Follow
Share

After we had a caregiver steal money from my dad (91 yrs) we put in a Nest security camera in his living room to 1. make sure he's ok and 2. keep an eye on things during the day when the caregiver is there. The new caregiver makes his food then heads straight the recliner and literally lays on it all day. She does not know that the security camera is in the room. Is that normal for caregivers to pretty much lay or sit around all day? Its too hot to go outside and they sit and watch t.v.. If its normal then I'll bite my tongue. And he appears to get along ok with her when she engages in coversation.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
Have you given the caregiver a list of tasks to do during the day?
Make the bed, do the laundry, vacuum the carpet.
Does she try to engage him in conversation?
Does she talk to him about his interests?
Card games?
coloring?
Music?
Is it her job to bathe or shower him?
does she check briefs or pull ups if this person is incontinent?
If Dad is in a wheelchair or uses a walker and does not get up much does the caregiver help him change positions at least every 2 hours? A change of positions can be as simple as moving the back of a recliner to another position, moving him forward a bit just to smooth out the back of a shirt. Or it can be getting him up to walk to the bathroom.
If you have given this person no direction as to what you expect then what she is doing is what she thinks you expect.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I have the caregiver's sign a release that informs them of video and AUDIO.

If they balk at this I move on to someone who is willing to sign the release.

The recording will also protect the caregiver from false charges.

When I was caring for my grandfather, I found many competent caregivers who had no objection to signing the release.

If a caregiver balks, IMO, you have to wonder why? If they are doing their jobs, they will not care.

I also, require all maids and contract workers of any type.....plumbers, floor refinishers, handymen etc., sign these releases.

There are many competent workers who see the recording as a way to protect themselves from false charges.

Before requesting the releases, I had several incidents of theft that were not provable.

Since requiring the releases, I have had none.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report
did u print a basic release from the net?
(0)
Report
See 3 more replies
I have hired caregivers for my MIL and a friend with Parkinson's. There are basic resources for caregivers and I have used them all. Each has significant pros and there are some negatives but nothing is perfect: 1) a registry (expensive and a range of experience to choose from novice to expert but I have found is the source for "I need help now!" and had to take the novice for a while until the expert was available); 2) a franchise (you are interviewed by the service and they may not want to place one of their employees in your circumstance); and 3) an independent caregiver (my fave and keep in mind, you get what you put the effort into finding). There are so many responses here to your question that I have not read all but have cherry-picked a few that are worth reading and re-reading and they are from: Roseykat, Merrij, Maryquesq1, Jasmina, LeeMac, Rosie76, Anniepeepie, Lostboy, con3ill, scadvice, Heather10. We have an excellent caregiver for my MIL, hired as an independent contractor and from ads she had on Craigslist and Care.com and she had CNA certification. She has been with us for 2 years. Something she does that is very helpful is to write a care report at the end of each day that contains a daily record of what took place such as the time MIL woke up, her meal consumption, activities, exercise, observed demeanor, rest period tracking, and so forth. We also created a meds tracking sheet to be filled out during her shift. We make a computer/laptop available to her and this effort takes her about 30 minutes done at the end of each day and it is a record to refer to for care issues, or to reference with MIL's medical provider, or to share with siblings. We trust our caregiver and give her access to the wifi to use her tablet. We stipulate earbuds in one ear only and use is when MIL is sleeping or reading and there is not a household or meal task to be performed. She is not permitted to engage in personal phone conversations while on duty but is allowed if it is her break. As for the camera, once you've established a competent caregiver is hired by you, ditch the camera, it can only cost you a good caregiver. Oh two rules we have are: 1) do not engage the caregiver in family business or as a pseudo therapist to hear your troubles and; 2) never photograph or video our household, MIL or any other family member or post anything to social media about our family.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

Having an outline of job expectations is what you would go by, such as laundry, light cleaning, sweeping, tidying up sitting room, making her bed, making lunch, asssiitng with bath, clothing, and medication, outside of that, sitting with an elder parent, is that, sitting..depends what you hired person to do with your senior parent..
in NC video is fine, but if you witness criminal act, audio can cause entire recordings to be thrown out, one person being recorded must know their is audio recording, a third party may not “eavesdrop”.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Swicklund 75:

I have include below information regarding the legality of Nanny cams.

In addition, if used for a reasonable purpose such a suspected theft. The video will typically be admissable in court. Particularly if it catches the caregiver in a criminal act such as theft or abuse or neglect of the elderly person.

I have included the information below and a link:

https://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/babysitternanny-camera-legality.html

[ Question: Can I Legally Install a Nanny Cam in My Home?

