How can I get my mother's caregiver to communicate better with us?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 14, 2017
A fellow caregiver asked...

I don't like my mom's new day-shift caregiver. My sister thinks she is great, but I find her very condescending and she does not always leave me notes about what mom has eaten or if she's slept as I ask her to do -- instead she'll tell me "it was a good day" or "it was a bad day" as she leaves the house. I spend the evenings with Mom four nights a week; my sister stops by during the day and my sister's said this woman is pretty good with my Mom and even gets her to eat, which is a struggle. But how can I get her to communicate better with us?

Expert Answers

Merrily Orsini, MSSW, was a pioneer in the business of providing geriatric care managed in-home care. She currently serves on the board of the National Association for Home Care and Hospice and is Chair of the Private Duty Homecare Association. She holds a master's degree in social work and is a nationally known writer and speaker on aging, elder issues, and in-home care.

Sometimes communicating with a home health worker is as simple as having a 3 ring binder note book in the home, where all are expected to record what has occurred during a shift. What your mother ate, when she slept, when she took medications, who visited and when, what outings she went on, etc. I would suggest a chart for medications and times that all initial when your mother takes those meds, a page for daily notes, and another chart for sleep times, meal times, and specifically a place to list what was eaten. Then, there will be a recorded spot for all shifts, all days, and no questions about what happened when.