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What's the proper technique for firing a PCA?

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    #16
    I decided to make it a pay cut proposal ($50 less a week) and see if she goes for it and resigns.

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      #17
      But what will you do if she accepts the offer? Do you really want her around when she has that sort of attitude and is not very helpful?
      Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

      I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

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        #18
        I totally understand the reluctance to give up the familiarity of even a crappy aide, but it's so worth it. Better people ARE out there. The best policy is to be direct. Playing games will only make an awkward situation more awkward. It's easy to say, I know, but if you're less than transparent you risk her taking vindictive action as some sort of victim.

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          #19
          On Sunday night I walked into the bedroom and aide was being snotty to my spouse about how late he wanted to watch a movie and that she had to study for a test the next day.
          Since she was being paid for an overnite and is considered respite for me (in another bedroom) it really pissed me off.
          I told her this is her job and that we support her going to school, but it is up to her when she studies.
          She ended up in the bathroom crying and I felt like a shithead.
          Spouse was glad I said something, but I wish he had said it himself.
          It is all very, very complicated.
          Hope it works out for you Peter.

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            #20
            Peter, cutting the pay of someone who already has a bad attitude is a really bad idea. When she strands you some a.m., what will you do? She could do more than pull a no show. She could leave you in the shower without a way to call anyone. That kind of craziness happens. It sucks when it does and is obviously dangerous.

            Check with your evening PCA to ensure he is willing and available. Establish a written contract with him detailing duties, hours, days off, rate of pay, etc. KLD previously posted a contract of what she uses for her mother's caregivers. You might start there for a good framework as it protects you and the employee, too.

            Have someone there with you when you tell the about to be terminated PCA your needs and required hours have changed. Have the locks changed in advance of her arrival. Hand her two weeks pay, ask for the return of any keys or personal property and have your friend/relative/SO escort her to the door.

            Immediately begin interviewing for fill in/back up help. There will be times when the PCA you love will be unable to be there. It can also be good to have someone in the loop for the day your good, primary PCA tenders resignation.

            Hope you soon have better help more consistently.

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              #21
              I would just add to the above:

              1. Start recruiting for a back-up person BEFORE you fire this one if possible.

              2. Ask your good PCA to help train your new replacement (of course on paid time).

              3. Give your good PCA a regular day(s) off. No one should have to work 7 days a week without a break. In most states, it is also illegal, even for household help. It won't do you any good if your great PCA burns out and quits on you, or gets sick due to overwork.

              (KLD)
              The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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                #22
                Originally posted by LindaT View Post
                On Sunday night I walked into the bedroom and aide was being snotty to my spouse about how late he wanted to watch a movie and that she had to study for a test the next day.
                Since she was being paid for an overnite and is considered respite for me (in another bedroom) it really pissed me off.
                I told her this is her job and that we support her going to school, but it is up to her when she studies.
                She ended up in the bathroom crying and I felt like a shithead.
                Spouse was glad I said something, but I wish he had said it himself.
                It is all very, very complicated.
                Hope it works out for you Peter.
                I wouldn't feel bad about that. What you did was the right thing and completely called for. If she is able to study occasionally while at work thats a plus, not something she should depend on. And if she needed to rest/study before the test, she should have asked for the night off.

                If she was upset at the confrontation I'm sure she'll get over it quickly and realize she was in the wrong. You go to work to work, not to do other things.
                Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

                I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

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                  #23
                  Originally posted by ~Lin View Post
                  I wouldn't feel bad about that. What you did was the right thing and completely called for. If she is able to study occasionally while at work thats a plus, not something she should depend on. And if she needed to rest/study before the test, she should have asked for the night off.

                  If she was upset at the confrontation I'm sure she'll get over it quickly and realize she was in the wrong. You go to work to work, not to do other things.
                  Thanks Lin. It seems to have smoothed over now, but was very upsetting on a number of levels.
                  Sorry to jump in on your thead Unclepeter.
                  It is all so complicated when you rely on people in your own home.

