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My client S. has been in Assisted Living Rehab for the last 60 days. I have been caring for her there for about 8 hours per day. I was completely taken back on the 19th, when we were in the dining room, which is a big adventure for my client and she noticed a gentlemen G. choking. She said D. go and check on him. I first of course, with following protocol see if there are any staff around. There was not, and went over to him (he was crying and gasping for air). I said "G." what is wrong, he said "Get C. I am choking" I saw he had a front and back plastic apparatus that was for a rib fracture and it was lodging into his adams apple. I pulled it back and he gasped and he felt good to get a breath. He was still crying and said, "can you stay here while I am waiting for Carly". He barely speaks and speaks very softly so this took quite a few minutes to get out of G. I said of course, and then my client, of course said it was ok, and read the paper while she was waiting for me to wheel her back to the room. Three patients were in the dining room. 18 minutes later a woman "aide" came in and I said oh G. here is M. she is here to help you. She looked at me with an expression of "what is the big deal", and then it all and I mean all came out. She proceeded to tell me in front of three patients how much she hates me, and that I do not need to smile and say hello to people in the hall, and "have I ever seen myself", of course I have. I have 6 letters of excellence, and that is not to brag that is to give everyone info on me. I take this work very seriously and love what I do, and I do it "to make a difference" She said, I talk too soft, and I talk this way and that way and I hate this and that, and basically just told me off. I stated M. you are being unprofessional and your company would not appreciate you doing this to a visitor. She said, well so what you know that about me, you know when I have something on my mind I unleash and tell it all. I said, now is not the time, and you should never ever in a corporate environment tell anyone how you feel, unless you want to get fired. This is a hard business and the patient is always right, and you do a job that gets very little recognition, but you have to be professional. She left with G. not looking at him medically, & came back to S.'s room with her hands on her hips & really ready to continue to tell me off. I said M. enough already. You are in a patient's room and that could be considered abuse. You do not need to continue telling me how much you hate me. I am mature and no more needs to be said. Please leave.

She stated many lies, of which when I wrote a letter to the director which he wanted me too, he took note of all of them. 1) I go into patients rooms. (NEVER). If I was doing that, someone would have told me not too. 2) I smile and say hello to people in the hallway. Is there a problem with acknowledging people that may need a smile. 3) You are too good at this and make all of us look bad. I am there for one person, and I am friendly, most caregivers are, and we are giving, and that is part of my personality. I am to go into a hallway of people whom are on hospice, etc, and not acknowledge them?

They immediately removed her from work Administrative leave without pay as she has admitted the harassment, but if I could get anyone's advice. I want to mention that I have been there with S. for almost 60 days almost to leave and now the Director wants me to sign a Independent Service Contract with him. I believe the reason is in the language of that it states that I will hold them harmless of all employee behavior & not make any charges against said company. He sat down with me 60 days ago & knew exactly what I was doing, and did not have a problem with it. The reason that I don't like what he is doing is because I am already her employee (legally, that is the correct thing), I discussed with him in the beginning all of this, and he stated "that was all he need to know and thank you for informing me". Now, I feel as if he needs protection because of M.

I wrote up a letter of what happened, and had an attorney assist me as I wanted it to be very professional and accurate. That was not cheap, but are there many areas that any of you see that I should look into?

What do you think?
What should I do in terms of the verbal Harassment & abuse. It was awful, & has had a huge impact on my client, their patient for the last three days. She is very sick (physically) because of it.
They are demanding to speak to her, & the reason is if this employee spoke in front of her, which it is obvious she did, then that takes the investigation to a complete different level.

I am 54, this woman is 21 or 22. I said to the director, consider it a learning experience & possibly she needs to be in another position within the company. He states no, and obviously there is information that I am not aware of.

I took the hi road, because that is who I am. I tried my best to include all the details. Thanks for your help, fellow aging care.com friends.

Thank you.

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Sign nothing!

Keep on the high road. They know you are right. Protect your client at all costs.

They know that it it ever went to court they'd lose big time. You might need to point that out to them.

More power to your elbow!

CG99
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From someone who was a contract administrator and negotiated indemnification clauses (which include hold harmless agreements), DON'T even consider signing the agreement requested.

And don't sign an Independent Service Contract with the facility (or with the director, as the case may be.) As I understand it, you have no contractual relationship with him, so there is no need for a contract when no such relationship exists. It does seem like a backdoor to ensuring that you won't look to them for liability if the former employee takes legal action.