Answer: It is currently legal in every state to make a video-only recording of anything happening at your home, at any time, without informing anyone. The fact that the camera is hidden has no effect on this concept. If your camera is video only (no sound is recorded), then you can do whatever you like with it, in your own home (but be careful about accidentally recording things beyond that, like the street in front of your yard).

Audio recordings are a different story. While some states have no special laws regarding these either, it is illegal to record someone's voice without their permission in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington State. The merchant selling the camera will likely be familiar with your state's laws concerning this, so be sure to ask before you buy anything or consult with an employment lawyer first. ]

More.....

[ Question: I've Been Videotaped Without My Knowledge - Can the Tape Be Used in Court?

Answer: The courts are split over this issue, but most states are leaning toward allowing it to be entered as evidence. 

While many states have laws regulating the taping of someone in an area where they have an expectation of privacy, most agree that you cannot have such an expectation in a home that isn't yours. 

Obviously, there are some exceptions to this rule (your employer cannot put cameras in a bathroom that he expects others to use), but in general, he can film anything in his home, including you, and can later use it in court.  

However, if you live in one of the previously mentioned 13 states, and the video has sound, then it will likely violate wiretapping laws, and will not be admissible. But the sound on a video can easily be muted, so unless the incriminating portion of the video is speech itself, the video portion may be allowed into evidence (although the courts have yet to rule specifically on this issue). ]
Helpful Answer (4)
Report
LeeMac Aug 2018
Although it MAY be legal to set up a camera without informing the care giver. I think this is a very intrusive and disrespective practice. What care giver would do anything illegal or questionable if they KNEW they were being watched! If a family did this to me without my knowledge and I found out, I would quit on the spot.
(0)
Report
I don't expect much out of my caregiver other than making sure he has lunch and meds and doesn't get into trouble. She will vacuum, fold laundry, do dishes, etc. and does not expect extra pay but I am fine with her sitting and keeping him company. I need the couple hours away and there isn't a lot to be done otherwise but he isn't safe left alone.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

i can relate, and i have reached out to the agency managers but still no change. my mom has a night shift home attendant from 8pm, to 8am. they dont do anything but walk her to her bed, they dont check nor change her diaper. they go to the opposite of the apt and lay down. they even change into pajamas, walk around bare foot and lay on my sofa with dirty feet. they leave their job for the morning crew, they dont give my mom her night snack before walking her to bed, nor her water. i have to end up breaking night to care for her myself. they seem to take the job just to make up those 12 hrs for their pay when their other permanent patients are hospitalized. in other words, they come for themselves, and not for my mom. they care less about the patient. my advise is to never chose 5 star home care agency for the night shift. my mothers diapers falls off in pieces when the day shift comes in if i happen to fall asleep for staying up so many nights. i have found dump in my tub because my mom has gotten up quietly and used the tub as a toilet, meanwhile they are sleeping in the front of they apt where they cant hear her if she gets up and falls. im getting a new agency for the night shift, because my complaints fall on deaf ears to the agency coordinators and managers. i have taken several pictures of their negligence at night.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I don't mind if the caregiver watches TV with my father as long as it isn't all day and it's his programs. I have a lot more faith in the caregiver with initiative because she looks for ways to engage him, not just fill the time.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I am a caregiver. It sounds like you have a lazy or tired cg. It is not normal for a good cg to just sit, let alone lie, around. A good cg will find something to do to help the client or the client's family. I clean the kitchen, fix meals, clean the bathroom, and the client's bedroom, wash and dry their clothes and put them up. A good cg can find things to do. Yes, I sit with my client and watch TV for 30 minutes then engage her in a conversation about what we just saw or engage her during commercials. I wheel her that the bathroom and bathe her and fix her hair and makeup. I wheel her outside through the flower garden. I put her in the car and go for a ride or to the grocery store or Wal Mart. There are so many things to do! Unless you have given strict instructions not to leave his side, the cg should be doing something...singing, reading to him, so many other things than watching TV.
Helpful Answer (16)
Report

https://www.amazon.com/Nest-Security-Camera-Matters-Anywhere
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

We have a part-time caregiver, 4 hours six days a week. She prepares/cleans up breakfast, helps my dad shower, walks with him for "their walk." Makes lunch. And she does light housekeeping. Laundry, sweeping the floor, vacuums, Dusts. Just not heavy duty. But she is busy but not rushed. Major thing is to not expect them to keep moving all the time. Also, my dad talks to her more than to my mom and I. And she loves to organize. So my drawers stay tidy...

