We’ve all seen the horror stories of home helpers or hired caregivers physically abusing bedridden elderly people or stealing valuables from their homes. No-one would question whether or not to fire (and arrest) a home care worker who committed these abuses. But there are other compelling reasons to replace a caregiver, or hire a new caregiving agency.

All of the following behaviors are unacceptable in a senior in-home care situation, and can lead to serious health and safety issues, as well as making the family caregiver’s job that much harder. And they are all causes for concern, which you should either discuss with your senior care agency or talk to your home helpers about. If the situation does not resolve quickly, you would be justified in seeking a more reliable, professional, and compassionate caregiving service.

7 Warning Signs to Replace A Home Helper

  1. The caregiver you hired shows up late or calls out too often. Excuses, excuses. If a caregiver has too many outside obligations, unreliable transportation, or a too-casual attitude, or the agency is understaffed, they are under-valuing the service you and your aging parent need.

  2. The home helpers do not keep records or communicate with the family care supervisor. Your elder care team consists of a combination of family members, doctors, visiting nurses, and the caregiver or home care agency. It is crucial that any missed medication, falls, changes in behavior be communicated. In addition you should have a record of all the places the person in care has gone and all appointments that were made.

  3. The caregiver interrupts or ignores your loved one and their concerns. Home helpers who are too “bossy” undermine the independence your aging parent still has. They may even ignore crucial symptoms, like unchecked hip pain or a change in appetite.

  4. The home helpers take personal calls in your presence. Caregiving is a job; personal calls are not appropriate during work hours.

  5. The caregiver ignores hygiene, home safety hazards, or fails to make sure they eat well and don’t get dehydrated.

  6. The caregiver doesn’t suggest activities, try to engage them, take them places, and take note of their condition. A home care worker is often the elderly person’s primary link to the outside world. Disinterest from the caregiver leads to boredom at best … and can bring on depression, muscle deterioration, or complete social isolation.

  7. One of the less offensive, but most common reasons to replace a home helper is because of a conflict perceived by the senior.  The senior may not like a personality, have trouble understanding an accent, or find the caregiver’s physical presence (large caregiver to a small petite senior) intimidating even if the caregiver has done nothing wrong and has been great.  Personal preferences play a role in finding the best caregiver fit.

How To Replace A Home Helper

Choosing to replace a home helper can be as easy as calling the owner or case manager of a home care company.  You are paying for the convince of not having tthe burden of hiring and replacing caregivers.  A responsive and quality home care company will have caregivers that are available in case something happens which demands a new caregiver.

Unless gross negligence has occurred, usually the protocol to replace a home helper is letting them finish the shift, then replacing them before their next shift.

If you suspect it’s time to find a better in-home caregiving agency, discuss it with your care team, and the person in care if they are able to make decisions. Look for an agency that’s reliable, shares your values and has the experience to provide true quality senior care.  Don’t feel guilty about needing to replace a home helper. It is something that happens often.

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