caregivers caregiver caregivingDear Sheila,
For the last six months, I’ve been the full-time caregiver for a lovely lady. Her daughter hired me while she was overseas and needed someone to take charge and that’s exactly what I’m good at. I’m a CNA and I know how to do my job. The problem is the daughter recently returned and lives nearby. She has her own key and comes in whenever she feels like it with no regard for my schedule. I might have planned an outing for me and my client, but if the daughter waltzes in – everything goes out the window. What’s even worse is the daughter thinks she’s an expert and tells me what to do and how to do it! I’ve been cooking, cleaning, and taking care of my client’s needs for six months and the daughter’s telling me what to do? I don’t want to quit but I can’t take her intruding on us anymore. Is there a professional way I can put her in her place but still keep a good relationship? She does pay my salary.
~Professional Caregiver

Dear Professional Caregiver,
Good for you for having a full-time job with a client you like. Your client is lucky to have a caregiver who takes the initiative. Still, you must remember that your client’s daughter is her daughter and your boss! I am sure it is disconcerting for both of you. You worked hard to set-up your routines while the daughter was out of town, and for her, being the daughter and knowing her mother all of her life and how she likes things. Try to remember you both have your client’s best interest at heart. Perhaps the three of you can sit together and develop a care plan, breaking each task down with clear instructions. This will give you the opportunity to let her know what the routine has been the last six months. It will also give your client a chance to say what she likes or would like to change, and it will give the daughter a chance to participate and give input. Going forward, it may be a good idea to plan outings ahead of time and put the information on the calendar and/or email the daughter so she is in the loop. I think it is an easy fix, but it will depend on you and your willingness to include all the players.
~Sheila

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