I think you could expect more from the care giver. Talk to her agency...
Helpful Answer (9)
Report

Many people have already commented, so there is not much more I can add in that regard. I do have a question about the cameras however. I am thinking about getting some to keep an eye on my father. I understand they will send an alert to your phone if they detect motion or sound - and that you can talk to whoever is there. How do you like them so far?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report
GAinPA Jul 2018
The security cameras, daily routine of my visits for personal care, her weekly card club with her friends and a twice week, half day paid companion ALL keep my 96 year old mom in her own home. The cameras and motion sensors cue me on her activities so I can show up in time to help her when she is awake as well as check her during the evening and night. The alerts cue me for unexpected activity if it occurs ex: she goes to sleep around 6:00 p.m. any activity after that gives me an idea of the # of her bathroom trips (UTI alerts), and if the front door, back door, windows alert I KNOW somethings not right. The one hub has a temperature sensor that I check during the usually hot summer days. I have not had a need for the two way talk because of her decreased hearing. I can check that her meals on wheels arrive and watch her take them to the kitchen. Cameras won’t cover ALL your concerns, but after trial and error they are tools that keep my mom in her home with my supervision.
(1)
Report
See 2 more replies
Well, the decent thing would be for the caregiver to at least interact with your dad. Whether conversation, games looking at family pictures. Take him outside.I'm guessing she gets his meals for him. If he can walk be sure he goes and eats in the kitchen, dinning room. Surely, she must be bored doing nothing.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report
LeeMac Jul 2018
Although I appreciate that many people like eating in the kitchen or dining room, I have worked with many clients that do not want to. Families try to push it when they are around, but as far as doing it with a care giver, no way! I have had clients threaten to fire me because I 'try' to do the wishes of family and they do not want to do them. Care giving is tricky. I am there to take care of my client, make sure they are safe, they are clean, and they are eating well. Engage with them if they want me to, many times they do not.
(7)
Report
Swicklund you never said if the caregiver had any other duties while there?
Also any valuables should be removed from the home so there is nothing worth taking.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I agree with lostboy. Caring for an elderly person can be taxing. They might be pleasant or not so pleasant to work with.
If you could spend a lot of time with your elderly relative, would you? Most wouldnt because it can be draining. Sometimes the elderly person can get along better with non family members.
Some of the responders seem to feel the caregivers are lazy and want to have them account for every moment spent. Perhaps sitting and watching tv, keeping them company is exactly what the elderly person enjoys. If they were able to get up and go they wouldn't need a caregiver.
I'd want to be the caregivers friend not look at them with contempt or suspicion. If you think they cant pick up on that your mistaken.
If you didn't have these caregivers where would you be then?
Helpful Answer (4)
Report
LeeMac Jul 2018
Thanks Jasmine, you are so correct! It can be a real battle trying to do what the family wants, when the client does not want to do anything!! We caregivers need to be respected, it is a very taxing job. I love care giving, but many times it is the family that is the problem. They simply do not understand. If the care giver is doing her job, getting light housework done, making sure she is interacting with the client (if the client wants to interact), then there is nothing wrong with sitting and watching TV! Oh BTW, I resent this family setting up cameras and not letting the care giver know they are there! That is illegal I believe
(3)
Report
I am a caregiver myself and I have find that the plan of care works the best and also the family who knows the senior write down the list of things he used to like to do and conversation that he or she is interested in. Some seniors like to talk with caregivers and do some activities that needs to be done and beyond. Some enjoy me time and would prefer to hv the Caregiver assistant only when necessary as they might not really enjoy talking too much , like most of them enjoy reading their books and watching tv, doing pt activities and some might not even like to move around no matter how the caregiver encourages them.

Like for instance one one of the reason I personally hv find myself sitting is the client feel more safe whn she can always see what I am doing as it takes time to build trust , so you might be surprised to discover your father is really happy that she right there where he sees her and can once in a while talk. Me and my lovely current lady that I am helping now, she reads a lot , she like me time, also she enjoy talking but she not a morning person ... in the morning we do what needs to be done... breakfast, Pt activities, bathroom , go sit and read a book... call whenever she want to go to the bathroom or sometimes if she reading a nice book I have to go ask anything you want to do, let’s go to bathroom ... then maybe she sit in the sunroom or outside and after dinner we then sit together and talk and she really can talk but if cameras were in the living room I sure believe her kids think we don’t talk a lot or I don’t spent much time with her per What they see. But luckily she in good memory and she can always tell.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report
great answer. I have been a caregiver for over 8 years for my mother and have a list for the sitter that comes, complete with schedule and what to expect- even spent 2 days training her to show her what works and things mother likes to do or talk about or listen to. You are spot on. I have found an excellent care giver who sounds like you!
(2)
Report
Wonder if your sitter knew she was being filmed she might want to step it up a bit.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I think every caregiver needs a contract laying out expectations, do's and don'ts, etc that both parties agree to. I support the idea of the contract being a mutually agreed upon document rather than a list of demands. We're asking these people to come and take care of our loved ones who may not be the most pleasant or easy people to deal with in declining health. They're on our side not the adversary.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

