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I am growing more agitated at the things our caregiver misses. I rely on being informed of needs. I made a schedule for the caregiver to follow. It only has 4 items. Most are reminders to change clothing and bedding, exercise and to make a point of checking supplies and texting me a grocery list. He has yet to provide a grocery list by 5pm each Wednesday. He seems incapable of making a note when something runs out or to think ahead when something is about to run out. Any tips would be appreciated. (I could probably Google "reminding kids of their chores" or something but I am also using this forum for peer company at the moment.).

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I'm wondering how he responds when you discuss this issue with him? Seems like a reasonable requirement to me, given your situation. If it's the only issue you have with him, and he's otherwise competant, I understand your not wanting to make changes. I keep a notebook/diary in my mom's room, on a table next to the the caregivers chair. ask the caregivers to jot down pertinent things about mom each day, such as how she ate, if she had a good day etc... Perhaps that would work for you, and you have a place for an ongoing grocery/needs list?
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So sorry. People tend to get off topic. I see no problem with aide getting you a grocery list and it waas part of his hiring. I don't care how much money they r paid, he is employee. Minimum wage doesn't mean you shurk u duties. I have a white board on my fridge, as something runs out or gets low I put it on the board. Maybe u can suggest this. If u haven't tried, ask him why its so hard to do this.
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Michael, this may be over-simplifying the groceries issue, but I just wanted to mention there is a free smartphone app that I use called MyGroceries (by HeadCode) that allows multiple people to share. You can customize any way you want (by category or isle or whatever). It builds a database of items you have entered before so you don't have to re-enter every time. When you set it up to share, whenever the CG updates the list, you will see it in your list as well. He doesn't have to text you anything - he just has to remember to add an item when it occurs to him. The app works across different smartphones (droids and iphones) and you can create different lists (in my case, groceries, drug store, hardware store, etc). Hope this helps.
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Michael, I feel for you. I had many of the same problems/observations when my mother had in-home caregivers. It is extraordinarily frustrating. I think part of the problem is work ethic these days. No one seems to have any! I don't know if it's a generational thing or not. I don't care how much money someone is making or not making, you do your job and you do it well! The comments about minimum wage or poor pay are ridiculous. I can compose a grocery list in my head while I'm bathing my mother or changing her or whatever. While you father is eating or napping, the caregiver could be writing down things that come to him. It's not like composing a term paper or writing a novel! Am I a type A personality, I don't know. It's just ridiculous that people have to be reminded of their job over and over again. I think many are just plain lazy. If you do have to eventually move your father into a care facility don't expect it to get much better. My mother is in supposedly the very best facility in Denver, maybe even the state of Colorado and the things I see that don't get done are mind boggling. Don't tell me the caregivers don't have time, while I see them texting or watching moving on their phones, meanwhile residents are sitting with runny noses and no way to care for themselves or walking and nearly falling down or many other things I've seen. The facility gets paid plenty, I do not know what the caregivers get paid, but it shouldn't matter. Anyway, sorry for the rant and good luck. I wish you well. Maybe you could have a meeting with the agency that this person works for and tell them your concerns, but that you don't want to have a new caregiver, you would just like him to be more conscientious in his work.
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Can you ask caregiver to specifically check on items that expire like milk, eggs bread etc? Does your Dad eat frozen meals? They go on sale a lot and are very convenient. How old is your Dad? How is his nutritional status? Is he under weight or bedridden? Ensure and other nutritional drinks have a long shelf life and may be good to have on hand. It sounds like your Dad goes through phases of foods he likes. Is there a consistent food he always likes? My Dad drinks powdered milk which we get at Walmart. That has a long shelf life. I would suggest frozen items....even fruit. Easy to defrost, keep longer items.
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Did the OP say anything about texting being painful for the caregiver? Instead of making up excuses for the caregiver to use just have them call and talk about what is needed or leave a voice message. I'll bet they will have a list ready knowing they have to talk to you. At first you might have to call them back giving them a few more minutes to throw a list together but you would have it.

A friend of mine is in sales. He never climbed aboard the computer thing. He had a mobile phone way back when they were elite and uber expensive to maintain. He never climbed on board with the fancy touch screen mini computer iPhone thing either. He is all about being direct and that means talking to you, preferably in person. No email, texting, tweeting.

