Author Topic: Live-In Help Etiquette  (Read 3082 times)

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TheaterDiva1

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Live-In Help Etiquette
« on: June 28, 2013, 10:09:28 PM »
BG: My mom's been sick since Christmas and, until a few weeks ago, has been back and forth between the hospital and rehab.  Now she's back home and recovering.  My parents now have two live-in nurses taking care of her - one during the week and one on weekends.  While DH and I have been up to visit several times in the hospital, this is the first time we've been up since she got home.

Now: Where do I draw the line between friend/family member and hired help?

Specifically - We would like to take my parents out to dinner.  Do we invite the nurse?  Do we treat her as well or does she pay her own way? 

WillyNilly

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Re: Live-In Help Etiquette
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2013, 10:25:50 PM »
I would ask your parents, some people get closer to their live-in help then others. In general though you don't have to invite the nurse - she might appreciate a few hours off - but if you do, you do need to host her.

gramma dishes

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Re: Live-In Help Etiquette
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2013, 10:31:56 PM »
She's an employee.  She isn't with your Mom because she loves your Mom.  She's with her because it's her job and she's getting paid to do it.  Hopefully she's honest, kind and compassionate, but it's still her job.

If it were my Mom, certainly I would go out of my way to treat her well because you want her to treat your MOM well.  But that doesn't mean she's family.  If your parents can go out to dinner without her health care person with her, then go ahead and take Mom without her, but do understand that you still have to pay the health care person because she's contracted for that time period.

Take you cues from your Mom.  If she feels good about having her around, then you can begin treating her a little more like family.  There may come a time when you'll honestly have no choice but to invite whichever one is on duty to some things because it will be the only way your Mom will be able to attend that event.

I realize there are two different assistants involved, but I used the word "her" to apply to whichever one is on duty at any given time.

mrs_deb

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Re: Live-In Help Etiquette
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2013, 10:37:13 PM »
What do the nurses do for meals when they're at your parents' house otherwise?

I think the answer depends a lot on whether or not the nurse is specifically responsible for monitoring your mother's health.  If she is, she should be invited, and you should pay for her dinner - because she'd be attending as part of her job.

If the nurse is there to perform personal duties just because it makes it easier on your parents (bathing...turning...changing beds...that sort of thing), I don't think you have to invite her (although it's probably polite to do so, huh :-)?).  She might just as well prefer having a couple hours free time instead. 

Hope your mother is on the mend.

snowdragon

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Re: Live-In Help Etiquette
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2013, 10:44:51 PM »
If your mom needs her to go, for physical help, or with eating or if she needs to keep track of  what mom eats, drinks, or needs to be monitored - you need to pay for her to go. She should not have to spend her wages so that you can do recreational things. 
   In fact that is a good way to loose a good nurse.

NyaChan

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Re: Live-In Help Etiquette
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2013, 10:46:05 PM »
I agree with mrs_deb -

-If they are needed at the dinner to work, they should come and you cover their dinner.
-If they aren't needed, then you don't have to invite them, and I bet they'd appreciate some time off.  In fact I'd phrase it that way when you bring it up.
-If you want to take them out to foster good will, I still think you should pay.

Sophia

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Re: Live-In Help Etiquette
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2013, 11:00:02 PM »
My MIL does this.  (She takes care of a woman 2 years younger than her).  She works 24 hours a day while she works.
If she wasn't needed, she'd be happy to stay at the house and decompress.  If she was needed, she'd be happy to go to dinner with you guys.  But, she wouldn't be paying for her meal. 

kherbert05

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Re: Live-In Help Etiquette
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2013, 11:34:24 PM »
We had home health aids for my Mom and later for my Aunt and Uncle. I needed the aids' help taking Mom to the doctor, so she came with us. Mom was having a good day and wanted to eat out. I paid for the aids meal, because I knew that she brown bagged it.