Actually, if that's an issue, you could ask the facility to indemnify you!
But just tell him your attorney advises against it. That should close the issue and let him know you sought legal advice (even if you didn't). And it should establish that you can't be manipulated.

Then perhaps let him know the issue is closed by saying something to the effect that you're glad the facility is taking action to address the former employee's action and you look forward to continuing to working with your client at the facility, and also look forward to a good working relationship with the admin staff. That should close the issue, or at least let the director know you consider it closed.
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Agree don't sign away your rights to hold the facility responsible for any harm that may come to you while working on their property. Show the document to your agency and make sure they are carrying workmans compensation insurance on you. if someone like M by chance trips you up with a wheelchair and you break something you will be up s***s creek.
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Livelifefull,

I am a home heathcare nurse. I work for an agency. I can honestly say that all of our caregivers that are working in facilities for private clients have confrontations with the staff on a regular basis. And so do I.

I have a client in a NH and I had to sign a very detailed, long, and thorough document with this facility.

The staff in this facility resents my presence and it's been my experience that working in a facility is very dicey. You'd think that the staff in a NH would be grateful that we're there but that's not been my experience.

Just 2 days ago while I was assessing my patient she mentioned that she had to use the bathroom. Most of the time she's incontinent but I pressed the call light since I'm not allowed to transfer her (facility policy since I don't work there). When the aide came in I told her, "Sue said she'd like to use the bathroom". The aide told me that I was NOT to speak for my patient (who has advanced dementia) and that if Sue had to use the bathroom then Sue could ask the aide herself. So the aide planted her feet right in front of Sue's wheelchair and with a tone said, "Sue, do you need to go to the bathroom? You don't nee to use the toilet, do you?" Well, this intimidated Sue (which is why she has private caregivers) and Sue said, "No, I don't need to use the bathroom". I told the aide that I didn't push the call light for fun, that Sue said she needed to use the bathroom and the aide said, "well, she doesn't need to now". And then the aide proceeded to tell me to NOT speak for my patient. I told the aide that I was there as an advocate and to make sure she's doing OK with the outside, private aides her family hired but the facility aide insisted that I not speak for her.

In our morning meeting the next day I brought up this situation and no one really had anything to say because facility worker's are notorious for being resentful of private duty aids and RN's. My company has a number of aides that are working in facilities right now and they call in all the time with issues they're having with the facility in which they're working.

Document, document, document. Date's, times, names. One facility aide once said to me, "I know you write all this stuff down in your little book over there." Ha! I do actually!

My advice is to keep your head down, do your job to the best of your ability, put your client first, and document everything. Oh! And whatever you do, do not get involved in facility gossip. You don't work there and it will just come back on you eventually.
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Do not sign. Do not sue. Continue to take the high road.
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Like JeanneGibbs, I don't know what you want help with. Kudos to you for being professional at every turn and for standing up for yourself. Sounds like you did a fine job.

When mom spent rehab time in a nursing home, I saw several aids who'd been hired by family to assist their in-patient loved one. Personal caregivers give family real peace of mind. It's an important job you do! Kudos again!

As for them wanting you to sign something, I'm guessing this was on advice of their attorney. It's possible that this will become their new policy because of this incident. Sounds like they want to make sure they are held harmless from bad acts against independent caregivers by their staff.

If I had been asked to sign this when I first began my assignment, I probably would have signed it without so much as a second thought. But because of what's already happened, I'd be very reluctant to sign away my right to hold them responsible for the behavior of their employee. (She sounds NUTZ.)

I would only sign it if I had asked MY attorney this question: "What if the ex-employee filed a lawsuit against ME for the loss of her job?" I think I know the answer: You would have to defend yourself against it.

Personally, I wouldn't have given the nursing home a darned THING in writing about their employee. This was their problem to handle in whatever way they chose based on what you told them. They asked you, basically, to help them justify her firing. Not your responsibility.

I might be willing to lose my position rather than sign that agreement. You are signing away your rights. Never do that lightly. Frankly, if they've fired her, then they have acknowledged that she acted inappropriately. If they now refuse you the right to your job responsibilities because you won't hold them harmless, I think you would have the grounds for a lawsuit.

If you're asking if others think you should sue the nursing home because of this woman's behavior, my answer would be, "Not unless you are fired by your employer...or unless the nursing home says, 'You can't work for this patient in our facility." Why? Because then you've been damaged by the conduct of their employee.

