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Mom is 93 with Alzheimer’s. We interviewed an aide and think she can take care of mom. She’s been an aide for 15 years (from Philippines). She is a widow and would live in.


I am however concerned about the caregivers age and health (I don’t know if she’s healthy or not). She is obese. If it weren’t for these two things I’d be okay with her. What is your opinion? Any experience with aides this age?

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I'd speak to her previous employer (assuming the previous employer is not dead, obviously), I think. Find out how comparable the two different roles were, and ask direct questions about how reliable and capable this lady proved herself to be.

It slightly depends on what you want her to do, but I wouldn't be worried about the age, and I wouldn't be worried about her size unless it prevents her from being normally mobile (which you can observe as she moves around the place). But as for a caregiver needing to be at peak fitness - anything beyond standard adult female strength you'd need lifting and mobility aides anyway, and it wouldn't matter if this lady were thirty and sylph-like.

The thing is, you could be passing up an absolute gem and genius of a caregiver, with fifteen years' satisfaction behind her, for the sake of mere assumptions.
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Lileesa Sep 2019
Good points
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I remember when I first hired an aid to help my 82 year old bedridden mom. I too, was a little concerned with both her age, (also late 60's) and her weight. Boy, was I ever wrong in making any assumptions. This woman has more energy and strength than I do and I'm at least 10 years younger. She has been a complete blessing to our family and honestly I dont know what I would do without her. I'm so glad I didnt let her age or weight hinder my decision in hiring her.
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Sorry, but in this instance a 69 yr old and obese will have an effect on how she does her job. Do not tell her that her age and weight is why u would not hire her. You can say she is not a good fit.

There are horror stories on this forum about live ins. One took over. One wouldn't leave the house after the client died. Another moved her family in putting the client in the cellar apartment that the aide was living in and taking over the rest of the house. Another, once the client died, told the son she could live in the house but he would still need to keep it up.

If u go this route, get a lawyer involved. Have a contract drawn up naming all the reasons you can let her go. Distinguish if she is self employed or ur employee. ( depends on ur State laws concerning live in help) This will determine what tax deductions u will need to make.
If you go this direction, make sure all valuables are out of the house.

If it were me, I would put Mom in an AL. She will be safe, fed and cared for. You won't have to worry about needing aides. You do realize that ur going to need more than one aide. This woman can't expect to work 24/7 with no time for herself.
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I understand your concerns, but look at the other side from a caregiver who is 70 years young. I have been a caregiver for 50 years. I love what I do, & I'm darned amazing at it - never had a complaint. I'm skinny as a rail, red-headed, fading fast,! but I've got a huge overflowing heart full of love, understanding, compassion, patience. Clients pick up on this, and if they're comfortable with the CG, they will work with her, to get whatever done. The point here is; Please don't judge a book by the cover, .. it's what's inside that counts. Good Luck,!!
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I've used in home care for 7 years. My wife has a weight problem which I can handle. You need to make sure your HHA or CNA can physically handle your mother. Can she lift? Can she roll your mother over? If the HHA or CNA comes thru and agency they will have done some screening and they will also outline the services that your helper is capable of or expected to do. If their first language is not English make sure they are very understandable when they speak. Also make sure of English comprehension.
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disgustedtoo Sep 21, 2019
While it would be wise to ensure communication both ways will not be a hindrance, I had to speak with people from the Philippines who were part of the call center for phone service at my previous house - their English skills were better than some life-long Americans, both understanding and speaking! I complimented them for that. It is a huge difference sometimes to getting someone from other countries.
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Obese people need work too.
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So do older people. age discrimination is illegal yet everyone here is suggesting it!
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Ask when her last check-up with the doctor was. She should be getting annual physicals, annual flu shots, and probably frequent (probably less than annually) TB tine test to check for tuberculosis. Will she be required to lift your mom? Have her demonstrate moving her from bed to chair and back. Have her demonstrate care that you expect - or give her a week probationary period with somebody there to evaluate her proficiency.
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Don’t ask when her last check up was. People please educate yourselves on the law. Employers must tread carefully when it comes to asking about health.
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Ask for references so you can talk to several past employers about her abilities.
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Short answer: Not advisable. From experience, these applicants are thinking this is going to be more of a sitter’s job or that the patient is more fit than they really are. If they get hurt, do they have workers compensation insurance...like hurting their backs while trying to get a patient up, etc. Really think this through from a liability standpoint.
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If they get hurt, it’s the EMPLOYER who is required to have workers compensation insurance.
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I think I'd be more concerned about the live-in situation...make sure you know -legally- what's what with respect to her (or anyone) living in your mother's home. I think it's harder than you think to get someone out, if things don't work out. It could be the best thing in the world, you never know, but it's a crap shoot. I believe there are some folks in this forum who have talked about this very issue. You may want to look through the Q&As and see if someone else has had this problem... Good luck
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