Schedule a day and time to talk on the phone. I'll bet $50 they catch on fast.
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It may look like The Man is watching by hanging a performance chart on the wall. A schedule on the wall if good enough. Keep a separate record of performance then reference it if you have to have another discussion on improving their performance. I would not worry about showing that you have kept track on paper if it comes to this. You are a boss in this arrangement. Just be a friendly boss and not a tyrannical boss. But be certain you are a boss. Friendship is a poor substitute for a healthy business relationship.
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Michael, I believe it is completely reasonable to expect a caregiver to keep track of basic essentials when they are involved in food preparation. In your case in which they receive meals as payment they are personally effected when food runs out. My gosh they are adults not children. Bologna to those assuming this person is underpaid. I don't see where their wage has been disclosed here.

A Tip:

One thing I have found that can be constructive is to create a schedule/chart that acts as a sign reminding the person of a task. Include some sort of space to fill in their performance. Note the actual time they reported information. This would also note if they didn't report at all. You could use colored highlighters to demarcate good and poor performance, say green for good, orange for late and red for doing nothing. Allow time to accumulate a track record then if it is not improving enough talk about it again in front of the posted chart/schedule. This time it won't be all words and ideas. There will be a visual history to reference. Chances are they will learn that more green is better than orange and red.

When you introduce the plan talk about the whole thing with them explaining why it is so important to do it on a certain day and at a certain time and the consequences of not meeting the deadline (its impact on your father's care not punishment for the caregiver).

I would not recommend any punishment for something like this. You want to encourage a healthy relationship not create an atmosphere of slavery. I realize they are being paid but you have to think of it as developing a working relationship everyone is happy to participate in and avoid being the task master cracking a whip.

Good luck!
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GardenArtist, also neck injury from looking down onto hand held devices is becoming more common, too. I remember seeing one teenager who almost had her chin down to her chest while she was using her Smartphone. Thank goodness she was sitting down and not walking.
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FF, well stated. There are also legitimate medical reasons for not texting, especially to excess.

An orthopedic doctor I saw back in the mid 2000s told me he was seeing an increase of young people who had developed wrist injuries from using electronic devices with tiny keyboards.

He had hired a full time physical therapist with his own large therapy office and workout equipment, just to handle all the wrist and arm injuries for which he was treating patients.
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Michael, I know how you feel wanting to have a caregiver who is very similar in how you would want to run the household. My Dad has 2 excellent caregivers but they don't do things the way I would want it done.... and it took me time to realize what was most important was that my Dad was happy with the caregivers. So I stepped back and let the caregivers work at their own speed and knowledge. This wasn't their first rodeo, but it was my first. Thus, I had a lot to learn.

And, Michael, I think you are becoming exhausted yourself since you work full-time, and then spend the whole weekend with your Dad. You aren't getting any down time to enjoy yourself. Could your Dad afford to have weekend caregivers during the day? Or in the morning? That way you can take inventory of what is needed and shop while there. That would be less pressure for you.

As for texting, how I hate to text. If someone texts to me they will get back usually an one word answer such as "yes", "no", "Call". I spent most of my adult life using a typewriter or a large computer keyboard.... so trying to type on something the size of a Hershey bar isn't easy :P
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While there may be a legitimate reason why the caregiver isn't meeting your expectations we all need to remember it is a job for them and our parent is not their parent
Maybe just ask him simply if he has a suggestion on how to get the grocery list to you - does he have good reading and writing skills ? Could he be dyslexic and is embarrassed or can't even do it ?
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Hmm ... you have a small business problem here, but there should be a solution.

First, you've already accomplished a great deal that many here envy you for. You have found a caregiver that your father not only accepts but likes and who in most respects is working out well. Congratulations! I think you are also correct that retaining the good aspects of this situation is better than starting over, going through training again, risky Dad not liking a new person, etc.

I think you have two choices. The first is what you asked our help with. Try to improve your employee's performance on this one task. I suggest you drop the attitude that that this is like getting kids to do chores and also that "It is not my problem to consider this employees feelings." Approach this as if you are a team, he is an adult, and his feelings and needs count. Do it for selfish business reasons. You'll get better results.

Then, try to figure out why this task isn't happening. How? By asking him, but asking it patiently enough so he might actually tell you. For example (just an example and it may not apply here) if my boss wanted me to to text her a list that involved more than 4 items every week I would bulk! Yes, I knew she wanted this list and it would be part of my job, but TEXT it? I hate texting! Hate those freakin' little pseudo keys that are too small for my fat fingers! But I am absolutely the best person she can find for the other aspects of the job. What could she do? Well, once she understood what the problem is she could offer me an inexpensive small real keyboard for my cell phone. Problem solved. (But she had to figure out what the real problem was, first.) Or maybe she could just let me jot down the list on paper throughout the week and read it into her voice mail.

