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Issues with Sarah's care assistant - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

Issues with Sarah's care assistant

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Hi Alex, I think Blue has made a good point it could be that the careworker is worried that you no longer want to join them for a cuppa - might be worth just saying you are busy at the mo and the only reason. Have a word with Sarah too, and check that it doesn't bother her that you no longer join them for a drink - just in case it is bothering her too.

The careworker might appreciate an apology of sorts. It doesn't mean that you are saying your wrong or they're right or anything like that. All you have to say is "I'm sorry you are feeling like this, it's just that I've got a lot on with uni work and to be perfectly honest I'm not really one for socialising a whole lot (I've had to explain that to people myself before now)". Now I appreciate that it might need wording more tactfully than I've just written it but you get the jist of what I'm trying to explain.
Care workers are exactly that - workers. I don't see why you should need to apologize for anything - you are not there for her entertainment. We can have anything up to 18 different careworkers in our house per week - they are not there for fun they are there to do a job. My atittude is do your job - properly - and then get out - I have no interest in being your "friend". I am sick of them coming into us and acting like they own the place.

Tricky stuff, in theory it is one thing employing someone to mow the grass or build your conservatory, and it should be just the same employing someone to wipe your bum, wash and feed you. The protocol has to be the same: the relationship is purely professional, a care-worker is not a substitute friend: you pay them to do a job. But sadly it isn't quite that simple, is it? And it is tougher for younger carers and people with a disability, and for people like my son who doesn't really have 'friends' in the conventional sense, because of his inability to reciprocate equally in any meaningful way. This is a great topic, and will run and run.
[quote]Tricky stuff, in theory it is one thing employing someone to mow the grass or build your conservatory, and it should be just the same employing someone to wipe your bum, wash and feed you. The protocol has to be the same]

Well surely a care worker is a substitute of sorts they are substituting or filling in...in place of a relative/ partner /friend? Care workers if they are going to be any good are bound to have build some kind of relationship with the person they are looking after if they didn't they wouldn't have the insight /sensativity to provide the care that the person needs and if personal care is involved it surely would be more comfortable and pleasent for the caree to feel that the care worker has a genuine interest in them and yes even a liking for them.
My mother is in residential care and she has friendly caring relationships with several of her care workers, they know things about her, her life etc, and she knows things about them, their families, their hobbies/interests etc. They give her a hug when she down or even just for no particular reason, they wish her good night in their own individual ways some have a religious twist some don't, they greet her in the morning and ask her how she's slept etc.
When mum has been hospital she has had get well cards from the staff and other residents, the manager has phoned the hospital to keep updated on mums progress and asked the hospital staff to give my mother her own and the staff regards and to tell my mum that they are thinking of her etc. That continued interest and expression of still caring about my mother (even though she is in hospital and not really their responsability while she is out of their care) has cheered her up no end and reassured her that she is not just the present resident of room 7. I thank god every day for their personalised caring ways it is an enormous contribution to my mother happiness and contentment.
The care assistant ought to be respectful of the fact that you live in the same house too and that if you don't wish to come and have a drink with Sarah and her assistant, then so be it. Your current care assistant doesn't have to be staying with Sarah forever, so why should you come over all chatty and be their 'friend'? Who knows, Alex, next week there might be a different assistant.
I am very wary about giving too much of our lives away to hubby's PAs, especially when we still don't have a second one in place yet. Trialling PAs are all strangers in my home, I don't feel that I should come over all friendly with all of them.
People should understand and just let you both be, what you both want to be, in your OWN HOME!
Take care now.
Hi I can understand how you feel because for 10 years I have run a Direct Payment for my severely
disabled daughter and almost always have employed carers in our home 24/7.We have had to adjust to this lack of privacy and it can be very difficult to do this.
My view is employed care staff are not friends they are there to do a job that they are paid to do and this must be clearly laid out from the start if you are to have a professional relationship. I believe this is key to good care, Fairy Image
Oh tricky one and not something you can give a definitive answer to because so much depends on the personality or training of the careworker(or even the ethos of the organisation they work for) and the personality and individual preferences of the caree and family carer/member.

Personally i would rather have a friendly but mutually respectful relationship with the people who provide paid care for my husband and I can say that without exception we have a good relationship with all (there are eight) of my husbands carers.

BUT I am aware that the careworker/caree,family member relationship is potentially open to exploitation by either side. We have had carerworkers in the past who i didnt like and who i wouldnt have left my husband alone with...they worked for the local Council!!! We now have Direct payments. To rid myself of the stress of becoming an employer i decided to use my husband's direct payments to pay for carers employed by voluntary agencies (Crossroads and Langstones). As organisations that were set up for philanthropic reasons rather than for profit both these agencies treat and train their staff well and so can be choosey about the staff they employ. If there was an issue (and in twenty years there never has been) both the careworker and myself (on behalf of my husband) could leave the matter to the Voluntary Agency to deal with.

I expect all my husband's careworkers to treat my husband with kindness and respect and my first priority is that my husband must like, feel safe and be safe with whoever is caring for him.To be honest a cold and totally impersonal relationship just wouldnt cut it. I would expect any visitor to our home to treat it with respect just as i treat any visitor to my home in a friendly and respectful way. My home is clean (although not particularly tidy!) and warm and safe as i would expect a working environment to be. I am happy for my husband's careworkers to help themselves to tea, coffee and biscuits . i wouldnt want them rearranging my furniture, cooking themselves three course meals or going through my drawers. But then i would say the same for my friends Image Sometimes a carer has done something i would rather they hadnt, like wash the cat plates in the washing up bowl (yuk) but it has usually been done with the best of intentions and i either ignore it or find a tactful way round the problem, like making sure i wash the cat plates before the carer arrives lol.

I am naturally a friendly and i hope kind person so i do chat to my husbands carers. For me this is also partly the need to feel trust. i need to feel sure of someone before i would consider leaving my husband in their care. However i would never for example ring a carerworker in their own time. We have a friendly relationship but we are not friends.

I guess like any relationship it's about boundaries and how and where you choose to set them. And like any relationship it breaks down when one party oversteps them.
Me again (more interesting than cleaning the kitchen floor!)

Alex, did the carer overstep the boundaries of the relationship..yes probably. What was their intention/motivation in doing so ? Is the relationship worth saving? (ie is Sarah happy with them?) If yes, is there a tactful way of re establishing the boundary.. probably yes because you have told her you are busy doing uni work. Sometimes in my opinion where human feelings are concerned its better to go round an object to get what you want rather than confronting it head on( its called allowing people to save face). If Sarah's carer still has a problem with you not joining them to talk when you have told her you are busy well quite honestly that's her problem and if i were you i would just forget it. If it is Sarah who is upset by you not joining them thats another matter altogether but one that is between you and Sarah and not the carer.