her, she did almost everything herself, she just needed some company and rides to her doctors and store, etc. Anyways, within the last 3 years I’ve learned a thing or two about how she is and her family. They are all the laziest people I’ve ever met, I mean LAZY. They let their 2 full grown pit bulls urinate and throw up all over the house and Kathy and her family will let it sit until I get there to clean it up. I have to put the dogs out all the time and feed them. They also have 2 cats and a hamster. I have to take care of all of them now, WHICH, is NOT in my job description at all. I’ve called my boss about it numerous times. Kathy’s whole family refuse to shower out of laziness, her son’s feet are black at the bottoms, Kathy refuses to change clothes half the time, clean, they refuse to pick anything up, they’ll leave their garbage lay because they’re too lazy to throw it away. She doesn’t take care of anything anyone gives her. She got a FREE nebulizer from her doctor and not even a week later she stopped using it and then I saw it STUCK to the floor in dog pee. She gets free clothes from people feeling sorry for her and then either gives it away, or throws it on the floor for the dogs. Kathy also double doses her medicine and sleeps most of the day, which I’ve told my boss. Anyways, so I’m basically doing everything in her house now, and a lot of it I’m not allowed to do because of my job description, but Kathy and her family get mad when I say no to things not in my job description. Also, now she’s been falling a lot, which I’ve reported. Over the last year, she’s just refused to get up to do a lot of things. She went to the hospital in the beginning of January. She was in the hospital for two weeks, for a few fixable issues (UTI, pneumonia, strep throat, etc), and they said she was way over medicated and they reevaluated her medicine, and then went to physical rehab. She was supposed to be there for at least two weeks, but Kathy SIGNED HERSELF OUT not even 4 days in the rehab. But, when she came back, she was a whole different Kathy, she showered, she actually was walking better, without her cane or walker, and did things on her own. But, since she signed herself out, they didn’t send physical therapy to her or anything and Kathy wasn’t happy about that and said they didn’t send her any help. Over the next 3 weeks, she started getting bad again, she put herself back on all the medication the hospital took her off of, and then she went back to the hospital. This time Kathy had a staph infection and a UTI again. She was in the hospital for a week and then released. Both times, was a different Kathy, was able to walk and everything. This time, she got FREE (to her) physical therapy to come to her house. She shuffles, she doesn’t walk and then wonders why she falls. The doctors at the hospital and the PT told her thats why she falls. She’d tell the PT she was sick, even if she wasn’t so she wouldn’t have to do anything and she’d put the most minimal work in. The PT’s would all tell her “Kathy, you’re going to have to move sometime” or “you have to put the work in to get stronger.” She lays on her chair like a bump on a log. She doesn’t move. I’m honestly surprised she doesn’t have bed sores. That’s how much she doesn’t move at all now. Her one PT service gave up on her after about 2 weeks because she’d refuse to do anything and wasn’t putting any effort in. She wouldn’t do her exercises. She’d cuss them out and tell them, “thanks for the pain” etc. so now that’s out there, she’s getting a wheelchair now, but there’s 8 steps off her porch. We can’t get her with the walker down to my car, so she has a borrowed one now. She’s also really bad again and now refusing to walk most of the time and I’ve reported all this to my boss, who all choose to do nothing except write down every time I call and what I say. They say they can’t make her do anything. I’m stressed out all the time. I understand that I’m there to help her, but not her whole family and her pets. JUST KATHY. I feel like a maid most of the time now, instead of an aide or helper, and I feel like they take advantage of me. We also feel that this time if she goes to the hospital, it’ll be for good, she’ll go to a nursing home. I don’t know what to do. I feel trapped.

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Blue Snakes,
I've been a nurse for 39 years. You sound like a very concerned caregiver. You also are stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Your client won't cooperate and you're not getting any assistance from the manager at your job.
Oh, be sure to e-mail all your correspondence to your boss so there's a communication trail. That was they can't say you never told them.

Your clients are using you as a maid instead of a c/g. They've shown you they are not going to change.

I'd say it's time to ask for another assignment where you could do more good and be better appreciated.
Helpful Answer (5)

Stick to your job description. Tell your boss in advance that is what you are going to do.

The client will get mad. And? Is it in your job description that you can't let her get mad? Why do you think that her being mad is worse than you being exploited?

Maybe this family is the laziest one in a 4-county radius. Or maybe there is some mental illness going on. Or a little of both.

Stick to your job description and start looking for another position. People with your skills are in high demand.
Helpful Answer (4)

So your boss is documenting your reports on your client; then sitting on his hands and doing nothing. Are you sure he's doing nothing? What would you like to see being done?

Kathy sounds like a lot of a handful with a lot of problems - not easy to help. But although she clearly does better in institutions, comes bouncing back every time looking a hundred times happier and healthier, current thinking is that institutional care is inherently undesirable and "everyone" has the right to live her own life.

As you know - you work for this company :)

Have you told your line manager how uncomfortable you are with the situation? Do you believe it amounts to neglect of Kathy's needs?
Helpful Answer (1)

Yes, I would refuse to go to this house. Your health is in question.
Helpful Answer (5)

You sound like a wonderful, caring young woman. There is a lot of demand for someone like you as a caregiver (do you live near me? Arizona?) If you were my daughter, I would tell you that it's time to ask for a reassignment because the conditions are intolerable. If a reassignment is impossible, then you should start looking for a new job. Don't wait until Kathy goes to the hospital again. Look NOW.
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