I'd be very happy to sign something that said I was an independent contractor. I wouldn't be happy signing something that retroactively protected the nursing home from the egregious actions of their employee. I'm not sure what I would do.
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LLL, you sound like a wonderful CG and a genuinely good person. It is a shame that the aide reacted to you in such a hateful manner. I am not sure your client will ever feel comfortable or safe there, after witnessing such a scene. You certainly have my support and admiration! I can't think of a reason, other than a potential lawsuit, that you would be asked to sign a release. I don't have to tell you of how elderly people's minds work and of the different levels of mental and physical conditions represented in the population of ALFs and nursing homes. I would like you to know that your and your client's introduction to her environment could have been over different. My mom went to an ALF after falling, breaking her hip, and rehab. There are two sections of this particular campus, one for ambulatory residents who need minimal care and the other for the residents who need additional care and a higher ratio of staff to residents. Some of you may recall my comment about her smoking in her room resulting in my being asked to find another place for her. The owner is such a kind and compassionate man. He allowed her to stay but on the condition that she move to the second place where there was more supervision. Between the two places, she stayed there for around six years before she passed away three years ago. As FreqFlyer, I am an only child and have no children of my own. (I am married and have lovely step children and grandchildren.) I was retired from teaching on the high school level, and I was an adjunct professor at a state uviversity. I love teaching and my subject, so it was, as someone on this site said in another post, to "maintain my sanity." I was too young to do nothing, and I found myself restless staying at home 24/7. Teaching part time was perfect to keep me busy and still have time for home and my husband. My idyllic retirement took a drastic turn when mom fell, etc. As some others have said in their posts, mom didn't realize that I was a senior citizen myself. I went to visit with her every day, took care of picking up her meds and preparing them for her, took her to the nail salon with me every two weeks (she loved her acrylic nails!), took her and her best friend out for breakfast or lunch at least once a week. The teacher in me is long-winded and has to set the scene. Sorry. The ambiance at the facility was loving and comfortable, and before long I actually enjoyed my visits there. The families of the residents were welcome to eat there at no cost; and, many times, because of my schedule, I would be there at meal times. I was like you. I smiled at people and tried to be helpful. Since people saw me in the dining room, patios, activity times, and monthly birthday times, they associated me with my mom and my presence there was nothing unusual. Mom was rather shy, and I think having me there gave her confidence in making friends and being comfortable. Mom had a long-haired Chihuahua and could have kept her there. She soon discovered, however, that she was too busy with the activities and her friends to care for her. :) So, my husband and I became the guardians of her dog. With permission from the owner, of course, I took the Chihuahua with me quite often to visit with mom and, as it turned out, as a positive experience for the other residents. She is not a nervous dog, as some people think Chihuahuas are. She loved the attention and being passed around to be held and cuddled. The residents had stories to share of their former pets and enjoyed holding and petting our fluffy, sweet baby. When the residents asked me to do something for them, I didn't mind at all. Rather than resenting me, the staff accepted me and appreciated the difference my visits and the visits with the dog made among the residents. So, contrary to some of the horrible experiences I have read here, mom's years in the two facilities were as pleasant as anywhere, except being in her own home, could be. After mom's death, I continued my visits a few times a week and became very close to her best friend. She was a special part of filling the void left in me by mom's death. My husband began to feel that I was too involved with the residents and staff, and I know he had felt neglected when mom occupied so much of my time. So, my visits became fewer and farther between. I will always be grateful for the care my mom received there, and I still drop in to visit with the owner and staff. Obviously there is quite a turnover in residents, so I don't know most of them. If someone needs help with putting on or taking off a jacket or needs another glass of tea, I am still happy to do what I can. Every time I see the owner, I ask if he is holding a room for me and he responds with, "Of course!" Since I am 68 now, it may not be long before I need a room there. My husband is quite ill now, so I gave up my teaching this spring. If not for your experience with the unprofessional and angry aide, just think of how different your and your client's experience could have been. I am so sorry, because you sound like such a kind and caring person. I hope your client is doing well. I don't think you need any advice. It sounds as if you are doing the right things already. I agree that you should take any papers to your lawyer before signing them. People like you make life so much more pleasant for your clients and for anyone who is blessed by meeting you. Thank you for just being you!
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You are under no obligation to sign this..... they are covering their butts and that is not your problem.... you handled this with absolute professionalism and the girl has been suspended..... as you said.... a lesson..... kudos to you and for our work with others.... very well done.....
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Do you know, other than to get out of the liability of thinking I am going to sue them, why they would want something in writing now.

I guess I need support. Thank you
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I don't know what you want help with. Sounds like you are doing great.

Take the proposed contract to your lawyer. If you've been working there for 60 days as your client's employee I don't see how they can insist otherwise now.
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