When I began hiring paid caregivers for Mom, I had no idea what a challenge it would be. The first person we worked with, I was not pleased by but I was hesitant to get rid of her. When Mom started telling me that the caregiver was stealing from me, I decided that she simply had to go.
This was not because I believed that the caregiver was stealing, but my take was that the relationship between Mom and the caregiver was completely broken down in a way that was not helpful to anyone. So we moved on to number two. In the meantime, I had been asking for help with laundry and arguing about whose laundry the caregiver would do. Apparently perfect segregation of laundry was required which I explained to them with a woman with her state of dementia, meant no laundry at all. Trying to fight the battle to separate her laundry from the rest of the household was a no go for me and Mom.
I switched caregiving services with the agreement from the new place that household laundry was fine.
And then we starting going through caregivers. What I find fascinating is that I have to assume that Mom is relatively easy as folks come. We have no issues with incontinence or negative type behaviors. Mom is polite to a fault, even now. All her critiques are made in whispers to me in the other room while she puts on a smiling face. (It has taught me something about the other side of what I experienced in her parenting.)
And yet, easy as she is, some of them don’t make an effort to connect to her. Some don’t seem to like to help around the house and prefer to watch television. Many of them seem comfortable leaving her alone for hours on end. Some just are not a good personality fit which is fair enough. And so they go, one after the next. And then we come to today, when I discovered that the caregiver had not bothered to check that the shower was turned off after Mom’s shower. Seriously?! I suppose I should be glad that I never came home to a burner left on all day…
A colleague who has been on the caregiving treadmill for a while told me that in her experience it takes perhaps three tries to find the right fit. We are long beyond that now! It’s been a strange adjustment to all this hiring and firing. But I have become more confident that Mom deserves a reasonable level of treatment for the money and that I am not willing to accept less than that.
Anyone out there have a tough time finding a good caregiver? Tips welcome!