Or maybe I'm extra good with people, but, boy details about things is not my strength. Then maybe a checkoff list and fill-in-the blanks form would be good. Check whether we need milk or not, and fill in what fruit Dad is fond of this week.

If my boss wanted me for my strengths she'd do her best to help me overcome my weaknesses.

If all else fails then you face your second choice: Do it yourself. This would delay the delivery by a a week. That might risk a little more spoilage, but probably not much. And the fact is, there is risk of spoilage regardless of when you get the list. Dad could love kumquats on Wednesday when CG texts or phones in the list. And by Saturday he may hate kumquats passionately. There really are only a few more days for that to happen if you do the inventory on Sunday and bring the groceries on Saturday. A certain amount of waste is inevitable in cooking for elderly people.

And treating the caregiver as a team member, how about brainstorming about how to avoid waste. If there are extra eggs toward the expiration date and/or Dad decides he doesn't like eggs, would it be a good time for French toast? Or make up a batch of pudding for dessert? Or milkshakes for afternoon snacks? He's decided he doesn't like grilled cheese this week? How about caregiver having grilled cheese and fixing Dad a tuna sandwich?

With goodwill and patience and workplace skills you may be able to work this out maybe not perfectly, but with at least some improvement.
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Michael, I hope you leave your type A personality at work. It is not going to do your father or his caregiver any good. It must be very difficult to provide all weekend care for your dad, the drive back and forth. Have you considered a facility for Dad? Have you looked? What woulx happen if you had a heart attack or something? Is there a plan in place?
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Michael, there are grocery delivery services that you could call when you are there. Since your father likes him I would do everything possible to have a good working relatioship. When you are there where does the caregiver go? Does he have a place that he lives that he pays for out of his caregiving salary? Or does he stay in his room while you are there?
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Freflyer, "Start doing it"??? Who do you think has been making this list as the caregiver has not contributed anything?

I stated "grocery list" in my original post. It is relatively easy to maintain household and healthcare supplies. Food spoils. It is a waste of money overstocking on food that will end up being tossed in the trash. Maybe you have money to throw away. We don't. I am trying to operate on a tight budget.

Aside from that my father's appetite varies. Sometimes he eats a lot. Other times he eats like a bird. His tastes change too. He was routinely going through eggs and bread. Now he won't touch either. One week he can't get enough grapes then he doesn't touch them.

Last week there was plenty of coffee. It was all gone this week. The caregiver didn't tell me. So my father who had been craving it more than ever lost out.

I would not fire him over the grocery list but my father likes him too much to replace him. It has been hard to find someone my father would accept.

For a while we had two splitting the week. That was better. They balanced one another. They were friends before they came to work for my father so it worked. But the one guy had problems with the agency and quit so we only have the one now.
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MsMadge, my boss had a wonderful caregiver and he was curious how his wife's was doing during the day as she was in late stage Alzheimer's.... so he installed numerous cameras around the house. The caregiver was told about the cameras and after a couple of weeks she resigned. She felt so very uncomfortable with those cameras.

Thus, he would hire new caregivers and his wife was very unhappy with every new person... she refused to bond with anyone new.... and kept asking for the original caregiver who she had a great bond. This really had disrupted the household.

My boss could kick himself as he never was able to get back the original caregiver as she had been hired by another family.
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Michael, sometimes when you want it done right, to your approval, you will need to start doing it yourself.

As for the grocery list, as I had mentioned in an earlier post, the list is the same every other week. One cannot have too many Depends, or too many boxes of cereal.
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o0MichaeL0o, perhaps you need to find someone else, if this person you hired is not able to do the job you hired him for and you can't trust yourself to converse with him calmly without getting angry over it.
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Sorry folks. The "Cinderella" thing ticked me off. It was hardly being a princess asking for someone to routinely produce a grocery list. Low and behold I just may have become one upon reading the suggestion that I was. It is one thing to think something. It is another to actually voice it.

Here is a suggestion: If you are considering saying anything potentially insulting or offensive, keep it to yourself and ask more questions. You will either change your mind or confirm your suspicion. Then decide whether it is valuable to share.
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Additionally, my father does not require social time. He prefers to be left alone. He naps a lot. He needs monitoring but a camera helps so you do not have to jump at each noise that might resemble him moving around the house. There is a lot of downtime.
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I asked for tips on encouraging someone to do a task they keep failing at. I was concerned about my temper preventing me from handling this appropriately. I don't need anyone passing judgement. I am here asking for tips. I don't need to be informed that managers need management skills. ;-)

I hired the caregiver to perform a job. Their duties were defined in advance. They accepted the job. The objective is caring for my father. It is not my problem to consider their feelings. If they did not want the job it was their responsibility to decline the offer.

