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I have been looking at facilities for the last several months to find the right one for my 92 year old mom with moderate dementia, confined to a wheelchair but still pretty healthy. Found what I thought was the perfect place: nice home setting, about 10 residents, and one block from where I live. Have visited several times. Good vibes. However I visited for the first time tonight. Got the scoop from the overnight aide who says staff is great except for 1 daytime person who is lazy and sleeps. No one likes her. They have complained to the owner who is now considering moving her to a night shift where she will be the only staff person onsite. I have met this person twice and did not like her. Told owner she is unfriendly. Owner said she is shy. Aide I talked to tonight said that's BS. So I'm happy I got the straight scoop tonight. But now having second thoughts about a placement that seemed just about perfect. Help!

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Thanks, everyone. I am going tonight to meet another staffer. I totally agree that caregivers can leave on a whim...but the one I am meeting tonight has been there 11 years!! Apparently he is terrific with the residents - mostly female - which I why I want to meet him - because he is male and my mom is kind of shy. Making these visits also lets me see the place during evening hours and get different staff perspectives, which I take with a grain of salt. Any staff dissatisfactions track back to the owner - which is my biggest focus as people can come and go.

I have always learned to go with my gut. Overall as I mentioned, the vibe at this place is good. Maybe I can just outwait this staffer before placing my mom as she has only been there a couple months and probably won't last long. :)
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Reply to tornadojan
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You will never find "the perfect place" because it simply doesn't exist, as you likely know. If you put everyone under a microscope, they will all ultimately fail your test. In reality, caregivers come and go continuously in these settings. Why? They are grossly underpaid by facilities that make LOTS of profit and can afford to pay better. They have tough jobs to do that require dealing with sometimes cranky and mean seniors who expect an awful lot out of them including a smile plastered on their faces 24/7. My mother had a caregiver named Sarah who always joked around with her about being old. When mom complained about not being able to do something, the standing joke was, "it's because you're so old". They'd both laugh over their little joke, which I'd heard many times before. One day, the head nurse had an issue with my mother who was hollering about her being a liar.....my mother can be sweet as pie or The nastiest B you'll ever run into in your life. The nurse called Sarah in for corroboration of what she was saying, Sarah corroborated, and my mother went ballistic. She was screaming that Sarah was so "fresh" and insulting to her all the time, calling her old and making fun of her, that she should be FIRED. I about keeled over on the spot. This young woman turned white as as a sheet and burst out crying. She wound up begging the nurse to be sent to a different area of the building so she no longer had to deal with my mother. I didn't blame her one bit. The Jekyll and Hyde routine was old hat to me, but quite frightening for her.

These caregivers are subjected to A LOT of nonsense A LOT of the time. Your gal in question may be shy, she may be exhausted, or she may be burned out and looking for another job. If you like the place, don't let one caregiver change your mind. Go by how the place in general makes you feel. The caregivers are only temporary.
Best of luck!
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Reply to lealonnie1
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Caregivers are often underpaid. they are often expected to work 24 hour shifts and that means that they are actually trying to get some sleep. If you figure the salary they would have to pay for 24 hours straight??? Well, they don't pay it, so don't bother. The best thing you can do here is to get straight with the owners how long this shifts are, and are they paying a minimum hourly wage. Are they having workers work 8 hour, 12 hour, or 24 hour shifts. This will tell you a lot. It is often the place itself at fault. As to taking one aides word re another? Not always the best thing as now you are into personalities. This is a very underpaid profession, caring for our elders, and very overpaid in cost to us and to the "system" so gather in all the facts you are able.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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Thanks, everyone. Original poster here. Note that my mom is not yet a resident of this home. Still investigating. Yes, the aide was unprofessional in sharing this info. However, I felt it had the ring of truth because of my take on this person. I have met her twice and my impression is not good. She came off as not conversational and sullen to both my mom and me. Supposedly she barely interacts with the residents. I could see that. Owner supposedly defends her because she has a hard time finding caregivers. I am not naive about what care workers can do when no one is around. It's just more noticeable and concerning when it's a small setting and hearing this caught me off guard. I am going back Monday night to meet another one of the overnight caregivers and may learn more then.
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Reply to tornadojan
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Isthisrealyreal Jul 26, 2019
If she is taking care of the residents and doing her job, who cares if she interacts socially.

I would think that is all that matters.

You never know if she is standoffish because she gets attached and she is worn out from loving and losing people or maybe she is caring for a sick loved one at home. I would bring her a treat and say, let's talk. Then ask her what you can expect from her and how she would like you to help so that mom is getting the best care possible. Sometimes people have harder lives then we can imagine and they have been marginalized by families so much that they protect themselves.

Just a different take. My dads caregivers were chatty kathy and babbling bob and were the worst caregivers, but boy could they socialize. They had a girl come in every now and then that you thought she was a deaf mute, but she worked and took care of everyone. Something to consider.
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Why do you take the word of the aide, who you know doesn't like her co-worker, over that of the owner?

I mean, obviously I couldn't possibly know who's right, but I wouldn't spoil a relationship with a good facility - which must mean good management, because that's where it begins and ends - because one member of the team has fallen out with another member of the team.

What don't you yourself like about this aide? How does your mother respond to her?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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First of all, the staff were very unprofessional in being so quick to condemn fellow staff. I wouldn’t trust her word at all.

You did find out a lot about the home, though, that fact being that it’s not much of a team effort there if staff are willing to throw their colleague under a bus.

You can’t possibly know if they are telling the truth. I wonder why staff would even tell you that as if that was a concern the staff person complaining should bring that behavior to the attention of management. Don’t be manipulated.

What about the residents there? Do they look like they are getting good care? Are they fed if they need it? Ratio of CG to residents? That’s the important stuff.

You didn’t “get the scoop”, you got the opinion of a disgruntled employee giving her/his side of the story.
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Reply to Shane1124
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Ahmijoy Jul 26, 2019
I agree with everything you said. However, I would not accept the owner’s excuse that the aide is “shy”. This is a public service job and if this aide was rude to the OP, there’s no good reason for this.
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No place is "perfect." Unfortunately, you're likely to encounter problem employees everywhere. Sleeping? What does your contract say about night time staff numbers. You never know she could be a great employee, why not stop by the place for the next few nights, and let us know what the facility contract says about its terms for vacating "residents"
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Reply to Screennamed
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tornadojan Jul 29, 2019
This is a 10-bed home. There is only one staffer overnight (7 p.m. - 7 a.m.) so it is important that s/he is not sleeping.
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