the rigamaroll of caregivers

Hiring and firing caregivers for my grandparents (who live next door) is a full-time and exhausting job. There is never a shortage of drama, and always an abundance of call-ins, bickering between the staff, and general angst. Most of the employees I’ve fired work for a few weeks or a month or so before they’re let go. This last time, it was an employee who has been with us almost two years, and it was a doozy. It is especially difficult to navigate these waters when my grandma is so dependent and attached to her caregivers. She wants to forgive them for anything, because it is hard for her to always have new people helping her with private things. I get that, but certain behaviors can’t be ignored.

I’m starting to understand why the elderly end up in nursing homes. Caring for them is a full time job, and as a mom and full-time nurse myself, I can’t do it. In fact, no one can do a full-time job 24/7, except maybe parenting. I feel like if the money is there, you can hire 24/7 caregivers to keep people home as long as possible, but then there is this problem: caregivers are not paid a huge amount, most of them don’t have much education, and their commitment to the job is “meh”. We have several who are good but one is leaving and one wants to drop hours so we have to hire again. The one who was just fired worked day shift 6 days per week. I hate the hiring process. I feel nothing but trepidation for what we might end up with.

So far the “bad ones” have been like this: coming to work on drugs, stealing, taking large gifts of money claiming to be “borrowing” them, offering to do jobs and not showing up do them, asking for raises and fudging their hours to appear to have worked more, calling in all the time. So much ridiculous-ness!

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Categories: elder care

2 Comments »

  1. Actually as the old person in my family I worry a great deal about needing caretakers and would appreciate all advice and commentary on your experiences. Especially since you just had to fire a 2 year with your grandmother person……. SCARY!!!

  2. That is so frustrating. It can be the same for childcare and assistants for people with disabilities. I’ve only been on the side of this as the caregivers though. Remember that there are good people out there. Focus on the requirements and traits you do want.

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