Part of their payment includes providing room and board. Asking them to maintain a list of groceries is hardly asking too much of them. I perform the same duties and more when I am covering my father's care.

The grocery list is part of the scope of his responsibilities. We pay for his meals. He prepares meals for my father. He is there 24 hours 5 days per week. I do not have time and cannot leave to grocery shop when I am there. My father cannot be left alone. He is now too weak to go anywhere he does not have to. I work a full time job and commute an hour to be there on weekends. I have limited time to run errands after work. I need to know what is needed in time to be able to acquire it. I cannot always go on a certain night after work. I work late and traffic is a factor.

I know the caregiver has adequate downtime to make a run through the house for needs. That is the least efficient way, it would be better to jot things down as you are running out. Then do a fast run through in case anything was overlooked or forgotten. I know this can be done. I manage to perform the same duties he does and much more during the time I am there. I am the only one who bathes my father which is a 2-hour job with everything involved. I also take him to all of his numerous doctor appointments and frequent Emergency Room visits. Even with no days off there is plenty of time for me to think about supplies. But it does me no good if I do not have anyway of knowing what is needed before I have time to act on it.

Knowing the typical repeat items is not enough. There are things that do not run out often enough that I am caught unprepared for. There are things that expire like milk. At times I have discovered sour milk and duplicates of unopened milk other times. There is a tight budget and limited time. I am trying to avoid spending money on things that are not required.
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Michael,

1. Was the shopping list part of the work scope discussed when he was hired? If not, he might not consider it part of his job.

2. The fact that a shopping list is involved suggests to me that he's doing food preparation as well. Is that one of his responsibilities?

3. Plain fact is that he might not have time. He might seem to ONLY have 4 tasks, but as I understand he's responsible for changing and dressing your parent (?), changing the bedding, checking supplies and texting a grocery list.

Seems straightforward, but how many hours does he work? If he's only there a few hours at a time, he's already stretched to accomplish everything.

4. People in these agencies aren't paid well; they're not career jobs with advancement potential. Take that into account.

5. Help him by making a checklist of a different sort. List the items that run out more quickly, such as milk, juices, bread, etc. Have another section for supplies that don't need replenishment as often - toilet paper, butter, etc.

Put the list on the refrigerator or prominent place where he can simply check off what's used up, then and there at that time, rather than making up a special list.

Or better yet, design a text based list that he can simply fill in and send to you.

And do you know for a fact that he uses texting? (I blocked mine after getting unwanted messages from some religious nut.)

6. And put yourself in his position; imagine you're taking care of someone in someone else's house; what would workto help you remember your responsibilities?

7. Before getting more agitated, ask what YOU can do to help him, or ask him what steps you can take to help him perform his duties.

I'm not saying that I see this attitude in your post, but I recall other posts in which family have complained about caregivers. Their attitudes are so reminiscent of the Cinderella syndrome. They expect too much of people who are working for low wages and certainly don't have the most glamorous or exciting jobs.

Even professional people in business need to learn management skills. Caregivers could take lessons from that.
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Hard to rely upon hired help who are generally paid min wage

How many hours does the caregiver work? Are the duties of merely attending to your loved one too much for one person in addition to household chores?

If someone has dementia and wants constant attention it is difficult - there were times my mom wanted them with her not only for company but to keep an eye on them - she'd say leave the dishes and come watch tv with me so guess who had to do the dishes after a long day at work

The bat advice I have is to buy a little camera connected to wifi and place it in the room where the two spend the most time and that way you can check in periodically on your tablet or phone and see what's happening

Mine was placed on top of a bookshelf in plain site - I never told anyone it was there and would check it while at work periodically

For about $160 you can see and hear and record (which I didn't do) and mine even allowed me to speak to them which I also never did but would text the caregiver if I saw her enjoying too much tv while my mom was asleep at the kitchen table - hey has mom done her bicep curls today?

Good luck but keep expectations realistic
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My Dad's caregivers once in a while will make note of what is needed for groceries, but there are many times when the caregiver just doesn't have time to take inventory of what is needed in the household.

So I do the inventory whenever I visit my Dad... usually the list is the same every other week.
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