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                    #24
                    I work as an STNA. Obviously you cant' hide your entire home from a new aide, but I have warned new clients who I know will have other aides in their home to either lock up or keep within eyesight any pain meds, cash, or jewelry that they want to make sure doesn't walk off.

                    The reality is that while it's not uncommon for some aides to be either lazy or incompetent, it's less likely -but definitely not impossible - to have aides who are thieves. If you need an aide, take some simple precautions against the most likely theft problems at least until you get to know them.

                    But also don't forget that some of us do have a heart of gold so try to keep a balance between caution and paranoia.
                    Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.
                    - Albert Einstein

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                      #25
                      Hi - I'm new to this community so I hope it's ok for me to just speak up.

                      I would suggest one other concern to consider when you have PCAs in your home who may or may not be considered to be your employees: in California, at least, if you are their employer, you may likely be responsible for workers compensation coverage for them if the are injured (or fake an injury) while working.

                      If your relationship with a PCA is deteriorating and the PCA can foresee getting fired, it is extremely easy for them to suddenly become eligible for lifetime workers comp benefits for difficult-to-dispute claims of "neck or shoulder strain" or worse yet, "work-related stress". If that happens, and you're their employer, you are liable for their benefits and you need insurance for that unless special circumstances exist such as your being exempted from liability by legislation or regulations.

                      If you are your PCA's employer, or could be construed to be their employer, you should look into whether you are protected in the event of workers comp claims. One easy solution is to check whether your homeowner's or renter's insurance covers you for that risk. If not, you can probably add it to your existing coverage at a relatively low cost.

                      Good luck (especially if you're in California).

                      - Tim
                      Last edited by TColling; 20 Feb 2012, 3:10 PM.

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                        #26
                        Great advice. Anything starting in oxy especially. And keep jewelry and any other easily concealable valuable out of sight.

                        Originally posted by Kendell View Post
                        I work as an STNA. Obviously you cant' hide your entire home from a new aide, but I have warned new clients who I know will have other aides in their home to either lock up or keep within eyesight any pain meds, cash, or jewelry that they want to make sure doesn't walk off.

                        The reality is that while it's not uncommon for some aides to be either lazy or incompetent, it's less likely -but definitely not impossible - to have aides who are thieves. If you need an aide, take some simple precautions against the most likely theft problems at least until you get to know them.

                        But also don't forget that some of us do have a heart of gold so try to keep a balance between caution and paranoia.

                        Comment


                          #27
                          Good advice to keep meds concealed period! A member here had her pain meds swiped off her table by the maintenance guy for her apartment, I think he shouldn't have even been in her apartment at the time?

                          If you don't own your own home or have anyone coming in to your home keep that stuff out of sight! And I had a friend who had to keep her meds locked up because her fiance would take them. He was a chronic pain patient himself and didn't take them to get high, but thats still SO not ok to steal someones pain meds.
                          Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

                          I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

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                            #28
                            You can't believe what aides have stolen from us, ranging from the obvious (meds) to the downright bizarre (a blanket, a sheepskin, my clothing). Locking up valuables and meds with a new aide is a must. Also, interview people off site, not at your house. If you don't hire someone, you don't want them to know where you live in case they turn out to be a psycho.
                            Wife of Chad (C4/5 since 1988), mom of a great teenager

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                              #29
                              Give them a written warning if possible due to unemployment concerns
                              Never take crap from a worker they work for you.

                              Yes I keep my meds in a safe and monitor them I have a great crew right now
                              It took a lot of mistakes to get here

                              So update us did you let her go?

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                                #30
                                In California, there is a system called Trustline that is useful for background checks on prospective caregivers. See http://www.trustline.org/

                                Although it was built for childcare workers, it is also used for background checks for other care providers and is a good resource for anyone requiring care for someone who is potentially vulnerable to bad acts by caregivers.

                                - Tim

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