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Alone for 20 to 30 minutes while she went to pick up food for my mom. Granted, my mom told her to go, however, my mom is bedbound in a diaper and cannot stop anyone from doing anything. The caretaker said what was I supposed to do? And I said, I signed her up for DoorDash left credit cards for everyone in the restaurant that you just ordered from and left my mom alone after our agreement that that was the biggest safety concern and the reason why Is m hiring you and paying you so much money, was on the list and could’ve delivered in 30 minutes. She has done other things that I do not trust. My mother finally trusting her and I don’t want to do anything that my mom is uncomfortable with. This caretaker is leaving for a month to go back to the Philippines in December. Should I just wait and replace her that time? Or if I don’t trust her from some of these little and big things do I give her two weeks and find someone new?

I think if you have lost trust in this person, replace them.

I am hoping that you do not mean that you have only 1 person caring for your bed bound mom 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, ad infinitum, with no other support in place. If that IS what you are doing, I suggest strongly you hire several care givers, because no single person can keep that up for any serious length of time. Even if the caregiver *agrees* to such an arrangement exhaustion will set in quickly and it will be much more dangerous than your mom being left alone for 20-30 minutes.
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Slartibartfast Aug 10, 2022
No kidding about the single caregiver issue. I've been the sole 24/7 caregiver for people who were completely helpless and had all kinds of wild needs at all hours of the day. In my case they weighed around 7 pounds and were at least easy to lift and take to the store, and I still about lost my mind.
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To what degree is your mother's cognitive decline? If she was given a phone would she know how to call 911 emergency if she had to?
If she still has that mental capacity she can be left alone for short periods of time.
My last caregiver position was as the first-shift for a an elderly bedbound woman who had 24-hour care. When she's be napping which was often that is when I would go to the store because it was also my job to keep the place supplied. All of her products (diapers, wipes, creams, medications, pads, etc...), the groceries, the cleaning products. I also did all the housekeeping. I usually went out a few times a week so I'd never be gone more than a half hour or so.
Then nursing came on the scene (we were all privately hired). She didn't need it, but when there's an old person with money and top insurance, the sharks smell blood in the water and they show up. They carried on about the 20 minutes I was gone getting diapers. We needed diapers. Not in two days when the order they'd place would arrive but that day because she was in her last one. Nursing's answer was to just ler her crap and piss the bed until the diapers got delivered. Or go to the store on my off time. Not one was willing to go to the store for her or the pharmacy on their off time or work time. Not one of the several nurses and social workers was willing to do this, or to even wait there for 20 minutes while I went.
Caregivers who are alone in a situation have to make decisions. Like going to the store in a low-risk situation versus the client being out of diapers or meds or food. I always went to the store the hour before my shift ended. So even if I got killed in a car accident or struck by lightening, the 2nd shift worker is coming so the client is only ever alone for 20 - 30 minutes.
How long has she been with your mom?
Don't knit-pick the caregiver if your mother likes her and she keeps up on the work. If chastizing her about picking up the food is going to make your mother uncomfortable don't do it. You're not the one receiving care. Your mother is, and if that care is good leave it alone.
I was an in-home caregiver for 25 years. I've been with many families who's answer to everything was replace the caregiver over and over again. They were never satisfied. You won't be either. Families often make the mistake in thinking that the one caregiver in the house is supposed to do the jobs of a full staff. That doesn't happen and you may just end up with a revolving door of caregivers which is a real headache.
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robandjane Aug 10, 2022
I'm sorry you feel the need to defend your actions; but having cared for my elderly in-laws for 3 plus years now; I can't imagine any item that can't be delivered to a home. Pre-planning so that items don't run out is just part of the deal.
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Nothing happened.

What were the other things you weren't happy with?
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On the one hand, you say your mother is perfectly mentally competent. If that's the case, then she's competent to direct her caregiver to go out for 20-30 minutes to pick up an order of food for her. She's mentally competent enough to know NOT to try to get up alone while the CG is gone.

On the other hand, you are suggesting your mother is incompetent by saying she is 'bedbound and in a diaper and cannot stop anyone from doing anything.'

Which is it? Is she mentally competent to make decisions, or is she incompetent b/c she's physically unable to stop anyone from doing anything?

You would have us believe your mother is the equivalent of an adult baby lying in a bed wearing a big diaper, yet in the same breath have us believe she's in full possession of all of her faculties (based on other things you've said in previous posts).

Your mother gets to decide how this caregiver operates provided she has not been deemed incompetent due to dementia. She likes and trusts this caregiver and now you want to fire her b/c YOU don't trust her. Where's your mother's say in all these decisions you are making on her behalf?? You say you 'don't want to do anything that my mom is uncomfortable with' yet are planning to wait and 'replace her' while she's visiting family in the Philippines in December???

Again, when does your MOM get to have a say in all this? Isn't SHE the one paying the bills? And perfectly competent b/c she has all her faculties???

It's good that you want to help. It's not good that you are trying to micromanage the caregiver and override your mother's wishes. Respect your mother enough to speak with her about what SHE wants to do here. Don't go behind mom's back to fire a caregiver she likes and trusts b/c she sent her out to get food and you didn't agree with her decision to do that!!! As POAs, we only get to make these types of decisions on behalf of our mother's when they are deemed incompetent to do so themselves. Until that time, THEY get a BIG say in who cares for them, it's not all up to us!

