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HELP! Young Caregiver needing advice on dealing with difficult employer

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    HELP! Young Caregiver needing advice on dealing with difficult employer

    Hi all!

    I have a few questions for you. I'm a college student with a year experience as a caregiver. I recently got hired as a caregiver and am about to be a live in caregiver in a week or so. My employer (primary guardian of person I care for) pays me $8.50/hr and wants $350 in rent. I'm okay with this because it is a 3 bedroom house and I'm the only person who would be living there and the guardian likes to take the person I care for home at nights.

    My concern is this...there has been no formal contract as of yet. I have been told by previous employees and by a former live-in that the employer tries to ripoff employee's pay and also has been known not to give enough hours to be able to sufficiently pay rent and live. The employer also has been known to not show up on time when shifts are over or answer the phone when late. Has been known to be up to 4 hours past time. The employer is also very absentminded and forgets to bring care items. The employer has also mentioned having me do overnights but doesn't want to pay me for it as minimal care is needed at night.

    Also, apparently the house has a poisonous spider problem that the employer has been notified of, but has failed to fix.

    What can I do to protect myself in this situation? What should I include in the contract? How much is appropriate for overnight pay? How should I handle house problems such as the spider issue?

    Thanks!

    #2
    Hi nmdupre welcome to CC -

    I don't know what others are going to say but this is my feeling - unless you have no other options I wouldn't touch this with a 10 foot pole unless you get everything in writing. Not that that guarantees anything but at least you're covered legally if something happens.

    The whole situation seems a little unusual to me - is this person sci ? Can you share a few more details so we can understand better - why does this person go "home" at night? Is this an elderly person or someone young ?

    You must protect yourself - for 8.50 an hour it isn't worth putting up with someone who doesn't respect their employee's time or well being. The spider problem would be a deal breaker for me ! I wish you the best !

    Obieone
    ~ Be the change you wish to see in the world ~ Mahatma Gandi


    " calling all Angels ...... calling all Angels ....walk me through this one .. don't leave me alone .... calling all Angels .... calling all Angels .... we're tryin' and we're hopin' cause we're not sure how ....... this .... goes ..."
    Jane Siberry

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      #3
      Yikes. I sent you my contract before I read this. I agree with Obie, if you can get out of it, DO IT NOW. Sounds like a person like that wouldn't respect a contract even if one were in place. Good luck to you ....
      Wife of Chad (C4/5 since 1988), mom of a great teenager

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        #4
        Run away as fast as you can. Just reading it made me cringe. Ticks me off that anyone would treat a caregiver that way. You are an invaluable person to many who need the help. Just because you are new doesn't mean you are to be taken advantage of.

        There are plenty of jobs out there for caring, responsible, caregivers. The employer probably hires only newly trained c/g's as they don't really know the business yet and can be taken to the cleaners easily.

        Poisonous spiders and they still haven't taken care of the problem should tell you right there what kind of people they are.

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          #5
          Thanks for your fast replies.

          The problem is that I found out about all of this stuff like last week from one of the longest-working employees and now I have to be moved out of my current place by next week. At the very least I'd need to stay there a few weeks until I could find something better. So far the employer hasn't pulled any of these stunts on me (except being a few minutes late) and not putting gas in the van when I needed to take the daugther to the dentist. But from what I heard, she will wait until I live there to do some of these things.

          The person I care for is a young adult female with palsy. She is immobile and non verbal and has mental disabilities as well. She is completely dependent on care.

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            #6
            Originally posted by Patrick Madsen View Post
            The employer probably hires only newly trained c/g's as they don't really know the business yet and can be taken to the cleaners easily.
            You are exactly right! The longest working employee (8 years...who has only been there so long because she is afraid what would happen to the daughter if she left) told me she has hired multiple young women for this position and the longest one only lasted 3 months! Everyone has left.

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              #7
              shouldnt you have a contract with any kind of live in situation? you could be out on your butt at the drop of a hat otherwise.

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                #8
                Crash with a friend, do anything, but do NOT move in with them!!
                Wife of Chad (C4/5 since 1988), mom of a great teenager

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                  #9
                  I agree with everyone. Try to find other arrangments even if you are in a bind.
                  This sounds like trouble and not something I would expect of my husband's caregivers.
                  Just the turnover alone and warning from past employees alone is a red flag.
                  Good luck.

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                    #10
                    Run as fast as you can. As others have posted, there are more positions for caregivers than there are decent caregiver to hire.

                    I would live in a tent before I moved in with poisonous spiders and I do not do tents.

                    Where are you located? I have a spare room and have been looking for a good caregiver for my son for too long. Only half joking, but i know I am not the only person having issues finding someone dependable and responsible enough to take my son to therapy and not hit the liquor cabinet.--eak
                    Elizabeth A. Kephart, PHR
                    mom/caregiver to Ryan-age 21
                    Incomplete C-2 with TBI since 3/09

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                      #11
                      I agree with the others. This is a bad scene. I only use temps and they get written agreement It is mutually beneficial. The deeper you get into the situation, the harder it will be to get out. You could end up without anyone to relieve you. Then what? I do not know where you reside, but I know guys who have live ins around here and they give their caretaker rent-free room and board if they cook, plus a wage comparable to what you are being paid.
                      You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
                      http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...imb_Injury.pdf

                      See my personal webpage @
                      http://cccforum55.freehostia.com/

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                        #12
                        I live in Northern California

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                          #13
                          Hmmm, I wonder what happened after all???

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