I don’t know if I’m technically a newbie, as I have been a carer for my mother since mid March. She was discharged from hospital just before the first lockdown for at home care. So, it was fortuitous timing.
It’s been something of a roller coaster, as she was previously very independent.
Because she has pressure sores and is bed bound, the carers come in 4x a day to turn her and tend to her personal care; I do everything else re: her care.
I’ve always found the at home care very stressful; it feels like a constant intrusion and although I get out as much as I can and thought that I was getting used to everything, this pervasive feeling of intrusion never goes away.
We live in a bungalow and our bedrooms are VERY close to the bathroom. Indeed that was one of the attractions of the property. That also makes it very convenient for the carers, as there are no stairs or long hallways to negotiate.
Possibly because of this, one of the carers on the morning shift ALWAYS has a no 2 in the bathroom in the morning. It didn’t start off like this, but now she’s doing all of the time.
I wake up feeling okay and as soon as I go the bathroom, my heart sinks and it puts me in a mood, which my mother then picks up on. This has been going on for several months and I’ve kept quiet because I don’t feel that I can tell the carer to NOT use the toilet, but yesterday I went full PA mode and just removed toilet roll and wet wipes and then she used the kitchen towel which could block the toilet, so I’ve removed those too.
I realise that with COVID and the issues that people have that this sounds quite petty, but it’s not, at least not for me. The effect is cumulative. I can speak to the agency re: my mother’s care, but when it comes to the Carers’ behaviour I feel on much greyer ground. I don’t like some of their behaviour, although generally they are quite good, but don’t how to broach the grey areas when it concerns me and not my mother (she says she’s quite happy with the carers).
The carer who does the dump a day, I’ve had boundary issues with her which I’ve never really mentioned or addressed. When we first met, she was asking me personal questions from the off, how much she liked the property, her relationship history. I think that this was inappropriate. I’m not a “hail fellow, well met” kinda person. I’m private and introverted (I’m currently being assessed for being on the autistic spectrum) and felt as though I’d been ambushed and it was an invasion of my boundaries. I let it go unaddressed. I’ve often felt disrespected inside of my own home. I find that, due to time pressures, the carers aren’t as sensitive as they could be. But personality and temperament has a lot to do with this as well.
Any advice on how to deal with the grey areas re: working with external carers, would be very appreciated.