In the meantime, it is a good idea to make your wishes known up front and honestly to this caregiver, once you run everything by mom first. This situation is all new to you, so you don't have all the rules down pat yourself. Give this woman some grace, that is my suggestion. And give your mother a say in who gets to care for her moving forward. Don't treat her like an incompetent child just b/c she's lying in a bed wearing a diaper. If she's able to call 911, she's capable of being left alone for short periods of time.

Hiring and firing a whole bunch of aides is a headache in and of itself. Nobody's perfect and nothing in life is perfect. Unless this CG has done something very untrustworthy you've seen with your own two eyes, I'd have a chat with her and give her another chance.

This is a tough situation for you being new to caregiving and hiring people. You love your mother & want the best for her. There is a fine line between wanting good care for her and suffocating her. I always try to think of things as if I were in the position myself, lying in bed after a stroke. Firstly, I'd want to be gotten up OUT of that bed and into a wheelchair every morning so I could use my legs & get the blood circulating by 'walking' in the w/c. I would not want to be treated like an invalid, and I'd want to have a big say in my own care and in my own life and rehab. What would you want for yourself, if you were in your mom's shoes? That's how to make decisions moving forward.

Good luck.
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katepaints Aug 16, 2022
I’d stick with this caregiver if you can. It can be really difficult for a loved one to get used to and like a caregiver. It’s a risk that could turn into a massive headache. Caregiving is a big job and maybe she forgot door dash. It’s not the first thing that pops into my head . I’d your mom getting any Kind of other care or activity? Working 24/7/365 days a year is really tough.
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It’s always a good idea to have a relief caregiver who can be there when the regular caregiver has to leave, either to get something for the patient or for her own personal reasons, which do come up. For my parents, one after the other, we had a 24/7 live/in caregiver, plus the relief caregiver who was sometimes there at the same time to help with moving the patient or cook the food or whatever, and me. It took three people to handle home caregiving. We were all physically fit. And it was expensive, and that’s what it took to allow my parents to die at home. That took 6 years for both. It wasn’t a good plan. This is why I firmly believe that the patient should go to a care facility when the time comes. Home care sounds great - until you have to do it.
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BurntCaregiver Aug 11, 2022
Fawnby,

A caregiving situation like what you had for your parents is pretty much non-existent. It sounds ideal and you are probably the only family that ever did this. I never knew one in 25 years of service who ever hired that much help. The idea of a relief caregiver when needs arise is a great idea.
How did you pay her? What were her hours.
If the relief caregiver had to be there whenever she was needed, then that person was pretty much on-call 24/7. How could they work another job if they could be called at any time?
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Trust your gut absolutely.
Fire her now and get someone else.
You do not owe her a notice and I would trust someone even less after I gave them notice and they had two weeks to stew over the firing.
If a basic tenant of the agreement that you entered into with this caregiver is that she would not ever leave the home; then you should let her go and tell her why.
Your mom may not like you for it; but she will trust someone else after a bit too.

Point of note: Even licensed agencies will fire on the spot. We had a caregiver hired through an agency for my MIL/FIL and when my MIL told us she gave April a check for 'school'; we immediately told the agency and they called her in and fired her on the spot. She was not allowed to accept a 'gift' from a patient and knew that and they didn't hesitate to fire her and replace her with someone else immediately.

Go through a reputable agency and you should have less problems.
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Perhaps I do not understand all the pitfalls. But I do not see a problem. My wife has dementia and is bed bound. I feed her and change her diaper. And we talk. I leave her to work outside and go shopping. Even if I was in the house I would not be watching her constantly. She is in no danger. It would not be any different if she could walk. I gave up my job so I could be with her. she is never left alone for more than 2hrs.
when she was in a nursing home she was left for a lot longer with no one checking on her. This was true for most of the people there. I could not get them to even change her diaper. In fact it was their lack of care taking her to the bathroom that gave her the idea it’s ok to go in the diaper. I once waited 4 hours to get them to change the diaper after I asked them.
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Change those credit cards for new ones immediately upon her departure.
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Why do you have someone working 24/7????????
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Just for starters, 24/7 care from one hired person may not even be legal. Who backs her up to allow her to have breaks and to leave the house periodically? Are you reporting the wages appropriately or just cash pay, unreported earnings? That may also come back to haunt you.

I agree, food can be delivered just as groceries are so that a caregiver does not have to use their car and their gas to run errands for your mom. I think there are just more issues with your arrangement. I did 24/7 care for my mother, but even if I was going to venture out to be an employee to care for someone else - there's no way I'd be tied to a house for 24/7 with no relief in sight. You might want to reconsider and hire 2 or 3 different people to do overlapping shifts. Also, be more realistic about your expectations of an employee.

Of course there may be more to this story: the lady needed a place to live and you needed help, etc.
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debster84 Aug 18, 2022
Thank you. I was giving her a lot of time off, 2-3 hours 3 days a week to get some time away. But now, I have her hire someone for the day if she needs time off. I was doing this without deducting any money so now it is up to her to pay someone if she needs a day off. And yes, I am starting the process of looking for a replacement. 🙏
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