My spouse is physically disabled from a stroke but mentally intact. In the six years he's received home care, approved by his health care plan (an important thing... the plan vets the agencies with which it contracts), we've had good luck, overall, with home health aides who exhibit a good work ethic. In our home state of Massachusetts, home health aides are often immigrants with limited English language. We work around that out of respect for their proficiency in English at all, and, most importantly, their attentiveness... they may not be good conversationalists but they are caring, they show up ON THE DOT of the time they are supposed to arrive, and they inform me of anything unusual that happens while I'm out. It takes some getting used to but for a patient with non-acute medical needs at home, like my spouse, it does the trick. That aside, a couple of things occasion me to write; 1) the performance of physical therapy. Home health aides are (or should be!) trained to do sit-to-stand transfers, walk assistance and safe transfer in and out of a bath/shower. When a patient becomes a two-person transfer for any reason, and the home health aide is the only one present, the home health aide should not risk safety of themselves or their patient to try to do it. Additionally, physical therapy, no matter how simple, may be out of their purview, due to the complicated muscle/motor skills conditions of people like my spouse (this is a critical thing to discuss with the agency, which may have higher skilled caregivers who can do that work). The other thing... in Massachusetts, home health aides' ability to 'give' medication is limited to cueing the care receiver to take medicine that's already laid out. They can't take it out of the pill bottle. Check with any agency with which you contract to see what the limitations are of the agency and your state.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Assign written reasonable task to the caregiver toward helping your LO. Ask the doctor to write an order for PT/OT to train the caregiver hands on exercises specific to your LO needs. That should also include physiological needs like things that promote the thought processes. This doesn't mean doing this all day but at reasonable times during the day.

All of this should have been spelled out when the caregiver was hired. But expecting the CG to just know what to do is not real world. They need to be trained or have demonstrated for full understanding of what is expected of them.

Just a last thought, you want to check on the laws concerning the camera surveillance with respect to the caregivers rights.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

First is Dad in the living room with her? Second is Dad able to go to the bathroom by himself or is he incontinent and is she checking him. Companionship is priceless for the elderly so don't be quick to judge her. What is there for the caregiver to do?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Caregiver should be checking on patient and assuring his comfort . Can re-position patient,make sure he has fluids and try friendly interaction/conversation if he likes. Caregiver's job is patient care NOT resting!
Helpful Answer (4)
Report
LeeMac Jul 2018
I beg to differ with you. I do 24 hour care. I DO REST!!!
(1)
Report
Swicklund75

It all depends on what type caregiver was hired and what is in their contract, if there even is a contract.

If she is an independent caregiver,..... is she a sitter or a medical professional? If she is an independent caregiver, not working with an agency, there may not be a contract and therefore you need to get her services in writing of some type.

Not all caregivers, either independent or hired through an agency, clean or cook. You also can not demand it, if there is a contract and you are demanding something not specified in the contract.

Some caregivers are just there for medical assistance. ....giving meds, treating wounds, turning the patient, toileting, bathing etc. They are not required to clean. For that you have to hire a maid service or a different type of caregiver.

You can install cameras in your home. If you think she is stealing you can plant money somewhere and train the camera on the place the money is hidden. If she snoops, finds it and steals it and you have this on camera you can have her arrested.

Unfortunately, with my grandfather, we even had one through an agency that was failing to fulfill the duties specified in her contract, and also stole several items.

Sadly this is very common.

We went through at least four caregivers until we found a helpful, honest, trustworthy caregiver.

Unfortunately, many people do not read their contracts, or even have one, and then they have unrealistic expectations about the agreed upon duties of the caregiver.

Get it in writing. If it is not in writing it does not count.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report
LeeMac Jul 2018
Better be sure surveillance is legal. If it is, I am sure there is a requirement to let the care giver know she is being filmed!!
(0)
Report
When we engaged caregivers we found the same thing happening. We put together a checklist, but we included the agency, Mom (the care recipient), the main caregiver, and myself.

We discussed the parameters of the contract (what the caregivers could/could not do) and from there made daily/weekly/bi-weekly tasks and care that needed to be done. These tasks and care included days for bathing/grooming, light household chores, Mom's favorite shows and activities. Believe it or not it worked!

