17 answers

Nursing Home and Private Sitter Issue

My dad has dementia. An employee of the nursing home doesn't think his private sitter came at all last week but she billed me for seven days. What would be a good system to ensure she really is going and staying the hour each day? I get there after dinner nearly every day so I thought about leaving a time sheet in there each day but that wouldn't prove she stayed the hour.

The private agencies all want a 3 hour minimum and he can't stay awake that long. I just wanted someone to be there, read his paper to him, and remind him I am coming at night. I was going 5 times a day but after a month I was dead tired so I am going at night.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I decided to let her go. He will have to settle for me reading the paper to him after work. Thank you.

Featured Answers

Well, one way would be to get a 'nanny cam'. You get get the equipment and service from Verizon for a monthly fee.

4 moms found this helpful

Is there a land line in his room? I would either call it when she is supposed to be there, at odd times, each time you call, or have her call you from there to give you updates.

3 moms found this helpful

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You can get nanny cams or surveillance videos pretty cheap. You can even get some that feed to a secure online feed, so any time during the day you can log in and see what is going on in the house. It may be a good idea to do anyway, so that you can check in on your dad during random times to make sure all is going well.

5 moms found this helpful

You want to "make sure" your private sitter actually shows up to work? You need to get another private sitter.

If you think that you need to give her another chance because you don't want to just take the word of the nursing home, you can always do unexpected drop-ins to see for yourself. I wouldn't bother with that at this point. Just tell her that it's not working out and thank her for her time. You can't prove that she shorted you on working her hours, so you pay her that but do NOT give her severance pay unless it's in a contract. If you got her through an agency then you need to tell them what the nursing home informed you of because they need to know and they can advise you on whether she ought to be paid or not.

Then I'd find a new Home Health Care Agency that can send you a skilled health aide.

5 moms found this helpful

Is the "private sitter" someone you hired through an agency that provides these kinds of employees? Or someone you found through an individual who maybe recommended her? Is she someone you just pay in cash or someone with whom you have an actual contract either on her own or via an agency that actually employs her while you contract for her time with that agency?

If she is actually with an agency or business that provides her services to you, you definitely should have a written contract and I would get that out and call the agency to report to them what you have been told. It is not your job to spy on her with a nanny cam at the nursing home or to force her to sign some log -- her employer, the agency, should handle this. I'd be very tough with them and demand that they come up with a way to ensure she is there or simply replace her immediately.

If she is someone you found on your own you have less formal recourse.I don't have time to waste with people who are slackers and would probalby just meet with her (not in front of your dad, and not on the phone) and say flat out: "I have had a report from the nursing home that you were not seen visiting my father any day last week. This is the first I've heard of this. What do you have to say to that?" And see if she might have some real reason (maybe illness in the family, whatever). But even a reason would not excuse it, since she could have called you to explain and did not but still billed you. She might deny it like crazy and say that someone at the nursing home is lying but I'd ask her calmly, "WHY would anyone in the nursing home lie to me about this? They would gain nothing. They wouldn't get your salary. If you have not been going there, you need to come clean about it. If there was some problem or issue or illness that prevented your being there I would have understood IF you had called -- but you did not, and I was billed. Was there such an issue?"

I would believe the word of the nursing home worker, frankly. I have personally seen how some "employees" in these types of sitting jobs simply slack off, don't interact with the patient (if that's part of their purpose), spend huge chunks of time outside the room or chatting with nursing home staff or just coming late and leaving early. I know not all these workers are like this but I have seen it repeatedly and in person.

Check her out, and confront her with it, then if you feel you can't trust her any more....

Unless it is hard to get someone to do this job in your area, or she actually clicks well with your dad and you don't want to confuse him by changing sitters -- I would very seriously consider booting her and hiring a sitter only through a reputable, bonded and insured caregiver agency that does background checks, has contracts, etc. If you are already hiring her through such an agency, and you don't believe her if she says she was there, tell them so. You can't prove an absence, as the saying goes, but you can tell them that you have never had such a report before and there is no reason for the nursing home staff to lie-- they have no advantage to gain.

4 moms found this helpful

Well, one way would be to get a 'nanny cam'. You get get the equipment and service from Verizon for a monthly fee.

4 moms found this helpful

most nursing homes require you to sign in and sign out. you could check the log. but more important is that you find a "sitter" that you trust. I don't know that I could go with the word of just an employee. Employees are busy all the time and are in charge of many patients not just one so the sitter could have been there but not seen by the employee.

4 moms found this helpful

Get another sitter. Clearly this one isn't taking your father's care seriously.

3 moms found this helpful

Is there a land line in his room? I would either call it when she is supposed to be there, at odd times, each time you call, or have her call you from there to give you updates.

3 moms found this helpful

It disgusts me to no end how people treat our elders. I remember with my grandmother paying out a fortune to have private care to only find them not doing what they were paid to do. You are such a great daughter to be there for your dad. Our parents gave us life. They took care of us when we were sick. We need to do the same for them. God bless your father.

2 moms found this helpful

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