The Aunt and Uncle had around the clock care. If we went out for an evening meal there were plenty of people to help Aunt and Uncle - so the home health aid would stay home and use the time to take care of paper work and other duties (checking and cleaning equipment). My cousins would often order a take out meal a the end of our meal to take to the person on duty
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TootsNYC

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Re: Live-In Help Etiquette
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2013, 12:32:04 AM »
I think that there are no circumstances in which you wouldn't pay for her meal if she came along.

But I also think you ought to be able to ask for guidance from the agency she works for.

And the "couple of hours off" may not mean much. The women who helped my next-door neighbors wouldn't have been able to get home and back in 2 hours--let alone have any time to do anything at home.

It's not like she was going to go shopping with a spare 2 hours--there wouldn't be time for that, either.

So yes, of course offer the free time if you don't need the woman's help, but it's not necessarily a great thing in her life, so I wouldn't suggest you make a big fuss about it as if you're doing her a favor.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2013, 12:34:17 AM by TootsNYC »

Sharnita

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Re: Live-In Help Etiquette
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2013, 11:24:06 AM »
I agree that if the nurse is needed to care for mom at dinner then you pay for the meal. If not, you can take the parents out without the nurse but it should be paid time off. Taling the family out should not mean the medical care giver takes a financial hit.

TheaterDiva1

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Re: Live-In Help Etiquette
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2013, 03:37:44 PM »
Thanks for the replies guys... Unfortunately, it wound up a moot point - Mom wasn't up to going out after all.  As for paying - we were prepared to cover her as well - we just weren't sure of it was expected.  I think she brings some of her own food with her, but she usually eats with us and has whatever we're having, so I guess her meals are usually provided.  She usually just sits by in case Mom needs something (help in the bathroom, i.e.) otherwise, she can just relax with us.

that_one_girl

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Re: Live-In Help Etiquette
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2013, 06:42:49 PM »
I have some experience with home health care, though not live-in. If the family goes out, they usually do so at the end of my shift, and I get released early because they usually have enough people to take care of what I would normally do.  Otherwise, if I went with them I would expect to pay for my own meal because they are taking their family member out, not me.  I would order something I could afford to pay for, even if it is only a small salad, and then later eat my brown bag lunch.
 
Edited to add:  My duties usually include various types of housework as well, so I would definitely appreciate some time alone to do some of the chores that can be more difficult when taking care of someone.  (For example: sometimes it's hard to get the floor mopped if the person you're taking care of has the habit of wandering through the kitchen at random times, because you don't want them to slip and fall.)
« Last Edit: July 01, 2013, 06:47:55 PM by that_one_girl »

ladyknight1

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Re: Live-In Help Etiquette
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2013, 07:08:09 PM »
I would offer to bring takeout for the nurse. We have done so in the past. We also include any live-in help in meals and parties we have at the home.

msulinski

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Re: Live-In Help Etiquette
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2013, 09:18:56 AM »
I have some experience with home health care, though not live-in. If the family goes out, they usually do so at the end of my shift, and I get released early because they usually have enough people to take care of what I would normally do.  Otherwise, if I went with them I would expect to pay for my own meal because they are taking their family member out, not me.  I would order something I could afford to pay for, even if it is only a small salad, and then later eat my brown bag lunch.
 
Edited to add:  My duties usually include various types of housework as well, so I would definitely appreciate some time alone to do some of the chores that can be more difficult when taking care of someone.  (For example: sometimes it's hard to get the floor mopped if the person you're taking care of has the habit of wandering through the kitchen at random times, because you don't want them to slip and fall.)

There is no way you should be paying for your own meal, assuming they are bringing you along because you are needed to take care of the person. If going out to a restaurant is required by your employer, then the empoyer should pay.

Twik

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Re: Live-In Help Etiquette
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2013, 11:02:29 AM »
One thing - check if the agency has rules about things like this.

I had to have someone from home help care assist me for a minor medical procedure last week. I tried to give her money for a coffee break while I was under anesthetic, but she said the agency would not permit her to take it.
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