A couple of tips: Keep the list to one piece of paper and don't forget to allow for a date and initials next to each task/care duty. We even left a couple of lines for "Other" and you would be surprised at what was entered. The caregivers really enjoyed it and every once in a while we would give them a gift card as a little bonus, it really does help to acknowledge them and the difficult job they are doing.

Mom was happier, the caregivers seemed to be, and most of all we felt like they were more engaged and actually were communicating with u on a more regular basis. Remember, they don't know what they are expected to do unless you tell them, they do not want to take advantage of anyone, they are there to help, so set guidelines - you will be glad you did!
Helpful Answer (13)
Report
DonnaR Jul 2018
I am a caregiver and when you have a plan of care, everything is much easier for everyone.
(6)
Report
See 1 more reply
The issue for me would be hiring a Caregiver who is functioning at a Sitter level. You are paying double the cost without the return. Maybe that is what's actually driving you crazy...it would me!

I would assign lite duties as suggested by others...especially with respect to your LO. I like your idea of the puzzles they could do together...how about some lite Physical Therapy? Maybe "sitting exercises from the couch."

If you were there with your LO what would you be doing with him to keep his mind and body active? That's what the Caregiver should be doing.....
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

A caregiver is very different than a sitter. A sitter sits, and is available to call 911 in an emergency. A caregiver gives care. that means they are professionals. They are often licensed CNAs and while they do not need to keep house, they often do so because they have that in their agreement. If you call a respite care agency they describe their services as helping out with household chores, cooking meals, help with bathing, with errands, etc. If you hire someone independently, then specify what the job entails. Hourly wages should be lower for 'sitters' and of course higher with more responsibilities.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I am a caregiver and also manage a group of caregivers who serve those needing assistance. Our rule is when we enter the home we are looking for something to do. Duties include the clients personal care as needed like showering / washing hair, dressing, meds given, vital signs taken, meals prepared, light housekeeping like keeping counters wiped down, kitchen cleaned ..dishes put away, bathroom cleaned, trash disposed of, bed linens changed, kitchen floor swept, clients laundry, errands, and transportation to appointments or outside home activities. We are CAREgivers not sitters. Depending on the level of care needed and time required, there may be time for sitting / down time while visiting with the client but duties come first. This Industry often does draw the lazy. Perhaps a daily checklist would serve helpful along with daily notes charted every couple of hours. We like to be the families window for seeing how their loved ones day went through our documentation. In addition to care and safety, a caregivers role should be to help provide and maintain the life, routine, and environment the client needs and has been accustomed to while still realizing their home is their castle and house rules are to be respected. Hope this helps.
Helpful Answer (17)
Report
Cbp711 Jul 2018
Wish you had been my Mom’s caregiver.
(4)
Report
I've obsevered that the health of many caregivers, including paid ones, isn't always the best, and their energy levels are low. It's like the sick taking care of the sicker.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report
LeeMac Jul 2018
I am a care giver. I am also a personal trainer, nutritionist, and massage therapist, I am FAR from lazy! Most the care givers I have worked with are not lazy. You must have been going through an agency, many of their care givers are lazy. I am an independent care giver, running my own care giving business, and working with a dozen other care givers who are not lazy.
(1)
Report
What is the caregiver supposed to be doing?
Is cleaning a part of the job description? If so is that being done?
Is bathing a part of the job? Is that done?
Is routine change of positions part of the job? It should be if he is not real mobile. At least every two hours there should be a change of positions or at least get up to go to the wash room if he is mobile.
Is meal preparation part of the job? Is that being done?
Is your Dad very verbal? If so the caregiver should be engaging in as much conversation as he can participate in.
Is the caregiver getting him involved in some sort of activity? Coloring, cards, reading to him, puzzles......
If everything is being done then there really is not more to do than to sit and watch TV.
You could modify the aspects of the job if you want. If light house cleaning is not part of this particular job description you might want to add it.
If helping him bathe and dress is not part of her morning you might want to add that.
The tasks of a caregiver evolve as the client declines so adding new tasks is not unusual.
But a discussion should be had about your expectations.
Helpful Answer (9)
Report

I agree with cwillie...what were there terms of the arrangement? If it was to be a companion who sits with dad - basically keeping him safe, fed, help with trips to bathroom, etc...you can't expect them to be doing all the other housekeeping things. However, if you've made it clear that other tasks are expected...then there's an issue. Hopefully there's a contract or something about expectations in writing so that everyone understands exactly what their roles are.

I've seen babysitters do absolutely nothing but watch TV while they were staying in the house with kids. Kids were in bed asleep...what else is there to do? Stay in the house. Make sure no one is breaking in. Kids are not up roaming or going outside. That was the arrangement.

Just be clear as to your expectations upfront.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter